Aristotle was a proud countrymen, interested not only the better of his country and the people in it but also almost every subject. His father installed some of his abundant curiosity in him young. An eloquent, and persuasive speaker, Aristotle had ease with delivering his lectures over numerous subjects. Many opposers of him, said him to be arrogant and overbearing due to his boldness.

Aristotle went to school at Platos Academy until 347, at which point Plato died and Aristotle was not appointed head of the Academy, most likely due to his oppositions of Plato. After Platos death, Aristotle headed for Assos, where he stayed for about three years with his host Hermeias, a friend and former Academic who was also the ruler of Assos. When Hermeias passed, Aristotle then moved to the island of Lesbos, where he worked with another Academic, Theophrastus.

He went back to Macedonia in 338 to tutor Alexander the Great, and after Alexander conquered Athens, Aristotle returned to Athens to establish a school of his own, Lyceum.
Athens rebelled against Macedonian rule not long after the death of Alexander, which left Aristotle in an uncertain, political situation. He evaded death by fleeing to the island of Euboea, where he died shortly after.¹

Insights and Influences

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A substantial influence to Aristotle was Plato, considering he went to his school at the young, absorbent age of seventeen. Plato was most likely his greatest influence even though Aristotle greatly differed in some of Platos main ideas and views. He was also influenced by Hermeias who he worked and lived with. Another Academic he was influenced by was Theophrastus, who he also worked with.²
“Mine is the first step and therefore a small one, though worked out with much thought and hard labor. You, my readers or hearers of my lectures, if you think I have done as much as can fairly be expected of an initial start. . . will acknowledge what I have achieved and will pardon what I have left for others to accomplish.”

Major Contributions

Aristotle not only contributed to almost every subject, but also he’s said to have written 150 philosophical treatises, while only 30 survive. These surviving 30 cover a vast range of philosophical predicaments. Many of them have been thought to be “lecture notes” and some may be the work of members of his school and not himself. He also made some of the first observations on land and aquatic animals, by simply observing and looking, making a precedence for scientists years and years later. His work changed the direction of Western learning and continues to play a very real part in modern studies. His studies in the sciences would inevitably become obsolete, particular in natural philosophy. But his contributions to biology would remain unsurpassed for centuries. On the other hand, his work in the humanities and social sciences continues to provide the basis for debate and guide academic learning. Moreover, he essentially created the field of logic and devised the syllogism. The one major subject that he did not seem to have a large impact on was mathematics, on which the Academy generally led the way.

Affect and Effect

Without Aristotles views on philosophy, and the vast variety of subjects, many of the advancements in philosophy and those subjects would differ greatly. Without his meticulous, and time occuping study and research many people after his time would have had quite the time working from no basis. Beyond the skill of observation, he was also armed with keen insight, able to detect patterns and draw conclusions with discernment. What drove Aristotle was a desire for wisdom, knowledge for its own sake. He sought what philosophers and scientists are still seeking today: the fundamental principles that govern humanity and its universe.³

The Things He Left Behind

Aristotle left behind a basis of observation over the subjects he studied. Many of his views and observations were the foundations for research and study in a number of fields. Following Socrates and Plato, Aristotle had a great wealth of knowledge and wisdom to build upon, but he left no successor who could surpass him. His work changed the direction of Western learning and continues to play a very real part in modern studies. No one today could match the work and basis that Aristotle left behind, but even for his time, his success was remarkable. More than any single figure in Western history, Aristotle was the embodiment of knowledge and learning. His works continue to provoke, inspire, and inform.