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Still others acquired Aristotle's name through similarities in doctrine or content, such as the De Plantis, possibly by Nicolaus of Damascus. Other works in the corpus include medievalpalmistries and astrological and magical texts whose connections to Aristotle are purely fanciful and self-promotional.[60] Sony VGN-AW91YS Battery

 According to a distinction that originates with Aristotle himself, his writings are divisible into two groups: the "exoteric" and the "esoteric".[61] Most scholars have understood this as a distinction between works Aristotle intended for the public (exoteric), and the more technical works intended for use within the school (esoteric). Sony VGN-AW92CDS Battery

Modern scholars commonly assume these latter to be Aristotle’s own (unpolished) lecture notes (or in some cases possible notes by his students).[62] However, one classic scholar offers an alternative interpretation. The 5th century neoplatonist Ammonius Hermiae writes that Aristotle's writing style is deliberately obscurantist so that “good people may for that reason stretch their mind even more, Sony VGN-AW92CJS Battery

whereas empty minds that are lost through carelessness will be put to flight by the obscurity when they encounter sentences like these.”[63] Another common assumption is that none of the exoteric works is extant – that all of Aristotle's extant writings are of the esoteric kind. Sony VGN-AW92CYS Battery

Current knowledge of what exactly the exoteric writings were like is scant and dubious, though many of them may have been in dialogue form. (Fragments of some of Aristotle's dialogues have survived.) Perhaps it is to these thatCicero refers when he characterized Aristotle's writing style as "a river of gold";[64] Sony VGN-AW92DS Battery

 it is hard for many modern readers to accept that one could seriously so admire the style of those works currently available to us.[62] However, some modern scholars have warned that we cannot know for certain that Cicero's praise was reserved specifically for the exoteric works; a few modern scholars have actually admired the concise writing style found in Aristotle's extant works.[65] Sony VGN-AW92JS Battery

 The surviving texts of Aristotle are technical treatises from within Aristotle's school, as opposed to the dialogues and other "exoteric" texts he published more widely during his lifetime. In some cases, the Aristotelian texts were likely left in different versions and contexts (as in the overlapping parts of the Eudemian Ethics and Nicomachean Ethics), Sony VGN-AW92YS Battery

or in smaller units that could be incorporated into larger books in different ways. Because of this, a posthumous compiler and publisher may sometimes have played a significant role in arranging the text into the form we know.[citation needed] Sony VGN-AW93FS Battery

 One major question in the history of Aristotle's works, then, is how were the exoteric writings all lost, and how did the ones we now possess come to us?[66] The story of the original manuscripts of the esoteric treatises is described by Strabo in his Geography andPlutarch in his Parallel Lives.[67] Sony VGN-AW93GS Battery

 The manuscripts were left from Aristotle to his successor Theophrastus, who in turn willed them to Neleus of Scepsis. Neleus supposedly took the writings from Athens to Scepsis, where his heirs let them languish in a cellar until the 1st century BC, when Apellicon of Teos discovered and purchased the manuscripts, bringing them back to Athens. Sony VGN-AW93HS Battery

According to the story, Apellicon tried to repair some of the damage that was done during the manuscripts' stay in the basement, introducing a number of errors into the text. When Lucius Cornelius Sulla occupied Athens in 86 BC, he carried off the library of Apellicon to Rome, where they were first published in 60 BC by the grammarian Tyrannion of Amisus and then by philosopher Andronicus of Rhodes.[68][69] Sony VGN-AW93ZFS Battery

 Carnes Lord attributes the popular belief in this story to the fact that it provides "the most plausible explanation for the rapid eclipse of the Peripatetic school after the middle of the third century, and for the absence of widespread knowledge of the specialized treatises of Aristotle throughout the Hellenistic period, Sony VGN-AW93ZGS Battery

as well as for the sudden reappearance of a flourishing Aristotelianism during the first century B.C."[70] Lord voices a number of reservations concerning this story, however. First, the condition of the texts is far too good for them to have suffered considerable damage followed by Apellicon's inexpert attempt at repair. Second, there is "incontrovertible evidence," Lord says, Sony VGN-AW93ZHS Battery

that the treatises were in circulation during the time in which Strabo and Plutarch suggest they were confined within the cellar in Scepsis. Third, the definitive edition of Aristotle's texts seems to have been made in Athens some fifty years before Andronicus supposedly compiled his. Sony VPCB119GJ Battery

And fourth, ancient library catalogues predating Andronicus' intervention list an Aristotelian corpus quite similar to the one we currently possess. Lord sees a number of post-Aristotelian interpolations in the Politics, for example, but is generally confident that the work has come down to us relatively intact. Sony VGN-CS11S/Q Battery

