Aristotle

Aristotle (/ˈærɪˌstɒtəl/;[1] Greek: Ἀριστοτέλης [aristotélɛːs], Aristotélēs; 384 – 322 BCE)[2] was a Greek philosopher born in Stagirus, northern Greece, in 384 BCE. His father, Nicomachus, died when Aristotle was a child, whereafter he lived under a guardian’s[who?] care. At eighteen, he joined Plato’s Academy in Athens and remained there until the age of thirty-seven (c. 347 BCE). His writings cover many subjects – including physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, aesthetics, poetry, theater, music, rhetoric, linguistics, politics and government – and constitute the first comprehensive system of Western philosophy. Shortly after Plato died, Aristotle left Athens and, at the request of Philip of Macedonia, tutored Alexander the Great between 356 and 323 BCE. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, “Aristotle was the first genuine scientist in history. … Every scientist is in his debt.”[citation needed]

Teaching Alexander the Great gave Aristotle many opportunities and an abundance of supplies. He established a library in the Lyceum
which aided in the production of many of his hundreds of books. The
fact that Aristotle was a pupil of Plato contributed to his former views
of Platonism, but, following Plato’s death, Aristotle immersed himself in empirical studies and shifted from Platonism to empiricism.[3] He believed all peoples’ concepts and all of their knowledge was ultimately based on perception. Aristotle’s views on natural sciences represent the groundwork underlying many of his works.

Aristotle’s views on physical science profoundly shaped medieval scholarship. Their influence extended into the Renaissance and were not replaced systematically until the Enlightenment and theories such as classical mechanics. Some of Aristotle’s zoological observations were not confirmed or refuted until the 19th century.[examples needed] His works contain the earliest known formal study of logic, which was incorporated in the late 19th century into modern formal logic.

In metaphysics, Aristotelianism profoundly influenced Judeo-Islamic philosophical and theological thought during the Middle Ages and continues to influence Christian theology, especially the scholastic tradition of the Catholic Church. Aristotle was well known among medieval Muslim intellectuals and revered as “The First Teacher” (Arabic: المعلم الأول‎).

His ethics, though always influential, gained renewed interest with the modern advent of virtue ethics.
All aspects of Aristotle’s philosophy continue to be the object of
active academic study today. Though Aristotle wrote many elegant
treatises and dialogues – Cicero described his literary style as “a river of gold”[4] – it is thought that only around a third of his original output has survived.[5]

 

Close