Aristotle

Aristotle was a very famous philosopher and scientist that was born 384 B.C. and he died in 322 B.C.  He is a very special part of Ancient Greek history.

Aristotle

Growing Up

In 384 B.C. when Aristotle was born, he was born in the city-state Stagira.

His father was very famous and was a popular aristocracy.

His dad’s name was Noccomachus and was the doctor to the king of Macedonia, King Amyntas.

Since Aristotle’s dad was a doctor, he became very interested in anatomy and he loved nature.

When he learned, he was probably taught by tutors and he took classes such as science, math, anatomy and arts.  He was very smart and learned to write and speak in Greek.

Education

When Aristotle turned 17, he was still very interested in anatomy and in the arts.

He believed that he was smart, and he knew that he wanted to learn more.

He decided at 17 years old that he would go and join Plato’s Academy that was in Athens.

While Aristotle was at Plato’s Academy, he studied hard and then later, he became a teacher there.

He worked and studied at Plato’s Academy for a total of 20 years.

Ancient Greek Students

Plato’s Academy

Plato’s Academy was a place to learn, but it was not like the colleges that people attend today.

The classes were not real classes at all, and no specific teacher would teach the students.

The way that this academy worked, the teachers and the students would sit together in groups and they would ask questions and then they would debate the answers.

Sometimes, one person would ask a question and another person would try to answer the question and then it would be someone else’s turn.

The point of this kind of teaching was to allow students the ability to ask questions and know that there was more than one answer that was possible.

This taught people to be able to speak out loud what they were thinking instead of just writing it down or staying quiet.

Traveling

Aristotle decided that he would leave Plato’s Academy in 347 B.C. and he decided to travel around the area.

He went to Turkey and all throughout Greece.

Life

While Aristotle was traveling, he got married and he wrote many different books and other works.  Some of them included:

  • “The Parts of Animals.”
  • “The Natural History of Animals.”
  • “The Reproduction of Animals.”

Observations of the World

While Aristotle went on his travels, he had different ideas on how the world should work.

He always was taking notes and writing down things that he saw.

Not only did Aristotle believe in watching and learning, he also would take things further and would dissect animals in order to see how their anatomy worked.

Other philosophers thought that this was crazy because they would only do book work and think about the world.

They did not believe that people should do hands-on work.

School of Aristotle, fresco by Gustav Spangenberg

Biology and Science

Aristotle is given credit for doing this because he helped to bring science to life for people even today.

Aristotle also loved biology and he was one of the first people to try to classify animals in different groups.

Aristotle would draw animals and figure out what organs and what traits made them function.

He made many discoveries in his time.

Alexander the Great

One interesting thing about Aristotle is that he became the tutor of Alexander the Great.

Since his dad knew the king, Philip II of Macedonia asked him if he could teach his son different subjects such as logic, philosophy, math and more.

Alexander the Great became one of the most known people in Ancient Greek times and he was known as one of the biggest conquerors of the time.

Some people say that this was because of Aristotle’s great teachings.

School of Aristotle

After Aristotle tutored Alexander the Great, he decided that he would open his own school.

He called his school “Peripatetic School,” and it was built in Athens.

He taught different subjects such as politics, philosophy, physics, public speaking, logic, science and more.

Aristotle’s Teachings

Aristotle has many teachings that we use today such as syllogism.  Syllogism is a type of reasoning that people use today.

Another thing that Aristotle is credited for teaching us is about the five elements of the earth:  air, water, fire, earth and aether.

Aristotle also taught about four causes, astronomy and “mean,” which is doing things in moderation and not being extreme.

 

Facts About Aristotle:

  • King Philip II rebuilt the area that Aristotle grew up in called Stagira and freed slaves as a thank you for his tutoring of Alexander the Great.
  • Aristotle left Plato’s Academy after Plato died.
  • Plato called Aristotle “The Mind,” because he was so intelligent.
  • Alexander the Great sent Aristotle plants and animals from his empire when he became an adult.
  • Aristotle researched botany and zoology during his travels.
  • Aristotle was once the head of the royal academy of Macedon.
  • Aristotle taught Ptolemy and Cassander when they were students, these two would later become king.
  • When Alexander the Great came close to the end of his life, he begins to think Aristotle was against him and he even killed his grandnephew, Callisthenes because he thought he was a traitor.
  • Aristotle created Sentential Logic which was a form of logic that used sentences for syllogism.

 

What Did You Learn?

  1. Who is Aristotle?  Aristotle is a very important person from Ancient Greek times.
  2. What did Aristotle do? Aristotle helped to teach people about science, math, philosophy and more.
  3. What did Aristotle believe about animals and science? Aristotle believed that people needed to know more things about animals and science, and he would use hands-on learning to know more about them.
  4. Who did Aristotle tutor? Aristotle tutored Alexander the Great.
  5. Who else did Aristotle teach? Aristotle also taught Ptolemy and Cassander.
  6. What school did Aristotle attend and teach at? Aristotle went to Plato’s Academy until Plato died.
  7. Why is Aristotle important today? Aristotle is important today because we use many of his teachings in our lives today.