September 29, 2011
Aristotle was born in 384 BC and lived until 322 BC. He was a Greek philosopher and scientist,
who shares with Plato being considered the most famous of ancient philosophers. He was born at Stagira, in Macedonia, the son of a physician to the royal court. When he was 17, he went to Athens to study at Plato's Academy. He stayed for about 20 years, as a student and then as a teacher. (Tredennick)
When Plato died in 347 BC, Aristotle moved to Assos, a city in Asia Minor, where a friend of his named Hermias was the ruler. He counseled Hermias and married his niece and adopted daughter, Pythias. After Hermias was captured and executed by the Persians, Aristotle went to Pella, Macedonia's capital, and became the tutor of the king's young son Alexander, later known as Alexander the Great. In 335, when Alexander became king, Aristotle went back to Athens and established his own school, the Lyceum. Since a lot of the lessons happened when teachers and students were walking, it was nicknamed the Peripatetic school; Peripatetic means walking. When Alexander died in 323 BC, strong anti-Macedonian feeling was felt in Athens, and Aristotle went to a family estate in Euboea. He died there the following year. (Rackham)
Aristotle, like Plato, used his dialogue in his beginning years at the Academy. Apart from a few fragments in the works of later writers, his dialogues have been wholly lost. Aristotle also wrote some short technical writings, including a dictionary of philosophic terms and a summary of the "Doctrines of Pythagoras". Of these, only a few short pieces have survived. These are the writings that made him famous are mostly these, were collected by other editors.
Among the writings are short informative lectures on logic, called Organon because "they provide the means by which positive knowledge is to be attained". His writing on natural science includes Physics, which gives a huge amount...