Aristotle

Aristotle Picture

Aristotle was born on 384 BCE; he is a famous Greek philosopher and polymath. Aristotle was the student Plato and went on to become the teacher of Alexander the Great. The works of Aristotle cover various subjects ranging from: logic, music, theater, metaphysics, physics, poetry, politics, biology, ethics, government, linguistics, and zoology. He is known as the founding figures of Western philosophy. It was Aristotle’s writing that created a comprehensive system of Western philosophy which included various topics such as morality, aesthetics, logic, science, metaphysics, and politics. Medieval scholarship was profoundly formed from the views that he contributed in regards to physical sciences.

Aristotle was born in Stagira, Chalcidice around the time of 384 BCE. His father, Nicomachus, was a personal physician to King Amyntas of Macedon. Very little information is found by historian on the childhood that was spent by Aristotle. However, it is hypothesized that he spent some of time in the palace of Macedonia. By the age of eighteen he had travelled to Athens in order to continue his education at Plato’s Academy. Aristotle attended the academy for twenty years before leaving Athens around 348 BCE. After the death of Plato, Aristotle felt that there was increased tension and anti-Macedonian sentiments within the Academy. Therefore, Aristotle and Xenocrates travelled to the court of their friend Hermias of Atarneus who was situated in Asia Minor. While spending time in Asia Minor, Aristotle travelled the island of Lesbos where he researched botany and zoology of the island. During this time he married Hermias’s niece, who was considered the adotive daughter Pythias. After the death of the Hermias in 343 B.C., Aristotle had been invited by Philip II of Macedon to become the tutor of his son Alexander. It was during this time that he was appointed as the head of the royal academy located in Macedon. Lessons were not just given to Alexander, but to two other future kings who included Ptolemy and Cassanger.

Aristotle returned to Athens on 335 BCE where he established a school known as Lyceum. For the next twelve years, Aristotle was the one that conducted courses in the established school. During this time period of 335 BCE and 323 BCE, it is believed by many historians that Aristotle began to compose a majority of his works. Most of the surviving works are in the form of treatise and they include some of the most important and influential work of modern western philosophy. The list of works include: Physics, Metaphysics, Nicomachean Ethics, Politics, de Anima, and Peotics. Aristotle studied almost all the subjects that were available during that time and also contributed significantly to those fields. They include: anatomy, astronomy, embryology, geology, meteorology, physics, zoology, and geography. He contributed to philosophical writings in aesthetics, ethics, government, metaphysics, politics, economics, psychology, rhetoric, and even theology. It is Aristotle’s combined works that compose the virtual encyclopedia Greek knowledge.

Once again, anti-Macedonian sentiments as arose in Athens after the death of Alexander the Great. This forced Aristotle to flee the city to his mother’s home in Chalcis. Aristotle died in 322 BCE in Eubeo of natural causes. He left the chief executor his former student Antipater. The will left by Aristotle stated that he wanted to be buried right next to his wife.

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