Aristotle: Biography Life & Works

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      Aristotle was born at Stagira in Macedonia in 384 B.C. Son of Nicomachus, the court physician to King Amyntas I of Macedonia. Aristotle was later to become a tutor to Alexander, the grandson of Amyntas.

The First Phase of His Life: Plato's Academy

      The first phase of Aristotle's career began in 368-67 B.C. when he began a twenty-year residence in Athens as a member of the Academy founded by Plato. The phase came to an end with Plato's death.

The Second Phase: Away From Athens

      After the death of Plato, Aristotle left the Academy and went to Assos, near Troy. With him was another pupil of Plato, Xenocrates, who was also dissatisfied with the successor of Plato at the Academy. In Assos, Aristotle joined the Platonic circle begun by Erastus and Coriscus. He came into contact with Hermias, who had established himself as tyrant of Assos and Ataneus. He married Hermias's adopted daughter. In 342 B.C., he accepted the invitation of Philip of Macedon to go and teach his son, Alexander, in Pella. Aristotle taught the young prince literature and political science. With Alexander coming to the throne, the second phase of Aristotle's career came to an end.

The Third Phase: Return to Athens and The School at Lyceum

      After Alexander's ascension to the throne of Macedonia, Aristotle returned to Athens, the intellectual center of Greece. Here, he set up his own school in the Lyceum - a school which came to be known as the Peripatetic. This was so because it was Aristotle's habit to walk about with his students while giving them lectures. Theophrastus was among the lecturers at this school, which included a museum and a library. Aristotle organized research on a large scale, in politics, history, literature, nature and biology.

The Last Years and Death

      In 323 B.C., Aristotle got the news of Alexander's death. Athens took up arms against Macedonia, and Aristotle was accused of impiety. Aristotle withdrew to his mother's home in Chalcis. He died there at the age of 62, in the year of 322 B.C.

Aristotle's Work

      Aristotle's works are mainly of three kinds. There are literary essays; there are the studies of Constitutions; and then, there are the treatises intended for the lectures delivered to his students. In all, he wrote about four hundred volumes, covering practically all spheres of human knowledge and activity. Unfortunately, a number of his works have been lost, and many are incomplete because of these losses.

Philosophical, Scientific, Political and Critical Treatises

1. Organon, or the Instrument of Correct Thinking.

2. Physics

3. De Carlo.

4. De Generatione et Corruptione

5. Eudemian Ethics

6. Metaphysics

7. Politics

8. Historia Animalium

9. Meterologica

10. Constitutions (Including the Constitutions of Athens)

11. Nicomachean Ethics.

12. Poetics

13. Rhetoric

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