Amazing History of Aristotle | Background & Facts






Aristotle was the most intelligent, creative, and fertile mind of the ancient city-state of Athens, ancient Greece. Aristotle wrote more than a million words in his lifetime, but unfortunately, human civilization has inherited only 20% of Aristotle’s words. Aristotle is called Aristotle in English and Aristotle in Urdu or Arabic. Aristotle was born in Stagira, a small town in Greece.


He spent all his youth at Plato’s Academy. Aristotle spent about twenty years in the discipleship of Plato. He then built his own academy called Lyceum. His father’s name was Nicomachus, the court physician of King Amyntas of Macedonia.


It is believed that Aristotle’s ancestors had been working as physicians in the royal court of this kingdom for many generations, although his father died when he was still a boy, Aristotle lived all his life. He was closely associated with the royal court and was greatly influenced by this environment.


Aristotle’s mother’s name was Phaestis, but nothing more is known about him. It is believed that Aristotle’s mother also died in infancy.


After the death of Aristotle’s father, Aristotle’s brother-in-law Proxenus became his guardian and continued to support him until he was young. Because Aristotle belonged to a family of physicians, Aristotle received training that led him to study the phenomena of nature. Such education and training had a profound effect on Aristotle’s heart and mind, which is why he could not become a philosopher as profound as his teacher Plato.


When Aristotle was seventeen years old in 367 BC, he was sent to Athens for higher studies. At that time, Athens was considered the center of the universe. In this city, Aristotle entered Plato’s Academy, the highest school in all of Greece. After studying here, Aristotle became an ideal scholar. Aristotle was associated with Plato’s academy for twenty years until Plato died in 347 BC. Although Aristotle was a very talented student of his teacher, he could not become the head of his academy after Plato’s death.


Some people think that when Plato did not make him his successor in his life, he left the academy in despair. Plato succeeded his nephew, Speusippus, as head of his academy after Plato’s death. It is well known that in many basic philosophical matters, the views of Aristotle and Plato differed greatly. Plato’s theory was that the world was full of ideas, philosophy, and imperfections, while Aristotle, on the other hand, was more concerned with the material world than with the world of ideas.


Hermias, king of the two Greek kingdoms, employed Aristotle at his court, and Aristotle resided in both kingdoms for a few years. Aristotle then married Pythias, the king’s adopted daughter, who was also the king’s niece. They had a daughter, whom they named Pythias. When the kingdom of this king was conquered by the Iranians, Aristotle moved to Macedonia.


During the next four years, Aristotle traveled to different regions, where he not only acquired knowledge but also taught the people. During this time Aristotle began a long series of experiments on the biological sciences. Aristotle’s observations on plants and animals are based on the experiences of those days. It was in these areas that he met Theophrastus, another man like himself, and the two conducted many scientific experiments together.


When Aristotle founded his academy Lyceum in Athens, he became the head of the academy after Aristotle. Aristotle not only studied all the sciences of the time but also contributed significantly to the advancement of these sciences. In the physical sciences, Aristotle studied anatomy, astronomy, embryology, geography, geology, meteorology, physics, and zoology. In philosophy, Aristotle wrote articles on aesthetics, ethics, government, metaphysics, politics, economics, psychology, rhetoric, and theology.


In addition, Aristotle studied education, foreign customs, literature, and poetry. If all of Aristotle’s writings were collected, it could form an encyclopedia of Greek sciences. It is also believed that Aristotle was the only person who knew all the sciences of his time.


In 343 BC, Philip II, king of the Greek kingdom of Macedonia, invited Aristotle to visit him to teach the thirteen-year-old Prince Alexander (later known as Alexander the Great). The king also made Aristotle the head of his royal academy. During this time, Aristotle continued to teach not only Alexander but also two other men, Ptolemy and Cassander, both of whom later became kings.


Alexander the Great: Alexander the Great was a disciple of Aristotle. Alexander the Great studied with Aristotle for about three years. Aristotle left Athens when he was sentenced to death in Athens. Leaving Athens, he said that he would no longer allow the people of Greece to harm philosophy, so he would not die by drinking a cup of poison like Socrates.


After the death of Plato’s successor, Speusippus, when re-election for his academy took place, Xenocrates became its head instead of Aristotle, thus reducing King Philip’s interest in Aristotle. Aristotle was Alexander’s teacher for five years, and when Alexander’s father died, Alexander became king.


Aristotle set out to create a philosophical world centered on Greece, but after becoming king, Alexander intended to conquer the surrounding lands and spread the borders of Greece far and wide, and for this purpose, his Preparations had also begun. Aristotle devised a national strategy for Greece that he believed could keep Greek culture away from savages, while Alexander believed that he should include non-Greek culture in his policies.


