Aristotle is one of the most famous philosophers ever to live. He is also one of the most famous people from Ancient Greece.
He grew up as the son of a doctor. As such, he became interested in nature and anatomy and thought that heavy emphasis should be placed on education and the arts.
- Occupation: Philosopher and Scientist
- Born: 384 BC in Stagira, Greece
- Died: 322 BC in Euboea, Greece
- Best known for: Student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great
Aristotle was born in the year 384 BC. He was born in the city of Stagira, which was in Greece. Aristotle was born into the aristocracy.
He got to be a member of the ruling elites, because his father, who was named Nicomachus, was the doctor to the King Amyntas, who was the ruler of all of Macedonia.
It was during this time that he was growing up as a member of the king’s court that he would meet the future ruler of Macedonia, Philip II. Philip II would also have a son who would grow up to be known as Alexander the Great.
Did he go to school?
Like all of the children of members of the aristocracy, Aristotle most likely had tutors. Each tutor would be responsible for teaching him a different subject.
While he was young, Aristotle learned to read and write in Greek. He was also taught all about the Greek gods, philosophy, and mathematics.
Once Aristotle turned 17, he traveled to Athens. He did this so that he could learn from Plato, who was another famous philosopher and teacher.
Plato ran a school called the Academy. In the Academy, Aristotle learned philosophy and logical thinking.
Aristotle stayed at the Academy for almost 20 years. He first joined this school as a student, and later he became a teacher there.
What was the Academy like?
The Academy was not a school like you might attend. Instead of teachers talking about different subjects, the Academy focused on logic and debate.
What the students and teachers would do is try to stump each other with complex questions. One member would ask a challenging question, and the other students would try to answer it.
This led to lots of debate and dialogue, as they tried to get to the answer to the question. It would also lead to other questions, which would then extend the debate.
When Aristotle finally left the Academy in 347 BC, he traveled extensively throughout Greece. He also took time to travel through Turkey as well.
During these travels, Aristotle got married and wrote several books, which focused mostly on animals’ habits and anatomy.
Aristotle is thought of today as one of the best thinkers and philosophers ever to have lived. He had many new ideas about how the world should be explored and studied.
He loved to make extensive notes on his observations of the world. He kept detailed records of things that he saw and experienced every day.
Aristotle was one of the first people to take the time to dissect animals to learn about their anatomy.
Other scientists kept their work in their mind, while Aristotle experienced and observed. In this way, he is the father of our modern scientific method.
Aristotle spent most of his time studying biology. He was the first scientist to take the time to classify animals into different groups.
He also took the time to do drawings of different parts of lots of animals’ anatomy to determine the functions of their organs.
Teaching Alexander the Great
In 343 BC, the King of Macedonia, Philip II, asked Aristotle to teach his young son, Alexander. Aristotle spent the next several years teaching Alexander.
He taught Alexander about a wide range of subjects, such as logic, mathematics, and philosophy.
Alexander went on to take over much of the civilized world and was later called Alexander the Great.
After he was finished teaching Alexander, Aristotle moved to Athens to open his own school. This school was called the Peripatetic School.
At this school, Aristotle taught many different subjects. These included logic, physics, politics, philosophy, and public speaking.
Aristotle died in the year 322 BC. He died of a digestive complaint. He was 62 years old at the time of his death. He was buried next to his wife, who had died several years earlier.
Interesting Facts about Aristotle
- The name Aristotle means “the best purpose.”
- King Philip II of Macedon rebuilt Aristotle’s hometown of Stagira and freed the inhabitants from slavery as a reward for his tutoring Alexander.
- Not all of Aristotle’s observations were accurate. He thought the heart was the center of intelligence (not the brain). He also thought that goats could be male or female depending on which way the wind was blowing.