Aristotle | Biography, Works, Quotes, Philosophy, Ethics, & Facts

Where did Aristotle grow up?

Aristotle was born around 384 BC. Stagira city in northern Greece. He was raised as a member of the nobility, as his father Nicomachus was a physician to King Amyntas of Macedonia. At the king’s court, he met his son Philip, who would later become king.

Aristotle grew up as the son of a physician and was naturally interested in anatomy. As a child, he attached great importance to education and art.

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Aristotle Overview:

Occupation Philosopher and Scientist
Children Pythias, Nicomachus
Born 384 BC in Stagira, Greece
Died 322 BC in Euboea, Greece
Best known for Student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great

Biography of Aristotle:

Did Aristotle go to school?

In his youth, Aristotle probably had teachers who taught him all sorts of subjects. He learned to read and write Greek. He also studied Greek gods, philosophy and mathematics. When Aristotle turned 17, he traveled to Athens to attend Plato’s Academy. There he learned philosophy and logical thinking from Plato. He remained at the academy for about twenty years, first as a student and then as a teacher.

What was the Academy like?

Plato’s Academy was not the school or university it is today. There were no specific subject classes taught by teachers. They challenged each other with questions and debates. One way she did this was by participating in a dialogue where one person asked a question and the other she tried to answer it. After that, we continued to discuss the question in a debate format, adding new questions to the questions that came up during the discussion.

Aristotle’s Travels

After him, in 347 BC Aristotle traveled to Greece and Turkey after graduating from the Academy. He married and wrote several books, including The Natural History of Animals, Reproduction of Animals, and Parts of Animals.

New Ideas

Aristotle had new ideas about how the world should be studied. He observed the world closely and enjoyed making notes and recording what he saw. He even dissected animals to learn more about animal anatomy. This was very different from other Greek philosophers and educators of the time. They did all the work in their heads, thought about the world, but did not observe it. Thus, Aristotle laid the foundations of modern science.

Aristotle spent a lot of time studying biology. He was the first to attempt to classify different species of animals into different groups. He drew pictures of different parts of animals and tried to study the functions of different organs. Aristotle made many discoveries and interesting observations.

Tutoring Alexander the Great

In 343 BC, Macedonian king Philip II asked Aristotle to teach his son Alexander. Aristotle spent the next few years teaching Alexander a wide range of subjects, including philosophy, logic, and mathematics. Alexander conquered most of the civilized world and became known as Alexander the Great.

Aristotle’s School

After tutoring his Alexander, Aristotle returned to Athens and opened his own school. It was called the Orbital School. He taught his students such subjects as logic, physics, public speaking, politics and philosophy.

At this point in his career, Aristotle began studying logic and thought processes. Here are some of Aristotle’s most famous ideas.

Syllogism – A syllogism is a way of thinking. Suppose he has three categories: A, B, and C. If all As are B and all B are C, then all As are C.
The Five Elements – In Aristotle’s time, people believed that all things were composed of his four elements: earth, water, air and fire. Aristotle suggested that there is a fifth element called the ether. He believed that celestial bodies such as stars and planets were made of ether.
Four Causes – Aristotle believed that everything that happened could be explained by one of his four causes: material causes, formal causes, effective causes and ultimate causes.
Astronomy – Aristotle correctly stated that the earth is round. However, he also believed that the earth was stationary and the center of the universe.
“Mediocrity” – he believed that the best way to act was to avoid any extreme behavior. We now call this “everything in moderation”.

Interesting Facts about Aristotle

The name Aristotle means “supreme purpose”.

As a reward for Alexander’s teaching, King Philip II of Macedon rebuilt Aristotle’s hometown of Stagira and freed its inhabitants from slavery.

It is believed that Aristotle left Plato’s academy after Plato died and was succeeded by his son Speusippus.

Not all of Aristotle’s observations were accurate. He believed that the heart (not the brain) was the center of the intellect.

He also believed that goats could be male or female, depending on which direction the wind was blowing.
Plato called Aristotle “the spirit”.