Marcos Mendez

Aristotle

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Aristotle was a philosopher that created new ideas in many fields. He believed that reason is what separates humans from other living things(Boeree). Obviously that theory is common sense now. He created discoveries such as the geocentric model, which wasn’t correct, but led to the heliocentric model. His gathered information helped astronomers discover that the world is heliocentric. He was going to soon become the guide to new inventions.

Personal Background


According to Fowler, Aristotle was born in Stagira, Thrace, near Macedonia in 384 BC. His father was the family physician of King Philip . Hence he was born in the high middle class. His father taught Aristotle to take an interest in the detail of natural life and biology (Boeree). Since his father was a physician Aristotle was able to get some information about the detail of natural life and biology out of his fathers education. His father had a great influence on him and his future education. When Aristotle was 18 he came to Athens to study at Plato’s Academy and stayed there for twenty years (Fowler). His knowledge was mainly learned at Plato’s Academy although he disagreed with some of Plato’s ideas like, what was the best type of government.
aristotleteachingalexander.jpgFive years later he started tutoring Alexander, King Philip's son for 13 years (Boeree). King Philip paying Aristotle to teach his son shows how Aristotle was very educated. Aristotle had two wives. He married Pythias, but she died and he got with a woman named Herpyllis and had a son named after his father Nicomachus (Cohen). Nicomachus died in 336 BC (Fowler). One year after Aristotle actually started sharing his knowledge with many people. In 335 BC he made his own academy in Athens called Lyceum (Cohen). Aristotle died 13 years later at age 62 in 322 BC (Cohen).

Personality Traits


Aristotle’s personality traits were seen through his work and way of living. You could infer that Aristotle was open-minded because he was always willing to take in information that he was provided at home and at school (Boeree). He learned what he could from his father’s education and Plato’s Academy. In Plato’s Academy he was open-minded, learned what he was taught, and threw away what he didn’t need. He was also very intelligent because he created new ideas in many fields. One of his ideas was that what separates humans from other living things is reason (Boeree). He also had a teacher like personality. You could see this because he taught Alexander, king Philip's son and opened up his own Academy to give an education to other people (Fowler). Aristotle was also a mentally strong person. He had to go through various deaths in his life (Cohen). However, his strength alway picked him up and made him keep going.

Obstacles


AristotleandPlato.pngAristotle faced obstacles like all human beings do. One of his obstacles was his fathers death in 336 BC (Cohen). A parents death isn’t easy, but is part of mostly everyone's life. Unfortunately his first wife Pythias also died (Cohen). This was different because Aristotle lost a wife at early age. On the other hand of deaths, he had other obstacles. One of his obstacles was being the first to create new ideas. It takes time and dedication to gather so much information to make a hypotenuse that can later turn into a fact. Another obstacle that he had to overcome was older philosophers. Plato was before him and Aristotle almost always disagreed with him. This was a challenge because since Plato was a older philosopher people believed in his believings and out of nowhere Aristotle contradicts everything he believes. This will make people doubt him.

Historical Significance


Aristotle created many historical ideas through his work. According to Boeree, Aristotle invented modern logic. This is historical because it gave people a why to why we know somethings automatically. Similarly, “There are three types of souls: plant soul, animal soul, and human soul. What separates human soul from the rest is reason (Boeree).” This is definitely an important principle although it’s an obvious principle now. Before there wasn’t really a explanation to why we are different, we just knew we were. Something similar Aristotle believed was his idea “self-actualization or in other words, we begin as unformed matter and through years of developing and learning, we become mature adults, always reaching for perfection (Boeree).” This is another principle that we already know now in day, but gave people back then a different point of view that they didn’t quite see, but were living.
Aristotle_Geocentric.pngAnother really important idea Aristotle believed was, “ the universe is finite, eternal, and earth is geocentric (Cohen).” You might be thinking that that is partially correct, which it is. Yes the universe is finite and eternal since we can’t prove that wrong, but we know that the earth is not geocentric. It was still important because it was the first theory that was provided and said the world wasn’t flat. In addition the geocentric system led to the heliocentric system, which is correct. So even though he wasn’t completely correct it was something historical that contributed to something important that was correct, the heliocentric system. Aristotle also contributed to discover principles in mathematics. For example, “the angles at the base of an isosceles triangle are equal (Lear).” That is one of his many principles in mathematics. Setting up principles in mathematics that are still learned today are definitely significant. He created something that exists now in day. He also believed “ there are five elements in matter: fire, earth, air, water, and aether(divine substance of the heavens) (Freeman).” He got the first four right and the last was according to his belief. Although he wasn’t completely correct he still set up four elements that are the only ones that we see today. Basically Aristotle was a person who impacted the world with his ideas and discoveries. The discoveries and ideas I shared are a fraction of everything he did.


References



Boaree, George. “The Ancient Greeks, Part Two.” Webspace.ship. web. 3 Nov. 2014
Cohen, S. Marc. “Introduction to Aristotle.”Hackett Publishing Company. 3 Jan 2008. web. 2 Sep. 2014
Fowler, Michael. “Aristotle.” galileoandeinstein.physics.virginia.edu. 9 March 2008. web. Sep. 18 2014
Freeman, B. James. "Aristotelian Intellectual Institution." Hunter College CUNY. web. 11 Dec. 2014
Haslip, Susan. “Aristotle’s Theory of the Good Life.” Quodlibet. January 2003. web. Nov. 16 2014
Lear, Jonathan. “Aristotle Philosophy of Mathematics.” JSTOR. 20 May 2004.web. 10 Dec. 2014