The Aristotle Adventure  
The Aristotle Adventure
A Guide to the Greek, Arabic, and Latin Scholars Who Transmitted Aristotle's Logic to the Renaissance
The Aristotle Adventure offers a reader-friendly journey through two-millennia and across the breadth of the Mediterranean world. Its many illustrations explain, dramatize, and summarize: simple maps, diagrams, charts, and chronologies. An extensive bibliography and voluminous endnotes open avenues to further reading. Soft cover, 6 x 9 inch format. 256 pages. ISBN 0-9644714-9-3.
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The Book
The daily news is filled with stories of crime, famine, and tribal warfare. All these horrors are products of the irrational foundation of most world culture. But what about the good things in life -- such as the insights of science, the products of technology, and the pleasures of prosperity? Their foundation is a philosophy of reason. An indispensable tool of that philosophy is logic.

That tool and that philosophy came from Aristotle around 330 BC. How did they reach us through all that time?

The Aristotle Adventure answers that question by providing, in the form of a story, a guide to the individuals who published, studied, explained, taught, and extended Aristotle's greatest achievement -- logic, a tool for understanding this world. This reader-friendly account covers 2,000 years, 10,000 miles, and four cultures (Greek-pagan, Greek-Christian, Arabic-Islamic, and Latin-Christian).

Another advantage of The Aristotle Adventure is its focus. By limiting it to one subject, but a fundamentally important subject (Aristotle's writings on logic), the author has been able to cross-section a broad sweep of history in a single, compact volume. The book travels through four major cultures, 2,000 years, and the whole Mediterranean world from Persia to Ireland.

In the Preface, the author says: "The Aristotle Adventure is a guide to individuals who had the courage and integrity to pursue their highest values despite distractions, setbacks, and threats. The object of their struggle was logic, the tool of an ancient philosophy of reason, a philosophy which offers the promise of happiness here in this world.

This book is mainly a guide to the past, from the standpoint of one subject -- Aristotle's logic. Where scarce historical evidence permits, this book is also partly:
  • A saga (a straightforward account of a sequence of people and events).
  • A drama (an account of fundamental values in conflict).
  • An adventure story (an account of a bold, risky enterprise whose outcome was uncertain and hazardous).
This book is not a history of Aristotelianism, philosophy, or logic. Nor is it a scholarly book. (In the main text, I have not debated the evidence for my claims.) However, abundant end-notes allow readers to pursue more information."
The Aristotle Adventure is for:
  • General readers seeking a clearly written intellectual adventure.
  • Students of the history of ideas, philosophy, Western Civilization, or theology.
  • Scholars who want an overview of this wide-ranging story.
For more than 25 years, the author, Burgess Laughlin, has been a successful writer in several fields. He has specialized in writing to novices. His persistent effort to explain philosophical concepts as they appear in the story makes The Aristotle Adventure especially suitable for general readers and students. The author's long experience writing and editing in industry -- where clarity is crucial to results -- makes The Aristotle Adventure a refreshing break from most academic writing.
"Laughlin approaches his subject in the way that the author of a detective story might. He describes events and editions ... as so many clues in the mystery of what befell Aristotle's work [on logic] across the centuries .... In content it is impressively thorough. *The Aristotle Adventure* covers all the major figures and numerous minor figures ...not to be found in any other reference."
-- Mary E. Gallagher, book reviewer, Catholic Library World (June 1996).
"Burgess Laughlin provides a rational account of the transmission of Aristotle's treatises on logic, from ancient Greece to the Arabian peninsula and later to Western Europe. I also purchased the poster; and I have framed and hung it in my study/library."
-- Richard G. Parker, M. D.; moderator, Objective Medicine
  • Part 1. The man who built the foundation of a civilization.
    • 1. From where do the good things come?
    • 2. Aristotle's six treatises.
    • 3. The six treatises as a philosophical sampler.
    • 4. The six treatises as a tool kit of logic.
  • Part 2. Underground stream (322-43 BC).
    • 5. Aristotle's school (to 322 BC).
    • 6. Aristotle's two best students (322-285 BC).
    • 7. Inside the school (285-100 BC).
    • 8. Outside the school (285-100 BC).
    • 9. Recovery (100-43 BC).
  • Part 3. Greek-Pagan mainstream (43 BC - 641 AD).
    • 10. A revival: Phase 1 (43 BC - 200 AD).
    • 11. A revival: Phase 2 (200-350 AD).
    • 12. A disquieting lull (350-450 AD).
    • 13. A weak revival (450-650 AD).
  • Part 4. Greek-Christian branch (330-1204 AD).
    • 14. From Roman to Byzantine Empire (330-641).
    • 15. The Byzantine Dark Age (641-856).
    • 16. A struggle to preserve (850-1050).
    • 17. A feeble revival (1050-1204).
  • Part 5. Arabic-Islamic branch (450-1198).
    • 18. Translators (450-1000).
    • 19. Logic in the Arabic East (850-1250).
    • 20. Logic in the Arabic West (750-1250).
  • Part 6. Latin-Christian branch (27 BC - 480 AD).
    • 21. A fitful beginning (27 BC - 480 AD).
    • 22. The last Roman (480-524).
    • 23. The Dark Age, Phase 1 (524-880).
    • 24. The Dark Age, Phase 2 (880-1088).
    • 25. A revival unleashed (1088-1200).
    • 26. Logical consequences (1200-1265).
    • 27. Reaction (1265-1400).
    • 28. A rebirth of logic (140-1589).
    • 29. Lessons from the past.
  • Life Dates.
  • Bibliography: Works Cited.
  • Notes.
  • Index.
  • Graphic Summaries.
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Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Burgess Laughlin.