Aristotle of Stagira in the legacy archive at Confinity, preserving the legacy of the ancient Greek philosopher
Aristotle of Stagira in the legacy archive at Confinity, preserving the legacy of the ancient Greek philosopher

Science

Aristotle

Aristotle

Dec 7, 384

-

Mar 31, 322

Biography

Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) is perhaps one of the most important philosophers of all times and has had great impact on the development of western philosophy. Born in Macedonia, he learned under Plato and served as the tutor to Alexander III of Macedonia, influencing areas of ethics as well as politics, metaphysics, rhetoric, and many others. Studying Aristotle it is possible to consider what represented his major contribution to the subsequent philosophical development; he is one of the most significant thinkers of all ages and from the times of his work people has been receiving education in subjects such as “Nicomachean Ethics” “Politics” and others. Thus, he stressed such methods of approaching a problem as observing facts and thinking logically in approach to providing basis for scientific research as well as philosophizing in the following centuries.

Aristotle has brought changes in every sector of life; his works have become an integral part of literature, politics, and ethical practices in the society by influencing thinkers, politicians, and scholars in the society. Ethics, politics, and even scientific thinking in the present world can still learn a lot from Aristotle’s influence on medieval scholars like Thomas Aquinas and/or enlightenment philosophers like John Locke. Prevalence of Aristotelian thought process: Aristotle’s teachings are alive today through hundreds of educational institutions, philosophical societies, and academic prizes that continue to keep his thought process alive, relevant, and effective.

Biography

Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) is perhaps one of the most important philosophers of all times and has had great impact on the development of western philosophy. Born in Macedonia, he learned under Plato and served as the tutor to Alexander III of Macedonia, influencing areas of ethics as well as politics, metaphysics, rhetoric, and many others. Studying Aristotle it is possible to consider what represented his major contribution to the subsequent philosophical development; he is one of the most significant thinkers of all ages and from the times of his work people has been receiving education in subjects such as “Nicomachean Ethics” “Politics” and others. Thus, he stressed such methods of approaching a problem as observing facts and thinking logically in approach to providing basis for scientific research as well as philosophizing in the following centuries.

Aristotle has brought changes in every sector of life; his works have become an integral part of literature, politics, and ethical practices in the society by influencing thinkers, politicians, and scholars in the society. Ethics, politics, and even scientific thinking in the present world can still learn a lot from Aristotle’s influence on medieval scholars like Thomas Aquinas and/or enlightenment philosophers like John Locke. Prevalence of Aristotelian thought process: Aristotle’s teachings are alive today through hundreds of educational institutions, philosophical societies, and academic prizes that continue to keep his thought process alive, relevant, and effective.

Life and achievements

Early life

Aristotle was born in 384 BC, in a small Greek town known as Stagira that lies in the northeastern region of Greece. His father, Nicomachus, was a physician and a surgeon for King Amyntas III of the Macedon kingdom. This is most probably because Aristotle has received rather privileged education and securities, which were not quite ordinary at that time in Ancient Greece.

Philosophically, Aristotle was a young and intelligent man who had many questions and was eager to gain knowledge. His early education was in Stagira where he subjected to numerous disciplines including math, literature, and music. His father’s occupation apparently shaped Aristotle’s curiosity in natural sciences and regularly, which arose to be significant in his works.

When Aristotle was around seventeen years old, he had to relocate from his hometown to Athens, since it was one of the best places to acquire education at that time. There he signed up with Plato’s school, called the academy. When Aristotle joined at the academy, Plato noted his capability and immediately given him the title ‘the mind of the school’. While at the academy, Aristotle contributed his knowledge and understanding to all aspects of Plato’s academia including philosophy, ethics, mathematics as well as metaphysics. He often engaged in discussions and discussion with other scholars’ students focusing on construction stimuli and critical reasoning, which undoubtedly honed his skills in this area.

Fortunately, Aristotle was not slavish in his devotion to Plato’s philosophy and felt quite comfortable disagreeing with his teacher. This independent temper, along with his interest in contemplating the world and in carrying out polys and systematic inquiries, is going to characterize Aristotle’s philosophical and scientific outlook as well.

Aristotle’s life for nearly about 20 years was at the Academy after that shift occurred following Plato’s demise in the year 347 BC. At first, Aristotle was planned to be Plato’s successor, but he left Athens and the politics seemingly regarding Speusippus, Plato’s nephew, who succeeded him as the head of the Academy.

After this, over the next several years, Aristotle chose to travel, and he did this widely within the Greek territories. Science, various fields of knowledge, and further development of his inquiring mind most likely occupied him during this time. These travels included but were not limited to his trip to Lesbos where he undertook research on marine life and Asia Minor where he continued with his research on the natural sciences and philosophy.

In 343 BC, Aristotle received a life-changing invitation, Alexander’s father, King Philip II of Macedon, tapped on him to teach, Alexander, his teenage son. I think Aristotle accepted his proposal and agreed to become Alexander’s teacher for many years. In this time, he did not only instill philosophy and ethics of great minds into Alexander, but also stirred within Alexander desire for knowledge and wisdom.

When Alexander became the king at the age of twenty, he was titled as Alexander the Great in 335 BCE, Aristotle moved back to Athens and started his own institution called the Lyceum. While Plato established his school, the Academy, where reason, logic, and the contemplation of ideas prevailed, Aristotle founded the Lyceum school, organized around observation, the study of nature, morality, politics, and real/applied sciences. The academic meetings of the Lyceum were famous for Aristotle’s lectures, as well as for the focus on special subjects and observation of the surrounding reality. Which was considered to be a key to understanding the philosophical principles of various phenomena.

