ARISTOTLE: ARISTOTLE of Stagira (l. 384-322 BC…

ARISTOTLE: 

ARISTOTLE of Stagira (l. 384-322 BCE) was a Greek philosopher who pioneered systematic, scientific examination in literally every area of human knowledge and was known, in his time, as “the man who knew everything” and later simply as “The Philosopher”, needing no further qualification as his fame was so widespread. He literally invented the concept of metaphysics single-handedly when he (or one of his scribes) placed his book on abstract philosophical speculation after his book on physics (metaphysics literally means “after physics”) and standardized in learning – how information is collected, assimilated and interpreted, and then communicated – across numerous disciplines.  

During the later Middle Ages (c. 1300-1500 CE), he was referred to as "The Master”, most notably in Dante’s Inferno where the author did not need to even identify Aristotle by name for him to be recognized. This particular epithet is apt in that Aristotle wrote on, and was considered a master in, disciplines as diverse as biology, politics, metaphysics, agriculture, literature, botany, medicine, mathematics, physics, ethics, logic, and the theatre. He is traditionally linked in sequence with Socrates and Plato in the triad of the three greatest Greek philosophers.

He was hired by Philip II, King of Macedon (r. 359-336 BCE) as tutor for his son Alexander the Great (l. 356-323 BCE) and made such an impression on the youth that Alexander carried Aristotle’s works with him on campaign and introduced his philosophy to the east when he conquered the Persian Empire. Through Alexander, Aristotle’s works were spread throughout the known world of the time, influencing other philosophies and providing a foundation for the development of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim theology.  

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