Aristotle, also known as a great thinker, has left a big impact on science and philosophy. Many disciplines of the study put light on his works. His contributions in the field of philosophy have earned him the title of “great teacher”. Aristotle examined nature carefully and explained many basic concepts of the universe.
Biography – Life Span
Aristotle was born in 384 BC in Stagira. His father, Nicomachus, was the personal physician to the king Amyntas of Macedon. By the age of 13 years, he lost his parents. Afterward, he was brought up under the guardianship of his first teacher Proxenus.
When he was 18 years old, he traveled to Athens and got enrolled in the Academy of Plato. Having spent almost 19 years under Plato, he left Athens after Plato’s death and moved to the island of Lesbos. He started researching plants and animals on that island. Here he also got married.
After some time, King of Macedon “Phillip II” invited him to teach his son who was later known as the great Alexander. Based on his vast intellectual thinking and great knowledge, the king has also appointed him as the head of the Royal Academy of Macedon. Aristotle is admired for being the teacher of well-known scientist Ptolemy and the king of Greece Cassander.
When he reached the age of 51 years, he returned to Athens where he established a school and named it Lyceum. In this school, he taught several disciplines like physics, zoology, botany, metaphysics, politics, and philosophy. Aristotle died a natural death and was buried in Euboea, a Greek island, next to his wife.
Contribution and Discoveries
Aristotle mainly contributed to logic, metaphysics, philosophy, and nature. His wisdom touched almost every aspect of the knowledge.
- Logic – He introduced the concept of syllogism. It means to come to conclusion based on two arguments. For example, human beings are mortal, all Europeans are humankind, therefore, all Europeans are mortal.
- Physics – Aristotle contributed with the fifth form of matter called Ether. He proposed that all heavenly bodies like stars and planets are made up of ether. Moreover, he categorized the four forms of matter according to their temperature as cold, hot, dry, and wet. The concept of ether was proved wrong in the past few centuries. But, this concept became the basis to research deep in the field of physics.
- Ethics – Aristotle’s work was recorded by his son in the form of a book which was named after him, Nichomachus ethics. He divided human action into three categories: deficiency means weakness, mean means middle or balanced, and excess means beyond the normal e.g. cowardice, courage, and rashness respectively.
- Biology – Aristotle contributed by collecting the information of animals mainly through observation and by learning from people who were good at rearing animals or doing sea work. Moreover, he took the credit for being the first person to classify the living organisms keeping the man at the top followed by animals and plants.
- Economy – He was the first to write on the origin of money. In his book “Politics”, he wrote that people’s dependence on each other was increasing. Therefore, money came in to use in the form of silver and iron coins.
- In Arabs, he came to be known as the first teacher, and in the west as the great philosopher.
- He was the first to establish the first library of the world known as “Lyceum”.
- He was the teacher of a great king in the history of mankind, known as Alexander The Great.