Aristotle was brought into the world around 384 BC in Macedonia, an ancient Greek kingdom. Aristotle is known to be one of the influential intellectual Greek scientist and philosopher. His views on both Christianity and Islam were presented in a philosophical and scientific manner. The Lyceum is a research and teaching centre established by Aristotle and has French secondary schools named in honour of him.
Aristotle once educated the then 13-year-old Alexander the Great. He spent the vast majority of the rest of his life as a researcher, lecturer, and writer at the Lyceum in Athens until the passing of his former student Alexander the Great. Since Aristotle was known to stroll around the school grounds while educating, he was nicknamed the “Peripatetics” which means “people who travel about”. Lyceum individuals did research based on scientific, mathematical, philosophical and political subjects and almost everything in between said subjects.
Aristotle trusted that information could be acquired through studying physical objects. His exploration in the sciences incorporated Biology studies, and after several failed attempts, tried to characterize animals into ranks and categories based on how comparable they were. Despite his inaccurate hypothesis, Aristotle’s methods of classification was viewed as the standard framework for the following hundreds of years.
His ethical theory additionally lasted through the old and medieval periods, exerting a tremendous impact Albert the Great and his predominant follower, Thomas Aquinas, who looked to accommodate Christian thought with Aristotle and his teachings. Besides any other figure in Western history, Aristotle is the exemplification of information and of learning. His thoughts have formed hundreds of years of thought are still definitely pored over by each one of the individuals who try to comprehend Western civilisation, or essentially to possess one of the greatest intellect ever.
Aristotle was a significant individual in his time because of his impact on his culture and the way in which people thought. During the years in which he was active, he wrote over 200 pieces of writing, out of which about 30 are in circulation today. Across areas of study, Aristotle left momentous impacts through his writings. In this post, we will focus on areas of Logic, Metaphysics, and Politics and how it shaped society in his time.
Among many other theories Aristotle came up with, one significant one was the Syllogisms. According to Aristotle, Syllogisms allowed all arguments to be “reduced into the simplest form” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2015). Syllogism means deduction, and deduction helped people to come to conclusions about something through knowledge about a related thing. For example, he used this example: all birds have feathers, all ducks are birds, therefore all ducks have feathers.
In a related idea, he introduced Induction in which the premise of the argument supports the conclusion, but does not ensure it (the conclusions might not be true). An example of (inaccurate) Induction: Jane is a girl. Jane is a bad driver. Therefore, girls are bad drivers.
This in a very significant way impacted how research was conducted in the past (and even now) because it helped researchers make valid arguments. In a way, Aristotle “invented logic” (New World Encyclopedia, 2015).
Through the creation of these ways of thinking, Aristotle started the discipline of Logic. His teachings would continue on in places like Europe, among the Chinese, and in India.
Aristotle also pioneered the study of metaphysics, a “branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the nature of the most fundamental aspects of the world” (New World Encyclopedia, 2015) and questions things that we take for granted, like free will, the mind and our existence, and the nature of of world- things that underlie reality. This study would then go on to significantly impact the philosophers like Thomas Aquinas after his death.
Aristotle began his discussion of Politics (Polis- the city) based on his work on ethics. He explained how people should act and conduct themselves in a city for the development and growth of a society. He discusses the role of a government and its purpose in creating the “law, customs, and institutions” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2015) for the people of the society and its citizens. His written work on politics would go on to be translated into Latin in the 13th century and shape the society.
Aristotle is still known to be the most important logician in history for 2 main reasons. Firstly, because he was the first to organize different schools of thought into a new ‘logic’, and secondly because his logical system was dominant for about 2000 years. Kant- who was a german philosopher in early 1800’s- claimed that nothing significant had been added to logic since Aristotle, and concluded that it was one of the few disciplines that was finished.
Aristotle's teachings on politics did not have immediate impact on society because his body of work defended a waning Greek city-state and not modern nation-states. Yet, his politics are still relevant till today because it brings about discussions about political philosophy.
A vast majority of his writings are now lost, and it is believed that only about 20% of his original writings have survived through the time of the Roman Empire. Even so, the interpretation of those that remain is disputed. After the Roman period, the remainder of Aristotle's works could no longer be interpreted in the same way by the West.
Many hold the opinion that Aristotle's theories and teachings were highly substantial and influential and so, major philosophers from the 16th, 17th, and 18th century made it their focus to study his works. Also, Aristotle had laid the foundation of the falsafa movement (pursuit of philosophy in Islam).
Along with Socrates and Plato, Aristotle was among the most influential of the ancient Greek philosophers. He helped transform pre-Socratic Greek philosophy into the foundations of Western philosophy by rejecting Plato’s Theory of the Forms and emphasizing, instead, that philosophy should be grounded in the simple observation of the world we live in. In this way, Aristotle laid the foundations for the scientific method of research. Aristotle's moral philosophy also transcended the ancient and medieval periods, influencing the works of Albert the Great and his student, Thomas Aquinas, who worked to harmonize the Christian belief and Aristotle's teachings.
More than any other figure in Western history, Aristotle's ideas have shaped the way people thought and think. Till today, his worked are studied in great depth by people with the desire to understand western civilisation as well as by those who seek to have a mind as great as his.