Read The Great Books

A Curated Guide for Autodidacts

Categories, On Interpretation, Prior Analytics, De Anima

by Aristotle

A series of shorter writings by Aristotle, great thinker of the ancient world. The topics discussed vary, but all include teachings and ideals that Aristotle valued and still have weight today.

Some of the subjects discussed in these writings are law, logic, ethics, morality, arguments, and politics. With a variety this large, these works will appeal to people with all kinds of interests. With writing this varied though, you’ll also want copies that are not only well translated but take the time to help bridge the gap between Aristotle’s time and understanding to your own.

For Categories consider the CreateSpace edition. The translator has taken the time to not only accurately turn Aristotle’s writing into modern English but also allow it to be easily accessible for writers of any level as well. For On Interpretation and Prior Analytics, check out the Loeb Classic Library edition. Tag teamed by Harold Percy Cooke of the University of Durham and Hugh Tredennick of University of London, they translate these texts immaculately. This one is great for those new to ancient Greek writing but it won’t hamper those well versed in it either. It also does include Categories, so this one is definitely nice for someone interested in all three and who like Loeb’s approach to ancient text. For De Anima there are two copies that stand above the rest. Penguin Classic’s offers a reputable translation and basic approach to Aristotle’s work. It has a few drawbacks though; the translation is getting on in its years and there isn’t much else to prop this edition up. I would recommend the Hackett edition. Not only is the translation meticulous and fresh, there is a veritable sea of additional information and notes as well.