Aristotle, an Ancient Greek philosopher and scientist, was one of the greatest intellectuals in politics, psychology, and ethics. He was born in 384 B.C. in Stagira in northern Greece to a court physician of King Amyntus III of Macedonia. However, Aristotle’s parents died when he was quite young.
At the age of 17, he enrolled himself in Plato’s Academy and served his time there as both a student and a teacher. Aristotle invested 20 years of his life as a student and a teacher in Plato’s Academy, emerging as a recognized critic and an intellect. In 338 B.C., he was appointed to tutor Alexander the Great.
In 335 B.C, Aristotle opened up his own school – the Lyceum, in Athens – where he primarily spent his time studying, teaching, and writing. Owing to the huge popularity of Plato’s Academy, the Lyceum attracted the attention of students all over the Greek. The academy was founded on the ideologies of the founder of Plato’s Academy which was Plato himself. During his time in the Lyceum, Aristotle was able to compose approximately 200 works, out of which only 31 survived. The notable works of Aristotle from that time has been categorized into four groups. The “Organon” – a set of philosophical and scientific investigation; the second group is Aristotle’s theoretical work on animals, cosmology etc; the third group is his practical work; and the last but not least is his “Poetic” work. The few most famous of his works include Nicomachean Ethics, Politics, Metaphysics, Poetics, and Prior Analytics.
Aristotle made contributions to a wide range of subjects including logic, metaphysics, mathematics, physics, biology, botany, ethics, politics, agriculture, medicine, dance, and theatre. Aristotle believed that any kind of argument can be assessed by its structure rather than its content. The best example of a valid argument is his syllogism – all men are mortal. Socrates is a man and thus, he is mortal. Since the structure of the argument seems logical then the conclusion of the debate is true as well. Aristotle was a big believer of good reasoning backed by scientific reasons.
Although Aristotle was a student of Plato, he began deviating from his teachings and consequently rejected many of his teachings. One of them was Plato’s theory of forms which concludes that beauty and other abstract values exist independent of the object. On the contrary, he argued that forms are intrinsic to the objects and cannot exist on their own, separate from the object itself.
Amita Vadlamudi, the author of this article is a former Computer Analyst, who is currently enjoying her retirement. Reading, researching and writing about ancient cultures and famous personalities are particular interests of Amita Vadlamudi.