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Aristotle (Greek: ριστοτέλης, Aristotélēs) (384 BC – 322 BC)[1] was a Greek philosopherand polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric,linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology. Sony VPCS139FJ/P Battery

Together with Plato andSocrates (Plato's teacher), Aristotle is one of the most important founding figures in Western philosophy. Aristotle's writings were the first to create a comprehensive system of Western philosophy, encompassing morality and aesthetics, logic and science, politics and metaphysics. Sony VPCS139FJ/S Battery

 Aristotle's views on the physical sciences profoundly shaped medieval scholarship, and their influence extended well into the Renaissance, although they were ultimately replaced by Newtonian physics. In the zoological sciences, some of his observations were confirmed to be accurate only in the 19th century. Sony VPCS139GC/B Battery

His works contain the earliest known formal study of logic, which was incorporated in the late 19th century into modern formal logic. In metaphysics, Aristotelianism had a profound influence on philosophical and theological thinking in the Islamic and Jewish traditions in the Middle Ages, and it continues to influence Christian theology, especially the scholastic tradition of the Catholic Church. Sony VPCS13AFG/B Battery

His ethics, though always influential, gained renewed interest with the modern advent ofvirtue ethics. All aspects of Aristotle's philosophy continue to be the object of active academic study today. Though Aristotle wrote many elegant treatises and dialogues (Cicero described his literary style as "a river of gold"),[2] it is thought that the majority of his writings are now lost and only about one-third of the original works have survived.[Sony VPCS13AFG/G Battery


Aristotle was born in Stageira, Chalcidice, in 384 BC, about 55 km (34 mi) east of modern-day Thessaloniki.[4] His father Nicomachus was the personal physician to King Amyntas of Macedon. Aristotle was trained and educated as a member of the aristocracy. Sony VPCS13AFG/P Battery

At about the age of eighteen, he went to Athens to continue his education at Plato's Academy. Aristotle remained at the academy for nearly twenty years before quitting Athens in 348/47 BC. The traditional story about his departure reports that he was disappointed with the direction the academy took after control passed to Plato's nephew Speusippus upon his death, Sony VPCS13AFG/W Battery

although it is possible that he feared anti-Macedonian sentiments and left before Plato had died.[5] He then traveled with Xenocrates to the court of his friend Hermias of Atarneus in Asia Minor. While in Asia, Aristotle traveled with Theophrastus to the island of Lesbos, where together they researched the botany and zoology of the island. Sony VPCS13AFH/B Battery

 Aristotle married Hermias's adoptive daughter (or niece) Pythias. She bore him a daughter, whom they named Pythias. Soon after Hermias' death, Aristotle was invited by Philip II of Macedon to become the tutor to his son Alexander the Great in 343 BC.[6]Sony VPCS13AFH/W Battery

 Aristotle was appointed as the head of the royal academy of Macedon. During that time he gave lessons not only to Alexander, but also to two other future kings: Ptolemy andCassander. In his Politics, Aristotle states that only one thing could justify monarchy, and that was if the virtue of the king and his family were greater than the virtue of the rest of the citizens put together.[7] Sony VPCS13AFJ Battery

Tactfully, he included the young prince and his father in that category. Aristotle encouraged Alexander toward eastern conquest, and his attitude towards Persia was unabashedly ethnocentric. In one famous example, he counsels Alexander to be 'a leader to the Greeks and a despot to the barbarians, to look after the former as after friends and relatives, and to deal with the latter as with beasts or plants'.[8]Sony VPCS13AGJ Battery

 By 335 BC he had returned to Athens, establishing his own school there known as theLyceum. Aristotle conducted courses at the school for the next twelve years. While in Athens, his wife Pythias died and Aristotle became involved with Herpyllis of Stageira, who bore him a son whom he named after his father, Nicomachus. According to the Suda, he also had an eromenos, Palaephatus of Abydus.[9]Sony VPCS13AHJ Battery

 It is during this period in Athens from 335 to 323 BC when Aristotle is believed to have composed many of his works.[6] Aristotle wrote many dialogues, only fragments of which survived. The works that have survived are in treatise form and were not, Sony VPCS13L8E/B Battery

for the most part, intended for widespread publication, as they are generally thought to be lecture aids for his students. His most important treatises include Physics, Metaphysics, Nicomachean Ethics, Politics, De Anima (On the Soul) and Poetics. Sony VPCS13L9E/B Battery

 Aristotle not only studied almost every subject possible at the time, but made significant contributions to most of them. In physical science, Aristotle studied anatomy, astronomy,embryology, geography, geology, meteorology, physics and zoology. Sony VPCS13V9E/B Battery