Aristotle’s early life entailed curiosity, commitment to his studies, and the provision of immense contribution to philosophy, and science. Biographical details of his early life include his birth at Stagira, his education at Athens and his travels throughout the region the laid the necessary foundation for the rest of his work. And thereby granted him an esteemed position in the Western philosophical canon.

Legacy

Alfred Marshall noted that Aristotle’s influence cuts across all the major fields of human endeavor, including philosophy, Science, Ethics politics and education. In sum, in the sphere of philosophy, he put forward the methodical way to explain the phenomena of nature and human activity and escaped from the purely scholastic method of analysis that was characteristic of the predecessors. This philosopher has also written many books and among them some of his most important works include “Metaphysics,” “Ethics,” “Nicomachean Ethics and Politics.” His works provided groundwork for many other philosophical endeavors that followed.

However, Aristotle’s greatest legacy can be marked down to the lineage he gave to the area of logic. He further formulated Aristotelian logic: a formal probability used to overhaul the framework for argument and its assessment. His syllogistic logic’s focus on deductive reasoning of arguments as well as their scopes of validity, offered the foundations of rational Western thought for centuries. It remained to be studied and further developed through the period of medieval Scholasticism and later through the reformation and the enlightenment age, this rigorous framework had a sharp impact on figures like Thomas Aquinas.

In this sense, one can claim that Aristotle’s influence was felt acutely in natural sciences. Aristotle continues to positivist inclinations, his descriptive and analytical dissection of animals, plants, and natural processes in works such as “Historia Animalium” and “Parts of Animals” paved the way for Biology in contemporary science. While studying, Aristotle sought to be as methodical as possible, using empirical data and systematical categorization, which was different from the methods of the scholars who came before him.

In ethics, still today, Aristotle has a theory that carries much credit, namely the virtue ethics. He propounded that the purpose of human existence is to gain eudaimonia, which is often thought of as happiness or living a successful life through the development of virtues like courage, temperance, and justice. Hence, while ethical theories would concentrate on rules or consequences, Aristotle lays emphasis on forming the right character and cultivating virtue in people besides striving for the teleological or the best in human actions and habits. Such an idea linking virtue and happiness as being important in life is still echoed in the modern moral philosophies and ethical debates.

To this day, Aristotle’s ideas regarding the governmental system highlighted in his work titled “Politics” is still topical. He looked at and analyzed methods of leadership like democracy, oligarchy, and tyranny to come up with a comprehensive comparison. The idea of the state proposed by Aristotle and the concept of an engaged citizenry motivated to work for the public good remains relevant nowadays in debates on democracy, citizenship and political systems.

Apart from philosophy and sciences, Aristotle’s approach to the study of knowledge through well-laid methodology is a legacy of education and academic discussion. In your opinion, what caused the great difference in his teaching paradigm in the Lyceum and what his teaching approach was that made him unique? His teaching approach at the Lyceum, which emphasized on dialogue, reason and empirical approach, set the pace as to how scholarship in education should be done today.

In conclusion, one can suggest that not only Aristotle’s exact ideas and his work, but also such restraints as his approaches, values, and spirit still remain influential in the Western World. He continues to be relevant to this day in the faculties of philosophy, science, ethics, politics, and rhetoric, for furthering generations of students and scholars and probing into questions regarding humanity.

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Milestone moments

Mar 5, 367

Early Education in Stagira

Aristotle’s scholarship started in his hometown at Stagira; however, little is known of his early education, though it can be assumed that his father Nicomachus might have the role to play in his initial education. This period helped to set the course for pursuing natural sciences and philosophy after Aristotle’s education ended.

Aug 9, 367

Studies at Plato's Academy in Athens

Aristotle, at the age of 17, heard about the great school of philosophy in Athens and decided to join it, known as the Academy headed by Plato. Staying at the Academy, Aristotle learned the fundamentals of the then working philosophy, ethics, mathematics, and metaphysics from Plato. People began to notice him as a smart mathematician and thinker, and according to Plato, “he became known as the mind of the school.”

Apr 5, 347

Departure from Athens and Travels

After Plato’s death in 347 BC, Aristotle and Phyllonic, his nephew, left Athens due to internal conflict in the Academy. He begins to travel extensively across the Greek world, both for the purpose of scientific investigation and to expand his philosophic and scientific learning. These travels were educational in the opinion of Bienviste regarding the formation of Aristotle on his/her own personal developmental cognitive growing process.

Dec 23, 343

Tutoring Alexander the Great

According to biography of Aristotle it is stated that in 343 BC, Aristotle was invited by the King Philip II of Macedon to be as the private tutor to his 13 years old son named Alexander, later known as Alexander the Great. In his youth Alexander the Great studied philosophy, ethics, politics and other sciences with Aristotle, and therefore could have an understanding of these issues. It also helped Aristotle understand real-world intentions and implementations of what he taught, and even shape the early years of one of the most crucial personages in history.

Sep 4, 335

Returning to Athens and the founding of the Lyceum

When Alexander became the king of Macedonia, Aristotle went back to Athens in 335 BCE and established a new school – the Lyceum. The Lyceum, in contrast to Plato’s Academy, paid more attention to the curriculum, logic, observation, and definite analysis of the diversified subjects that included biology, physics, ethics, and politics. The Athenians flocked to attend his lecture, especially at the Lyceum, which remains a significant achievement in his career as a lecturer and philosopher.

Mar 31, 330

Logics and Epistemology Contributions

Aristotle system of logic, syllogism, was established while he was with Plato at the Academy and after the period of training. His logical works include work of “Categories” and “Prior Analytics” where treatise on dealing with proposition and argumentation. Hence, Aristotelianism’s central focus on formal, formalized deductive logic and the analysis of valid forms of argumentation offered a systematic character to philosophical discourse and rational scientific thinking.


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