Physics, or Natural Blogging

You can’t study Aquinas for long without realizing the need to come to grips with Aristotle.  James Chastek over at Just Thomism recommends starting with Aristotle’s Physics; and more particularly with Glen Coughlin’s translation, Physics, or Natural Hearing.  The introduction to Prof. Coughlin’s translation has this to say:

…it is not reasonable to begin one’s study with commentaries; we should first read the text and then turn to the commentators when our own powers of comprehension fail.  This will not take long.

Nor did it.  I’ve been wrestling with Prof. Coughlin’s translation on and off for some months, and gotten some notions, but I’ve not gotten far.  Prof. Coughlin goes on to say that the best commentary on the Physics is that of St. Thomas Aquinas, and particularly recommends this edition, published by Dumb Ox Books.  I’ve since received this, and I’m liking it a lot.

The book includes the complete text of the Physics, in comfortably sized sections interleaved with Thomas’ commentary.  Thomas doesn’t settle for merely explicating the text; he puts the passage in context, and also gives considerable background that Aristotle assumes.  And since Aristotle’s own words are separate, it’s possible to give them a good study before moving on to what Thomas has to say about them.  Good stuff.

I don’t intend to blog my way through Aristotle the way I’m doing through the Compendium Theologiae, though I’ll undoubtedly have a few reflections to make as I go along.

2 Responses to “Physics, or Natural Blogging”

  1. Peter says:

    “or Natural Blogging” . . . hehe.

    In case you missed it when I mentioned it on James’ blog, Vincent Edward Smith’s textbook modeled very closely on Aristotle’s Physics and St. Thomas’ Commentary is available online. He goes into more detail on particular issues in other books, but this is the best complete course I know of for a beginner working through Aristotle.

  2. I *did* miss that. Very cool, and thanks for pointing it out.