Aristotle Facts: Learn More About The Greatest Philosopher | Kidadl


Aristotle Facts: Learn More About The Greatest Philosopher

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Aristotle was born in 384 BC, in a small town called Stagira, situated on the northern coast of ancient Greece.

Aristotle, or Aristoteles in Greek, is known primarily for his work in the field of philosophy and for his scientific research. He was known for being a very famous and true teacher as well as a great intellectual figure to help shape western philosophy.

Aristotle was born in northern Greece and he relocated to Athens when he reached the age of 18 years. The reason behind moving to Athens was to secure admission to Plato's Academy, one of the most famous educational institutes of the time. Aristotle spent more than 20 years at Plato's Academy as a student of Plato. After Plato died, Aristotle left Plato's Academy forever.

Alexander the Great became a disciple of Aristotle in 343 BC and considered his advice and ideas before making any decisions. Aristotle also taught Ptolemy and Cassander, both of whom were eventually crowned kings.

Aristotle’s father was a court physician to the grandfather of Alexander the Great, Amyntas III. When Aristotle was about 17 years old, he joined the Academy of Plato in Athens, where he studied under Plato for about 20 years. A few years after leaving Athens, Aristotle found his own academy or school called Lyceum, which was a Peripatetic school of philosophy. It was in these years that Aristotle worked extensively in numerous fields like chemistry, physics, political theory, metaphysics, psychology, philosophy, logic, literary theory, and ethics.

Today, Aristotle is famously known for being the father of logic, the father of political science, the father of psychology, the father of individualism, the father of the scientific method, and several others. He is known for founding the subject of formal logic, which was widely accepted as the basis for logical thinking until the 19th century. His major works which have survived through all these centuries include 'Organon', 'De Anima', 'Eudemian Ethics', 'Magna Moralia', 'Politics', and 'Metaphysics'. His writings in many of these treatises are still studied extensively in various curriculums and philosophical communities to this day.

Aristotle had a great interest in Earth sciences. He authored a treaty known as 'Meteorology' which helped people understand astrological events, water cycles, and natural disasters. Most of his works have been preserved by Muslim writers after the collapse of ancient Greek civilization.

Read on to know more about Aristotelian ethics and his impact on the life of Alexander the Great. After understanding Aristotle facts and ideas of Aristotle that had a huge bearing on ancient Greece, also check out Marco Polo facts and Ireland government facts.

Facts About Aristotle

Aristotle’s father passed away in 367 BC, after which Aristotle left his home to go to Athens and join the prestigious academy of Plato. He studied as a disciple of Plato for 20 years.

During these years, it is observed by philosophers that many of Plato’s dialogues reflect on Aristotle's ideologies and philosophical debate which influenced his work. After his teacher’s death, Plato decided to quit the academy. Soon after, he was summoned to the Macedonian capital, Pella, by the then monarch Philip II as a tutor for his son, then a 13-year-old Alexander the Great.

Some sources refer to instances where Alexander the Great was on his conquests and he used to arrange for biological samples of various plants and animals to be sent to his tutor in order to aid him in his research. It was during this time at the Macedonian capital that Aristotle delved deep into his writing and penned various treatises and publications.

It is said that although the surviving work of Aristotle comprises about one million words, it is only about a fifth of his actual written work. It is known that none of these works were meant for publication; rather, they were meant for his own use and some of which were lectures and essays he wanted to give to his students in his academy. Most of the work which Aristotle wrote with the intention to publish did not survive through the centuries.

In one of his works, Aristotle rejects the theory of forms introduced by Plato, for which he became pretty famous at that time. He set the basis for what is today modern logic. His views have been a great help in science like modern physics and other fields of science, as Aristotle had a strong scientific approach rather than a philosophical one which was more common within his teacher and various other philosophers of the age. Aristotle’s influence can be seen strongly reflected in medieval scholarship.

Facts About Aristotle's Discoveries

Aristotle was known for using a more scientific and factual approach in his findings, which was not preferred by other Greek philosophers, who depended on their own philosophical reasoning. After leaving Plato’s academy, Aristotle lived in the cities of Mytilene and Assus for some time, as well as traveled to the island of Lesbos.

During his brief stay, Aristotle conducted various scientific research in the fields of zoology and marine biology. Aristotle wrote a book called the 'History of Animals', in which he summarized all his findings during this time. He later added two treatises to this book. One was named 'On the Parts of Animals' and the second was named 'On the Generation of Animals'. Most of the observations which Aristotle has drawn in these books are of his own without any precedent, many of which were proved to be right centuries later.

