Book Reviews

Reading List for April, 2022: One Lonely Book

Sigh. Oh well. Maybe more next time.

Aristotle’s Children by Richard E. Rubenstein

One of my favorite activities while in the US is browsing around used book stores. And in Dryden, NY there is one that is as close to heaven as I have found. Piles upon piles of books stored in a semi-organized fashion throughout what used be be a large barn. I could spend an entire week there. My wife is afraid that I will.
It was there, tucked into the philosophy section, that I found this gem. “Aristotle’s Children” is one of the best reads of the year so far. Author Richard E. Rubenstein sheds light on the rediscovery of Aristotle’s writings during the Middle Ages, and the enormous effect that this had on Western society as a whole.
In the process, he explodes a few myths that desperately need exploding. For example, the idea still persists that from the beginning Christianity set itself against intellectual innovation and scientific discovery. As Rubenstein documents, nothing could be further from the truth. The Aristotelian revolution spread under the supervision of the Church, in Church-run universities, by Christian scholars – Enlightenment-era propaganda to the contrary notwithstanding.
Though it deals with philosophical concepts, “Aristotle’s Children” is not Portuguese-speaking friends, it is available in Portuguese under the title “Os Herdeiros de Arist├│teles”.


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