You are on page 1of 3

Aristotle Biography

Aristotle was one of most influential persons of the ancient history.


Read more about this great philosopher and his significant contribution
to the field of western philosophy.
Quick Facts

Aristotle was a Greek philosopher, better known as the teacher of


Alexander the Great. He was the student of Plato and was considered to
be an important figure in Western Philosophy. Famous for his writings on
physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics,
politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology, he was an extremely
learned and educated individual. He is also among the first person to set
a comprehensive system of Western philosophy which include views
about morality and aesthetics, logic and science, politics and
metaphysics. This system became the supporting pillar of both Islamic
and Christian scholastic thought. It is even said that he was perhaps the
last man who had the knowledge of all the known fields at that time. His
intellectual knowledge ranged from every known field of science and arts
of that era. His writing includes work in physics, chemistry, biology,
zoology, botany, psychology, political theory, logic, metaphysics, history,
literary theory, and rhetoric. One of his greatest achievements was
formulating a finished system also known as Aristotelian syllogistic. His
other significant contribution was towards the development of zoology. It
is quite true that Aristotles zoology is now obsolete but his work and
contribution was unchallenged till 19th century. His historical importance
and contribution towards science is quite irreplaceable.
Aristotles Scientific Method

Aristotle is famous for his introduction of scientific method and also


known for providing important term of science called empiricism. Like
his teacher, his philosophy quite lies in universal approach. He said that
universal truths can be known from some particular things through
induction. Even when induction was sufficient enough to discover
universals by generalizations, it wasnt succeeding in identifying causes.
For this cause, Aristotle had to use deductive reasoning in the form
of syllogisms. He developed a complete normative approach to scientific
enquiry with the help of syllogism. But there was a difficulty with this
scheme; it had problems in showing that derived truths have solid
primary premises. Perhaps he could have showed that demonstrations
were circular in which conclusions have supported premises and
premises must have supported conclusions.
In todays scientific method, his observations without sufficient facts are
considered ineffective. His theory of geocentric cosmology also was
proved wrong in terms of modern metaphysics
Personal Life
During his stay in Asia Minor, Aristotle married Pythias, the niece of
Hermias. She bore him a daughter. After the death of his wife, Aristotle
married again to a woman named, Herpyllis of Stageira who gave birth
to a son, whom he named after his father, Nicomachus.
Death
During the end days of his life, Alexander suspected Aristotle of
conspiring against him and threatened him in letters. Aristotle had
publicly written against the Alexander s pretense of divinity. His
grandnephew, Callisthenes was executed after accused as a traitor. After
the death of Alexander, anti-Macedonian sentiments flared and Aristotle
was accused of not holding Gods on honor. He fled to his mother s
ancestral place in Chalcis. He later died in Euboea in 322 B.C. due to
some natural causes. According to his will, he was buried next to his
wife.
His Legacy
Theophrastus, his successor at Lyceum, wrote a number of
books on botany which were considered one of the primary
bases of botany till middle ages. Few names of plants
mentioned by him are still survived to modern times. From a

modest beginning, Lyceum grew to be a Peripatetic school. The


other notable students from his Lyceum were Aristoxenus,
Dicaearchus, Demetrius of Phalerum, Eudemos of Rhodes,
Harpalus, Hephaestion, Meno, Mnason of Phocis, and
Nicomachus. His influence on Alexander the Great can be
clearly seen from the fact that Alexander used to carry a horde
of botanist, zoologist and researchers along with him on his
expeditions. Aristotle is considered as The Philosopher by
many scholastic thinkers and was one of the most influential
persons ever lived.