Aristotle’s work in this field was astonishingly extensive. He was the one to devise a classification of animals that categorizes their names into their genus and species, which is today known as the binomial nomenclature. His treatises contain figures and illustrations of more than 500 species in detail, including their diet, habitat and anatomy; and reproductive systems of various animals, reptiles, insects, and fish with several other observations, which came out to be true after the invention of the microscope and other technological developments centuries later.

Aristotle is known as the father of logic, because of his discovery of the concept of syllogism, which is a form of reasoning where the conclusion is drawn from two premises which have a common association with each other. This association or middle term is absent in the conclusion. He gave various examples for this, one of them being, ‘Socrates is a human. Every human is mortal. Hence, Socrates is mortal.’ This form of reasoning was discovered by Aristotle, which is a very logical method where the conclusion is derived from statements or premises which are available.

In theory, Aristotle divided sciences into three types, the first one being productive science, which has a product like engineering and architecture, which gives us homes, bridges, and other products. But he did not restrict this product to only visible products and also included intangible products like victory on a battlefield or in a court of law. The second type was practical sciences, which included ethics, psychology, and politics, basically the sciences related to human behavior and what affects it. There is a separate field of study under Aristotelian ethics, which was developed by Aristotle. Lastly, he categorized fields like mathematics, physics, and theology into theoretical science, those which do not have any product or goal, but the information sought is for one’s own sake.

Although the majority of Aristotle’s work is dependent on scientific observation, he also believed in the existence of a certain being which he says is the source of all life and existence. This can be seen in his works of metaphysics.

Aristotle's son was named Nicomachus, in honor of Aristotle's father.

Facts About Aristotle's Philosophy

Aristotle’s philosophy is one of the greatest influences on western culture, which can be seen in every form of knowledge today. This concept is called Aristotelianism, which represents the philosophical tradition born from the works of Aristotle and his ideologies in fields like ethics, metaphysics, and politics.

He believed that everyone must understand philosophy, as even people who were against the concept of philosophy were philosophizing.

Aristotle always wondered about life’s existence and purpose, contemplating the universe and intellect with which man was born. He believed that materialistic things like beauty, power, and honor were worthless as there would be no one to appreciate it if a man did not have the intellect. He believed that the study of science needed demonstrations, without which a theory could not be proved. This was derived from his theory of the syllogism, wherein he derived a conclusion from two existing premises. This conclusion was a demonstration that can be traced back to principles or premises which were true, universal, and necessary.

Aristotle believed that psychology was a part of natural philosophy, which can be concluded from his book 'De Anima', translated to 'On The Soul'. He believed that every living being including plants and animals had a soul, which was the reason why living beings exist. Aristotle believed that the soul was responsible for giving a body the power to self-sustain, grow and reproduce which it could not do if it did not have a body.

He connected human psychology with human physiology, which was a huge leap at the time. His findings related to psychology have shaped modern psychology to be better in both qualitative and quantitative ways, based on analysis and empirical research.

Apart from this, Aristotle had also recorded his philosophical views on subjects like art and poetry, which is said to have revolved around drama. Most of these works have survived because of his pupils copying down and preserving the work in a much more efficient way.

In order to honor Aristotle for tutoring him when he was a kid, King Philip II revamped the entire area where Aristotle spent his childhood. This area was known as Stagira.

Facts About Aristotle's Childhood

Although studies, findings, and the philosophy of Aristotle are widely recognized, recorded, and still found relevant, most of Aristotle’s life as a child is obscure.

Aristotle was born in 384 BC in Stagira, a small town in Macedonian northeastern Greece. His father, Nicomacus, who was a physicist for the emperor at the time, is known to be the driving inspiration for Aristotle in his scientific approach and philosophical findings.

His father had named him Aristotle which means ‘the best purpose’ in ancient Greek. It is recorded in some sources that Aristotle used to live with his father in the Macedonian palace, which led to him being invited to the palace further in his life. His father passed away when he was young after which Aristotle moved to Athens to join Plato’s Academy. He stayed in Athens for 20 years and left sometime around 348-347 BC after the death of his beloved teacher, Plato. After Plato died, Plato's Academy was taken over by his nephew, Speusippus. The reason behind Aristotle leaving Plato's Academy is thought to be the Aristotle's fear of anti-Macedonian sentiments in Athens.

After Plato's death, Aristotle traveled with his companion Xenocrates to the court of his friend Hermias of Atarneus located in Asia Minor. The legacy of Aristotle still lives on for the considerable contributions he made to different fields. Aristotle contributed a lot to different subjects in the era when there were no tools or technology available to execute his ideas.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Aristotle facts: learn more about the greatest philosopher then why not take a look at Christopher Columbus facts or Alexander Graham bell facts.

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