Aristotle (384 -322 BC)
Aristotle Greek philosopher and scientist is one of the most famous of ancient
philosophers. He was born in Stagira Greece to a physician to the royal court.
When he became eighteen Aristotle entered Plato’s School in Athens and remained
at this academy for twenty years as a student and then as a teacher. He was
recognized as the Academy’s brightest and was given the title of “The
Intelligence of the School”. When Plato died in 347 BC Aristotle left Athens
and joined a group of disciples of Plato with his friend Hermias. Hermias
became ruler of a city called Assos a city in Asia Minor. Aristotle married
Hermias’ adopted daughter Pythias. In 343 or 342 BC Philip II king of
Macedonia told Aristotle to supervise the education of his son Alexander
(later known as “Alexander the Great”). He taught him until 336 BC when
Alexander became the ruler of Macedonia. Alexander the Great later became the
ruler of all Greece and over threw the Persian Empire. In 334 BC Aristotle
returned to Athens and started his own school the Lyceum. Because he taught
while walking around his students were called the Peripatetic students meaning
“walking” or “strolling”. When Alexander died in 323 BC Aristotle was charged
with impiety (lack of reverence to the gods) by the Athenians. The Athenians
probably did this because they resented
Lu-2 Aristotle’s friendship with Alexander the man who conquered
them. Aristotle fled to Euboea. He died there the next year.
Aristotle believed that there was no way to make an accurate resolution of human
decisions since an individual had his or her own choice. He did however say
that all human beings want “happiness” and that there are many ways in which
this goal can be achieved.
He also believed that “full excellence” can only be reached by the mature male
adult of the upper class not by women or children or barbarians (non-Greeks)
or manual workers.