Aristotle

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Aristotle

Aristotle. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
Aristotle.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

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."
—Aristotle

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 ?
It is interesting, in the first place, to take a look at the way Schelling pictures the Stagirite.
However, Thomas observes that what the Stagirite says about acquiring science is more in conformity with Plato's theory (ideas are impressed in the intellect without any change), but that his own view in the De anima III is different: we acquire science by abstraction.
Still, the intellect is for the Stagirite the function which presides over the recognition of the inherence of the universal in the particular.
The Stagirite remarks that "as a rule the future resembles the past," (60) presumably--given Aristotle's tenets on the grounds of regularities (61)--because they exhibit a similar causal configuration.
It is perhaps less known that Thomas very carefully weighs the arguments advanced by the Stagirite and does certainly not consider the text as consisting of uniform pages with a content of equal certitude.
Several times in the Metaphysics, the Stagirite uses sight, thought (or contemplation: [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], and happiness as exemplary [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].
The extant Corpus aristotelicum contains the text of many of his lectures--not his dialogues destined to a larger public--and the Stagirite coined a special terminology to express what the analysis of reality showed him.
It was thus a sound insight into the thought framework of the great Stagirite that led the anti-Aristotelian writers of the Renaissance, and later preeminently Descartes and Spinoza, to attack the Platonic/Aristotelian conception of the embodiment of value in nature and the modern logical positivist opponents of metaphysics to attach the stigma of illegitimacy to all evaluative disciplines.
The Stagirite presented them to deceive, contriving faulty and inadequate arguments (p.
To be sure, Descartes may well be taking advantage of a practice of Aristotle cited by Suarez wherein the Stagirite would sometimes characterize a form that is less perfect in comparison to its contrary form as a privation, such as blackness in comparison to whiteness.