As the influence of the falsafa grew in the West, in part due to Gerard of Cremona's translations and the spread of Averroism, the demand for Aristotle's works grew.[71]William of Moerbeke translated a number of them into Latin. When Thomas Aquinas wrote his theology, Sony VGN-CS11S/W Battery

working from Moerbeke's translations, the demand for Aristotle's writings grew and the Greek manuscripts returned to the West, stimulating a revival of Aristotelianism in Europe to the point where Renaissance philosophy could be equated with Aristotelianism.[72] Sony VGN-CS11Z/R Battery



More than twenty-three hundred years after his death, Aristotle remains one of the most influential people who ever lived. According to the philosopher Bryan Magee, "it is doubtful whether any human being has ever known as much as he did".[73] Sony VGN-CS11Z/T Battery

Aristotle was the founder of formal logic,[74] pioneered the study of zoology, and left every future scientist and philosopher in his debt through his contributions to the scientific method.[75][76]Despite these achievements, the influence of Aristotle's errors is considered by some to have held back science considerably. Sony VGN-CS13H/P Battery

 Bertrand Russell notes that "almost every serious intellectual advance has had to begin with an attack on some Aristotelian doctrine". Russell also refers to Aristotle's ethics as "repulsive", and calls his logic "as definitely antiquated as Ptolemaic astronomy". Russell notes that these errors make it difficult to do historical justice to Aristotle, until one remembers how large of an advance he made upon all of his predecessors.[6] Sony VGN-CS13H/Q Battery


The immediate influence of Aristotle's work was felt as the Lyceum grew into thePeripatetic school. Aristotle's notable students included Aristoxenus, Dicaearchus,Demetrius of Phalerum, Eudemos of Rhodes, Harpalus, Sony VGN-CS13H/R Battery

 Hephaestion, Meno, Mnason of Phocis, Nicomachus, and Theophrastus. Aristotle's influence over Alexander the Great is seen in the latter's bringing with him on his expedition a host of zoologists, botanists, and researchers. Sony VGN-CS13H/W Battery

He had also learned a great deal about Persian customs and traditions from his teacher. Although his respect for Aristotle was diminished as his travels made it clear that much of Aristotle's geography was clearly wrong, when the old philosopher released his works to the public, Alexander complained "Thou hast not done well to publish thy acroamatic doctrines; for in what shall I surpass other men if those doctrines wherein I have been trained are to be all men's common property?"[77] Sony VGN-CS13T/W Battery


Aristotle was one of the most revered Western thinkers in early Islamic theology. Most of the still extant works of Aristotle,[80] as well as a great number of the original Greekcommentaries, were translated into Arabic and studied by Muslim polymaths,philosophers, scientists and scholars, whose knowledge of Aristotle thus stretched far beyond that of early Medieval Christian commentators. Sony VGN-CS16T/P Battery

Oriental interpreters of Aristotle's work followed the Greek interpreters without chronological gap, and the Medieval westerntradition was influenced equally by Christian thinkers such as Thomas Aquinas andMuslim theologians such as Averroes, Sony VGN-CS16T/Q Battery

Avicenna and Alpharabius, all of whom wrote on Aristotle in great depth, and frequently compared the teachings of Aristotle with those of the prophets of Islam. Alkindus considered Aristotle as the outstanding and unique representative of philosophy[81] and Averroes spoke of Aristotle as the "exemplar" for all future philosophers.[82] Sony VGN-CS16T/R Battery

 Later Muslim philosophers, like their Christian counterparts, spoke of Aristotle as "the philosopher" and some described him as the "first teacher".[83] Sony VGN-CS16T/T Battery

 n accordance with the Greek theorists, the Muslims considered Aristotle to be a dogmatic philosopher, the author of a closed system, and believed that Aristotle shared with Platoessential tenets of thought. Some went so far as to credit Aristotle himself with neo-Platonic metaphysical ideas.[80] Sony VGN-CS16T/W Battery


The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche has been said to have taken nearly all of his political philosophy from Aristotle.[84] However implausible this is, it is certainly the case that Aristotle's rigid separation of action from production, and his justification of the subservience of slaves and others to the virtue – or arete – of a few justified the ideal of aristocracy. Sony VGN-CS17H/Q Battery

It is Martin Heidegger, not Nietzsche, who elaborated a new interpretation of Aristotle, intended to warrant his deconstruction of scholastic and philosophical tradition.Ayn Rand accredited Aristotle as "the greatest philosopher in history" and cited him as a major influence on her thinking. More recently, Alasdair MacIntyre has attempted to reform what he calls the Aristotelian tradition in a way that is anti-elitist and capable of disputing the claims of both liberals and Nietzscheans.[85] Sony VGN-CS17H/W Battery

 The works of Aristotle that have survived from antiquity through medieval manuscript transmission are collected in the Corpus Aristotelicum. These texts, as opposed to Aristotle's lost works, are technical philosophical treatises from within Aristotle's school. Reference to them is made according to the organization of Immanuel Bekker's Royal Prussian Academy edition (Aristotelis Opera edidit Academia Regia Borussica, Berlin, 1831–1870), which in turn is based on ancient classifications of these works. Sony VGN-CS19/P Battery

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