Aristotle, De Anima

C.D.C. Reeve (tr., ed.), Aristotle, De Anima, Hackett, 2017, 227 pp., $22.00 (pbk), ISBN 9781624666193.

Reviewed by Caleb Cohoe, Metropolitan State University of Denver

This is an excellent translation of Aristotle’s De Anima or On the Soul, part of C.D.C. Reeve’s impressive ongoing project of translating Aristotle’s works for the New Hackett Aristotle. Reeve’s translation is careful and accurate, committed to faithfully rendering Aristotle into English while making him as readable as possible. This edition features excellent notes that will greatly assist readers (especially in their inclusion of related passages that illuminate the sections they annotate) and an introduction that situates the work within Aristotle’s scientific method and his overall view of reality.

Reeve’s introduction discusses the status of Aristotle’s science of the soul. His treatment is not merely an overview of this topic but a significant and welcome contribution to current scholarship on the scientific status of Aristotle’s psychology. Reeve says, correctly, that Aristotle’s “science of soul” has “its feet in botany and its head in theology.” (xxviii) It includes the principle by which plants live, but it also covers the understanding (ho nous), which can know all things, including Aristotle’s divine being. Reeve, unlike many contemporary Aristotle scholars, acknowledges that Aristotle is, in fact, committed to the view that the understanding is a power that is not the form of any part of the body, but instead has its own activity, one that is separable from the human body.

Read the review here.

Religion and war


Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam…. Claims to ancient origin and ultimate authority notwithstanding, the world’s five major religions are all of recent vintage compared to the couple hundred thousand years or more of human existence on the planet. During most of our prehistory, religious beliefs and practices were largely localized, confined to the territorial or tribal boundaries of individual groups.

Watch them spread here.

Read stuff here.

SS: The Common Good

“The common good is no longer a fashionable idea,” writes Robert Reich in his latest book, The Common Good. Yet renewing the concept, he argues, is urgent: “If there is no common good,” he writes, “there is no society.”

Reich’s new title offers both a careful accounting of the American history of moral deterioration, beginning with the Nixon administration, and a call to arms to bring back moral leadership. It’s also a searing indictment of the Trump administration’s frequent dismissal of “the common good,” which Reich believes undercuts our democracy.

Reich makes a persuasive case that the shift toward greed and power and away from the common good has been hugely detrimental to our society. He urges leaders to renew trust in institutions they oversee; if they are found guilty of using their positions for personal gain, Reich presses us to hold them accountable.

Reich has served in three administrations, including as Secretary of Labor for Bill Clinton, and is the author of thirteen books including 2015’s Saving Capitalism. He is currently a professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley.

Go here! Enjoy.

Morality and Religion

Twenty years ago now I had a public debate with a local god-man.

Here is one of my contributions:

 What do you think?