Aristotle is believed to have been one of the most prominent philosophers, thinkers, and scientists of his time. Together with Plato and Socrates, he laid the beginning of what we call Western Philosophy. According to trustworthy sources, Aristotle was a student of Plato and also a teacher of Alexander the Great. When he was middle-aged, he created his own school in Athens. This school is known as the Lyceum, and Aristotle dedicated the time that he spent there to writing, studying, and teaching.
What We Know About Aristotle’s Life
Aristotle’s hometown is Stagira, which was situated in the northern parts of Greece and used to be a seaport in the past. He was born there around 384 BCE. Due to the fact that his father was a physician in the Macedonian court, Aristotle remained related to Macedonia throughout his whole life. Both of Aristotle’s parents died when he was very young, so his guardian became his sister’s husband, Proxenus. Aristotle owed a lot to Proxenus as thanks to him, he was sent to acquire higher education in Athens.
When he arrived in Athens, Aristotle started studying in Plato’s academy, which was considered to be one of the best learning institutions there. Aristotle became very close to Plato, and everyone imagined that he would become the director of the academy when Plato died. However, Aristotle didn’t agree with some of Plato’s theories, so he didn’t inherit this position.
After the death of Plato, Aristotle was invited to the court of Mysia by the king of Assos and Atarneus, Hermias. It was in Mysia where Aristotle met his first wife, Hermias’s niece, Pythias. She became the mother of their daughter, also called Pythias. Unfortunately, the same year when Aristotle founded his school, the Lyceum, Pythias died. Not a long time after that, he met another woman, Herpyllis. The available historical sources don’t state precisely how many the children of Aristotle and Herpyllis were. Still, they certainly had at least one son, named after Aristotle’s father – Nicomchus.
All of Aristotle’s theories were based on his perception of logic. He aimed at coming up with a way in which people will be able to learn all the necessary things about reality. First, they have to conceive all objects based on their features, actions, and states. After that come deduction and interference as two more profound methods of obtaining information about different objects. Aristotle’s theory of deduction laid the foundation of syllogism.
Aristotle’s Biology Researches
Aristotle tried to classify animals according to their similarities, though some scientists claim that he made some errors in this study. After that, he made another classification of animals, dividing them into red-blood ones and others. He found out that most of the animals with red blood were vertebrates. The others he called ‘cephalopods.’ In spite of its inaccuracies, people used this classification for hundreds of years.
Another sphere of interest for Aristotle was marine life. Thanks to his careful observations and dissections of marine creatures, he managed to achieve more accurate results than he did with his biology classifications.