Aristotle is a famous Greek philosopher. Given the name “The Philosopher,” his ideas were of great importance to Greece during his lifetime. Throughout his life in ancient Greece, he gained popularity because of his many teachings and brilliant logic. His early childhood influenced his scientific thoughts, and his time at the Academy in Athens brought him to the study of philosophy as well. Through many observations, he made large amounts of discoveries that are still proven true in modern times. He wrote over 200 treatises covering various topics such as ethics, biology, psychology, logic and physics. His ideas spread rapidly making him a prominent figure in Western civilization. Not only did Aristotle’s thoughts set the foundation for the development of Greek thought, but also impacted the philosophy and sciences beyond his lifetime.
Aristotle was born in a small Greek town called Stagira in 384 BC. His town, like many others in Greece, was one which held non-Greek people. Greece during this time was expanding, and gaining culture. The geography of Greece can be described as rich and fertile. The land was abundant with farmland and ideal for growing grain and fruit. The land also provided space for livestock such as horses, sheep, and cows. This caused the economy to thrive. The main focus of Greece however, particularly in Athens, was politics. Athens’ progression from monarchy to democracy made them more advanced in politics than other civilizations at the time, but the sudden change also weakened Greece. Aristotle would later help to encourage the outlook on life of the majority of Greece and help the overall good of society. Aristotle grew up under the care of his father until his later childhood. His father Nicomachus, was a popular physician at a court in Macedonia, which would later be a strong influence to Aristotle’s career because of his relationship with the king and his family. At the age of ten, Nicomachus passed away and Aristotle was then taken under the care of his uncle named Proxenus. He was raised by him for all of his teenage years. At the age of seventeen, Proxenus sent Aristotle to Athens where he joined Plato’s Academy. Plato was another highly respected Greek philosopher at this time. At the Academy, Aristotle was taught by Plato and he became one of the best students. He studied everything there from astronomy, mathematics, literature, and science. When Plato died, Aristotle left Athens. Being one of the prominent figures in Greece by now, and because of his father’s connections with the court in Macedonia, Aristotle was invited by the king of Macedonia to tutor his son Alexander, who would later become his successor.
During Aristotle’s lifetime, he spent a great amount of time thinking about the distinctions between thoughts and actions. This is called logic. He was the first philosopher to study a formal type of logic and his logic remained dominant until the 19th century. He made clear lines between proof and inferences. His type of thinking later became known as Aristotelian logic, named after him. He also set fundamentals for speech, such as sentence structure. Aristotle said, “Spoken words are the symbols of mental experience, just as written words are the symbols of spoken words” (Farrington, 65). Along with this came the idea of propositions. He taught that each proposition has to have two parts- a subject and predicate. He thought that to make sense of a sentence, something has to be said about a person, or thing. Use of this language helped writers during his time, and is also how people speak today. It seems like common sense to people now, but Aristotle was the first to notice it and that is true of many other observations he made. For example, he believed that the mind and soul are separate from the actual human body. He also believed that humans’ souls still existed after they died. At the time, it set ideas about the afterlife for many people in Greece. His teachings...
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