Aristotle (b. 384 – d. 322 BC), was a Greek philosopher, logician, and scientist. Along with
his teacher Plato, Aristotle is generally regarded as one of the most influential ancient thinkers in a
number of philosophical fields, including political theory. Aristotles writing reflects his time,
background and beliefs. Aristotle was born at Stagira, in Macedonia. His father, Nichomacus, was
the personal physician to the King of Macedonia, Amyntas. At the age of seventeen, Aristotle
left for Athens to study at Platos Academy. He studied at the Academy for about twenty years, up
until Platos death. Platos death sent Aristotle to a city in Asia Minor, called Assos, where his
friend, Hermias was ruler(Encarta). It was in Assos where Aristotle met, Pythias, who is described
as either a niece or daughter of Hermias, who Aristotle married after the murder of Hermias, by
the Persians. Aristotle then went to Pella, the capitol of Macedonia, where he became the
tutor for the kings son, Alexander, who later became Alexander the Great. When Alexander
became King, Aristotle went to Athens where he began to lecture at the Lyceum. He lectured
while walking about in one of its covered walkways, earning him the nickname Peripatetic, which
means walking about.
Aristotle lectured and directed the Lyceum for twelve years, producing during this time the
lecture notes which now form his works. Only a small amount of Aristotles works have survived.
The writings which did survive like: Metaphysics,. which were his writings on the nature, scope,
and properties of being; and Physics, his writings on astronomy, meteorology, plants, and
animals, these writings have changed the way we think and live. Aristotles works encompassed
all the major areas of thought: logic, science, metaphysics, ethics, and politics. He developed a
new, non-Platonic theory of form, created a system of deductive reasoning for universal and
existential statements, produced a theory of the cosmos, matter, life, and mind, and theorized
about the relationship between ethics and politics and the nature of the good life(Young Students
Encyclopedia). His system rival Platos for the next 2000 years.
Aristotle was a firm believer that philosophy came from wonder, and that knowledge came
from experience. He had a wealth of knowledge, from many experience; if he was correct
about philosophy coming from wonder, he would have had to wonder quite a bit. Aristotle was a
genius, this is evident in his writings, because the ideas and concepts he proposed
in his writing were ahead of his time. Aristotle learned from the best and taught the best so his
ideas and thoughts were always being challenged, which made him thrive for
knowledge. Aristotle is consider to be the one of best if not the best philosophers ever, his ideas
reflect the title.
Aristotle’s system of philosophy was never as influential in ancient times as Plato’s.
Indeed, Aristotle’s works may not have been published for some centuries after his death. After
the fall of Rome, his work was largely lost to Europe, while Platos were saved, Aristotles works
still played a vital role in our societys evolution. Aristotles writing were so ahead of his time,
they made people question his sanity. Though, during that period of time he could have been
labeled as a nut he is now labeled as one of the most influential philosophers of all time.
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