Aristotle

(redirected from Aristotelian)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to Aristotelian: Aristotelian philosophy

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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
For now, it suffices to note that those who fervently believe such Aristotelian propositions as "A piece of bread, blessed by a priest, is a person (who died 2,000 years ago)," "The flag is a living being," or "The fetus is a human being" do not, in general, appear to make sense by normal 20th Century scientific standards.
The author sheds new light on Hobbes' views about the ''political subject": "[Man] as a temporal animal underpinned his theory of the state, but itself drew on recognisably Aristotelian concepts and distinctions" (163).
intuitable--front-and-center for philosophy, as is typical for Aristotelian thinkers, with the justification that it is how we intuit the world.
The Aristotelian account, as presented, is surely interesting and thorough.
Traces of the Aristotelian view were already available, particularly in Boethius, Cicero, Euclid, and the Alexandrian material.
In the end, she notes that Cicero used an Aristotelian source when he designed his topics--a fact he even emphasized in his introduction to the Topica--and argues that the revised presentation of topics contained in Aristotle's Rhetoric B 23 was made with a more rhetorical focus in mind, perhaps by Cicero himself (144).
Aristotelian should be handy throughout from his favourable low draw.
Its agenda is to replace the Aristotelian body with "the modernist body, ...
Aristotelian theories are externalist in the intended sense: they ground well-being in facts about the species.
What Yu shows is that in both Aristotelian and Confucian ethics goodness is identified with the development of humanity's natural potential.
In the realm of optical theory the relevant distinction is between theories of the Stoic/Galenic type, that regard sight as an activity of the eye, whose pneuma effects vision by affecting the pneuma of the air that lies between the eye and the object of vision, and those of the Aristotelian type, that consider the eye to be an organ for the passive reception of the forms of objects that affect the eye by actualizing the transparency of the intervening air.
Thus, Islamic philosophers are perceived to be evolving within the Aristotelian tradition of neo- Platonism, and to be no more than heirs of late Antiquity, albeit with an Islamic 'touch'.