Aristotle of Stagirus

Aristotle was an ancient Greek philosopher, scientist and student of Plato, and one of the greatest intellectual figures of Western history. He made major contributions to the fields of logic, metaphysics, mathematics, physics, biology, botany, ethics, politics, agriculture, medicine, dance and theatre. He was also the teacher of Alexander the Great.

Aristotle's intellectual range coveredg most of the sciences and many of the arts, including biology, botany, chemistry, ethics, history, logic, metaphysics, rhetoric, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, physics, poetics, political theory, psychology, and zoology. He was the founder of formal logic, devising for it a finished system that for centuries was regarded as the sum of the discipline; and he pioneered the study of zoology, both observational and theoretical, in which some of his work remained unsurpassed until the 19th century. But he is, of course, most outstanding as a philosopher. His writings in ethics and political theory as well as in metaphysics and the philosophy of science continue to be studied, and his work remains a powerful current in contemporary philosophical debate.

Aristotle was born on the Chalcidic peninsula of Macedonia, in northern Greece. His father, Nicomachus, was the physician of Amyntas III (reigned c. 393–c. 370 BC), king of Macedonia and grandfather of Alexander the Great (reigned 336–323 BC). After his father's death in 367, Aristotle migrated to Athens, where he joined the Academy of Plato (428–348 BC). He remained there for 20 years as Plato's pupil and colleague.

When Plato died about 348, his nephew Speusippus became head of the Academy, and Aristotle left Athens. He migrated to Assus, a city on the northwestern coast of Anatolia (in present-day Turkey), where Hermias, a graduate of the Academy, was ruler. Aristotle became a close friend of Hermias and eventually married his ward Pythias.

In 334–335 BC, Aristotle established his own school in a gymnasium known as the Lyceum. The Peripatetics, as his students became known, gained that title from his habit of walking among the trees of a grove sacred to Apollo as he lectured.

Whatever texts Aristotle actually wrote himself were lost to us in antiquity. He had no Plato to succeed him and would have been lost to the ages were it not for his son, Nichomachus, and some of his students. "Most of Aristotle's extant writings comprise notes for lectures delivered at the school as edited by his successors."

Aristotle: A. E. Taylor, Professor of Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh University, scrupulously researched his excellent volume, Aristotle, which we present here.
» Read it here »

Nicomachean Ethics: In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle asks what the best thing for a human being is and answers "happiness," though not as today's reader may define it. Happiness, as he ultimately defines it, is to live a good life that permits one to engage in contemplation of the moral and divine Good.
» Read it here »

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Aristotle of Stagirus
384 – 322 BC
Greek philosopher,
scientist and logician

Edna Lister


Anselm H. Amadio and Anthony J.P. Kenny. "Aristotle," Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., October 9, 2018 [Accessed November 25, 2018.]

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