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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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Actually Popper looks at him critically because he believes that the Stagirite is representative of the ancient--"Platonic" as for Popper--attitude against freedom.
And so, while there may be found "a reason in metaphysics for Aristotle's distinction and ranking of the three types of friendship" and such appears to be "the same reason he ranks the life of theoria higher than the life of phronesis," it is decidedly not a reason the Stagirite himself acknowledges, mentions or alludes to.
In Classical Greek, the definite article was used in exactly this way, so that "The Poet" was used to refer to Homer and "The Stagirite" for Aristotle (considered the most esteemed person to come from Stagira) (Harris 1765: 223).
One should bear in mind that Aristotle was handed down to European thinkers by Averroes with his most penetrating commentaries on the Stagirite. We should never lose touch with "this great moment of conversation, dialogue, and mutual learning" (10).
The "conservatives" claimed Aristotle's authority for their opinion, but in fact it was based on a passage from Avicenna that from the thirteenth through the seventeenth centuries was erroneously attributed to the Stagirite. As quoted in Stanton J.
They used Aristotle as well, but were not unmitigated Aristotelians or "secularists." Rather, they drew on the Stagirite selectively and read him through the lenses of these other authoritative traditions.
The Stagirite himself carefully avoided pronouncing words such as irrational and ineffable in the strictly mathematical context.
The Stagirite taught that imagination had to be distinguished from sensation, although the former was dependent on the latter and constituted the basis on which thought became possible.
In such matters we should heed the advice of the ancient Stagirite: "The fact is the starting point." I would put it less elegantly: "Is is, ain't ain't." Moreover, professional ethics requires us to state the negative data that might invalidate our generalizations.