Aristotle was born in 384; he was a Greek philosopher, logician, and scientist. Along with his teacher Plato, Aristotle is generally regarded as one of the most Influential ancient thinkers in a number of philosophical fields, including political theory.
Aristotle’s’ writing reflects his time, background and beliefs. Aristotle was born at Stagira, in Macedonia. His father, Nichomacus, was the personal physician to the King of Macedonia, Amyntas. At the age of seventeen, Aristotle left for Athens to study at Plato’s Academy. He studied at the Academy for about twenty years, up until Plato’s death.
Plato’s death sent Aristotle to a city in Asia Minor, called Assos, where his friend, Hermias was the ruler. It was in Assos where Aristotle met, Pythias, who is described as either a niece or daughter of Hermias, who Aristotle married after the murder of Hermias, by the Persians. Aristotle then went to Pella; the capitol of Macedonia, where he became the tutor for the king’s son, Alexander, who later became Alexander the Great. When Alexander became King, Aristotle went to Athens where he began to lecture at the Lyceum.
He lectured while walking about in one of its covered walk ways, earning him the nickname Peripatetic”, which means walking about. Aristotle lectured and directed the Lyceum for twelve years, producing during this time the lecture notes which now form his works. Only a small amount of Aristotle’s works has survived. The writings which did survive like “Metaphysics,” which were his writings on the nature, scope, and properties of being; and “Physics,” his writing on astronomy, meteorology, plants, and animals, these writings have changed the way we think and live.
Aristotle’s works encompassed all the major areas of thought: logic, science, metaphysics, ethics, and politics. He developed a new, non-Platonic theory of form, created a system of deductive reasoning for universal and existential statements, produced a theory of the cosmos, matter, life, and mind, and theorized about the relationship between ethics and politics and the nature of the good life. His system rivals Plato’s for the next 2000 years. Aristotle was a firm believer that philosophy came from wonder, and that knowledge came from experience. He had a wealth of knowledge, from much experience; if he were correct about philosophy coming from wonder, he would have had to wonder quite a bit.
Aristotle was a genius; this is evident in his writings, because the ideas and concepts he proposed in his writing were ahead of his time. Aristotle learned from the best and taught the best so his ideas and thoughts were always being challenged, which made him thrive for knowledge. Aristotle is consider to be the one of best if not the best philosophers ever, his ideas reflect the title. Aristotle’s system of philosophy was never as influential in ancient times as Plato’s.
Indeed, Aristotle’s works may not have been published for some centuries after his death. After the fall of Rome, his work was largely lost to Europe, while Plato’s were saved, Aristotle’s works still played a vital role in our society’s evolution. Aristotle’s writing was so ahead of his time, they made people question his sanity. Though, during that period of time he could have been labeled as a nut he is now labeled as one of the most influential philosophers of all time. Art is defined by Aristotle as the realization in external form of a true idea, and is traced back to that natural love ofimitation which characterizes humans, and to the pleasure, which we feel in recognizing likenesses. Art however is not limited to mere copying.
It idealizes nature and completes its deficiencies: it seeks to grasp the universal type in the individual phenomenon. The distinction therefore between poetic art and history is not that the one use meter, and the other does not. The distinction is that while history is limited to what has actually happened, poetry depicts things in their universal character. And, therefore, “poetry is more philosophical and more elevated than history.” Such imitation may represent people either as better or as worse than people usually are, or it may neither go beyond nor fall below the average standard. Comedy is the imitation of the worse examples of humanity, understood however not in the sense of absolute badness, but only in so far as what is low and ignoble enters into what is laughable and comic. Tragedy, on the other hand, is the representation of a serious or meaningful, rounded or finished, and more or less extended or far-reaching action – a representation that is effected by action and not mere narration.
It is fitted by portraying events, which excite fear and pity in the mind of the observer to purify or purge these feelings and extend and regulate their sympathy. It is thus a homeopathic curing of the passions. Insofar as art in general universalizes particular events, tragedy, in depicting passionate and critical situations, takes the observer outside the selfish and individual standpoint, and views them in connection with the general lot of human beings. This is similar to Aristotle’s explanation of the use of orgiastic music in the worship of Bacchas and other deities: it affords an outlet for religious fervor and thus steadies one’s religious sentiments. Work Sited Encarta Encyclopedia. 1999 edition.
CD-ROM. www.knuten.liu.se/bjoch509/philosophers/ari.html http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/history/aristotle.html