In philosophy, he wrote on aesthetics, ethics, government, metaphysics, politics, economics, psychology, rhetoric and theology. He also studied education, foreign customs, literature and poetry. His combined works constitute a virtual encyclopedia of Greek knowledge. It has been suggested that Aristotle was probably the last person to know everything there was to be known in his own time.[10]Sony VPCS13X9E/B Battery

 Near the end of Alexander's life, Alexander began to suspect plots against himself, and threatened Aristotle in letters. Aristotle had made no secret of his contempt for Alexander's pretense of divinity, and the king had executed Aristotle's grandnephew Callisthenes as a traitor. A widespread tradition in antiquity suspected Aristotle of playing a role in Alexander's death, but there is little evidence for this.[11]Sony VPCS149FJ/B Battery

 Upon Alexander's death, anti-Macedonian sentiment in Athens once again flared.Eurymedon the hierophant denounced Aristotle for not holding the gods in honor. Aristotle fled the city to his mother's family estate in Chalcis, Sony VPCS149FJ/P Battery

explaining, "I will not allow the Athenians to sin twice against philosophy,"[12][13] a reference to Athens's prior trial and execution of Socrates. He died in Euboea of natural causes within the year (in 322 BC). Aristotle named chief executor his student Antipater and left a will in which he asked to be buried next to his wife.[14]Sony VPCS14AGJ Battery


Aristotle "says that 'on the subject of reasoning' he 'had nothing else on an earlier date to speak of'".[15] However, Plato reports that syntax was devised before him, by Prodicus of Ceos, who was concerned by the correct use of words. Sony VPCS14AHJ Battery

Logic seems to have emerged from dialectics; the earlier philosophers made frequent use of concepts like reductio ad absurdum in their discussions, but never truly understood the logical implications. Even Plato had difficulties with logic; Sony VPCY115FG/S Battery

although he had a reasonable conception of a deductive system, he could never actually construct one and relied instead on his dialectic.[16] Plato believed that deduction would simply follow from premises, hence he focused on maintaining solid premises so that the conclusion would logically follow. Sony VPCY115FGS Battery

Consequently, Plato realized that a method for obtaining conclusions would be most beneficial. He never succeeded in devising such a method, but his best attempt was published in his bookSophist, where he introduced his division method.[17]Sony VPCY115FX/B Battery

 The order of the books (or the teachings from which they are composed) is not certain, but this list was derived from analysis of Aristotle's writings. It goes from the basics, the analysis of simple terms in the Categories, the analysis of propositions and their elementary relations in On Interpretation, to the study of more complex forms, namely, Sony VPCY118GX/BI Battery

syllogisms (in the Analytics) and dialectics (in the Topics and Sophistical Refutations). The first three treatises form the core of the logical theory stricto sensu: the grammar of the language of logic and the correct rules of reasoning. There is one volume of Aristotle's concerning logic not found in the Organon, namely the fourth book of Metaphysics.[16]Sony VPCY119FJ Battery

 Like his teacher Plato, Aristotle's philosophy aims at the universal. Aristotle, however, found the universal in particular things, which he called the essence of things, while Plato finds that the universal exists apart from particular things, and is related to them as theirprototype or exemplar. Sony VPCY11AFJ Battery

For Aristotle, therefore, philosophic method implies the ascent from the study of particular phenomena to the knowledge of essences, while for Plato philosophic method means the descent from a knowledge of universal Forms (or ideas) to a contemplation of particular imitations of these. Sony VPCY11AGJ Battery

For Aristotle, "form" still refers to the unconditional basis of phenomena but is "instantiated" in a particular substance (seeUniversals and particulars, below). In a certain sense, Aristotle's method is both inductiveand deductive, while Plato's is essentially deductive from a priori principles.[18]Sony VPCY11AHJ Battery

 In Aristotle's terminology, "natural philosophy" is a branch of philosophy examining the phenomena of the natural world, and includes fields that would be regarded today as physics, biology and other natural sciences. In modern times, the scope of philosophy has become limited to more generic or abstract inquiries, such as ethics and metaphysics, Sony VPCY11AVJ Battery

in which logic plays a major role. Today's philosophy tends to exclude empirical study of the natural world by means of the scientific method. In contrast, Aristotle's philosophical endeavors encompassed virtually all facets of intellectual inquiry. Sony VPCY11M1E Battery

In the larger sense of the word, Aristotle makes philosophy coextensive with reasoning, which he also would describe as "science". Note, however, that his use of the termscience carries a different meaning than that covered by the term "scientific method".Sony VPCY11S1E Battery

For Aristotle, "all science (dianoia) is either practical, poetical or theoretical" (Metaphysics1025b25). By practical science, he means ethics and politics; by poetical science, he means the study of poetry and the other fine arts; by theoretical science, he means physics, mathematics and metaphysics.Sony VPCY11V9E Battery

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