It was easy to strengthen his government in non-Greek territories. In recognition of Aristotle’s services, Alexander gave Aristotle complete freedom to study the sciences and to obtain as many books as he wanted for scientific research. Alexander then began a series of foreign expeditions, and within a few years, his empire expanded.


It is said that on the one hand Alexander continued to support Plato’s academy and on the other hand he advised Aristotle to open his own academy. Aristotle opened a school in Athens called Lyceum and continued to run it for the next twelve years. Here Aristotle spent the rest of his life acquiring knowledge and educating others and writing and composing.


He made his school an unparalleled center for scientific research. Here in the mornings Aristotle would have detailed discussions with his senior students, and in the afternoons he would give lectures to the students on popular general topics. In ancient times, Aristotle was the only person in the world to have built the first large library. This school of Aristotle continued until 525 BC, and when the area was occupied by King Justinian, he closed it.


Aristotle did much of his literary work over a period of twelve years. He wrote many dialogues of which only a few fragments survived. Aristotle’s dissertations or articles that came to us were not for the general public to read, but were part of the curriculum for students in his own school. For the next two thousand years, the world benefited from Aristotle’s unique writings.


About ten years after the marriage, Aristotle’s first wife, Pythias, died. Aristotle’s romance then began with Herpyllis, the slave girl of Pathia. Aristotle freed her from slavery and the two soon married. The woman was also from Aristotle’s native Stagira. Herpyllis gave birth to a son and Aristotle named him after his father, Nicomachus. Aristotle later named his philosophical work Nicomachean Ethic after his father Nicomachus, but it is not known whether this relationship is with Aristotle’s father or his son.


Aristotle is the only philosopher in the world who has written about almost all sciences. He has written extensively on social sciences, political science, ethics, natural philosophy, science, physics, biology, and metaphysics. He has also written extensively on logic, music, mathematics, astronomy, cosmology, and history. He has also expressed his views on psychology, theology, political history, government theory, poetry, art, drama, and theater.


He excelled at whatever he wrote. After that, every one of his writings became a complete subject. Writing on physics, a complete discipline of physics was established. Aristotle formulated the basic classifications and definitions of various subjects in modern universities. He is the only philosopher who developed the logical system. Explained the method of logic in a scientific way. When he applied this system of logic to various subjects, he discovered something new. That is why it is said that anyone who wants to benefit from Aristotle must first try to understand his logical system.


He begins his logical system with a literature review of what has been written and said before on the subject on which he wants to write or say something new. How has this topic been debated in human history? Before starting anything on any point of view, he expresses opposing views. This process is called dialectics.


This means understanding the important debate. When he opens a debate and then gives his logical analysis, he also goes through that analysis through a logical system. After scratching, he brings out something new or a new discovery. This logical system of Aristotle is called organ. This logical system has always had a great influence on philosophy. He has many books written just to explain the logical system.


Sciences: Aristotle divides the sciences into three different parts. Accordingly, there are three categories of sciences. Theoretical Sciences, Practical Sciences, and Productive Sciences. All the sciences called natural sciences. They have nothing to do with the economic system. The knowledge that is read-only for oneself or for oneself is called theoretical sciences. Social sciences, knowledge of politics, he calls them practical sciences.


According to Aristotle, the knowledge that has resulted in the improvement of human life and human society is called practical sciences. The knowledge that creates happiness, contentment, and beauty in human civilization and human life. In order to create comforts in human life, he considers such sciences as productive sciences. He calls agriculture, music, theater, dance, poetry, etc., the productive sciences. According to him, all these sciences make human life modern and beautiful, which makes man happy spiritually and economically.


For almost two thousand years, Aristotle’s ideas have influenced human thinking. Because of this, modern scientific thinking has flourished in the world. Aristotle was the favorite of Muslim philosophers in the golden age of Islam. Ibn Rushd settled in Spain and spread Aristotle’s ideas to Europe in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Which led to a renaissance in the European world. Until Newton came to this earth, the basic principles of physics were formulated by Aristotle. After Newton’s arrival, there were new revolutionary changes in the world of physics that were different from Aristotle’s ideas.


Aristotle continued to run his school until the death of Alexander the Great, who died suddenly in 323 BC. Things then began to deteriorate for the Athenian royal family and Aristotle himself. The Athens Assembly launched a war against Alexander’s successor and removed him from the throne in order to rid the Greek city-states of Alexander the Great.


The new administration planned to target Aristotle, accusing him of disrespecting the gods, and he was declared an atheist. This was the charge under which Plato’s teacher Socrates was executed in 399 BC. Before he could be tried, Aristotle left Athens for Chalcis on the island of Euboea, where he spent the rest of his life with his second wife. Aristotle’s digestive system deteriorated and he died in 322 BC at the age of 63. He was buried near the grave of his first wife.


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