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Aristotle was born in 384 b.c., in Stagira, Greece. He achieved prominence as an eminent philosopher who greatly influenced the basic principles of philosophy and whose ideologies are still practiced today.

Aristotle was a student of the renowned philosopher Plato and tutored Alexander the Great, who became King of Macedonia in 336 b.c.

Aristotle established his own school in the Lyceum, near Athens, in 335 b.c. He often lectured his students in the portico, or walking place, of the Lyceum. The school was subsequently called Peripatetic, after the Greek word peripatos for "walking place."

In 323 b.c. the reign of Alexander ended with his death, and Aristotle sought refuge at Chalcis.

Aristotle formulated numerous beliefs about the reasoning power of humans and the essence of being. He stressed the importance of nature and instructed his pupils to closely study natural phenomena. When teaching science, he believed that all ideas must be supported by explanations based upon facts.

Concerning the realm of politics, Aristotle propounded that humans are inherently political and demonstrate an essential part of their humanity when participating in civic affairs.

Philosophy was a subject of great interest to Aristotle, and he theorized that philosophy was the foundation of the ability to understand the basic axioms that comprise knowledge. In order to study and question completely, Aristotle viewed logic as the basic means of reasoning. To think logically, one had to apply the syllogism, which was a form of thought comprised of two premises that led to a conclusion; Aristotle taught that this form can be applied to all logical reasoning.

"Man is by nature a political animal."

To understand reality, Aristotle theorized that it must be categorized as substance, quality, quantity, relation, determination in time and space, action, passion or passivity, position, and condition. To know and understand the reality of an object required an explanation of its material cause, which is why it exists or its composition; its formal cause, or its design; its efficient cause, or its creator; and its final cause, or its reason for being.

Aristotle agreed with his mentor, Plato, concerning the field of ethics. The goodness of a being depended upon the extent to which that being achieved its highest potential. For humans, the ultimate good is the continual use and development of their reasoning powers to fullest capacity. To effect fulfillment and contentment, humans must follow a life of contemplation, rather than pleasure.

The fundamental source of Aristotle's theories were his lectures to his students, which were compiled into several volumes. They include Organum, which discusses logic; Physics; Metaphysics; De Anima, concerning the soul; Rhetoric; Politics; Nichomachean Ethics and Eudemian Ethics, involving principles of conduct; and De Poetica, or poetics.

He also wrote Constitution of Athens, a description of the foundations of the government of Athens. The work was discovered in the late nineteenth century.

Aristotle died in 322 b.c., in Chalcis, Greece.

References in periodicals archive ?
Wright J's Aristotlean ethics-based argument is perfunctorily dismissed because it offers no insights "into the source of the norms by which the conduct was judged wrongful.
And, more to the interests of the readers of PSCF, Cahill uses Roger Bacon as his point of entry into a very brief discussion of the impact of Aristotlean thought, the practice of accumulating natural knowledge by means of observation, and the alchemist's quest.
The task of reconciling Judaism and Aristotlean thought was not always an easy task.
In going this more Aristotlean route, Foot has traded her former challenge of coping with the sensible knave for the shameless agent who asks why he should care about being a good human being.
When we try to handle this tension properly, the "doctrine of the mean" in Confucian philosophy (or, indeed, the Aristotlean notion that "virtue stands in the middle" or the Buddha's "Middle Way") can provide a helpful reference.
And they would be right, he stresses, if they were speaking of states with premodern foundations for virtue, such as Aristotlean logocentric theory, or daoism in China, or purity in Hindu India--anywhere "fixed functions based on an overriding principle.