Aristotle

Aristotle lived from 384–322 BC and was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Lyceum, the Peripatetic (wanderer) school of philosophy, and the Aristotelian tradition. His writings cover many subjects including physicsbiologyzoologymetaphysicslogicethicsaestheticspoetrytheatremusicrhetoricpsychologylinguisticseconomicspoliticsmeteorologygeology and government. Aristotle provided a complex synthesis of the various philosophies existing prior to him. It was above all from his teachings that the West inherited its intellectual lexicon, as well as problems and methods of inquiry. As a result, his philosophy has exerted a unique influence on almost every form of knowledge in the West and it continues to be a subject of contemporary philosophical discussion.

Little is known about his life. Aristotle was born in the city of Stagira in Northern Greece. His father, Nicomachus, died when Aristotle was a child, and he was brought up by a guardian. At seventeen or eighteen years of age he joined Plato's Academy in Athens and remained there until the age of thirty-seven (c. 347 BC). Shortly after Plato died, Aristotle left Athens and, at the request of Philip II of Macedon, tutored Alexander the Great beginning in 343 BC. He established a library in the Lyceum which helped him to produce many of his hundreds of books on papyrus scrolls. Though Aristotle wrote many elegant treatises and dialogues for publication, only around a third of his original output has survived, none of it intended for publication.

Aristotle's views on physical science profoundly shaped medieval scholarship. Their influence extended from Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages into the Renaissance, and were not replaced systematically until the Enlightenment and theories such as classical mechanics were developed. Some of Aristotle's zoological observations found in his biology, such as on the hectocotyl (reproductive) arm of the octopus, were disbelieved until the 19th century. His works contain the earliest known formal study of logic, studied by medieval scholars such as Peter Abelard and John Buridan. Aristotle's influence on logic also continued well into the 19th century.

He influenced Judeo-Islamic philosophies (800–1400) during the Middle Ages, as well as Christian theology, especially the Neoplatonism of the Early Church and the scholastic tradition of the Catholic Church. Aristotle was revered among medieval Muslim scholars as "The First Teacher" and among medieval Christians like Thomas Aquinas as simply "The Philosopher". His ethics, though always influential, gained renewed interest with the modern advent of virtue ethics. Aristotle has been called "the father of logic", "the father of biology", "the father of political science", the "father of zoology", "the father of scientific method", "the father of rhetoric", and "the father of meteorology".

In general, the details of Aristotle's life are not well-established. The biographies written in ancient times are often speculative and historians only agree on a few salient points. Aristotle, whose name means "the best purpose" in Ancient Greek, was born in 384 BC in StagiraChalcidice, about 34 miles east of modern-day Thessaloniki. His father Nicomachus was the personal physician to King Amyntas of Macedon. While he was young, Aristotle learned about biology and medical information, which was taught by his father. Both of Aristotle's parents died when he was about thirteen, and Proxenus of Atarneus became his guardian. Although little information about Aristotle's childhood has survived, he probably spent some time within the Macedonian palace, making his first connections with the Macedonian monarchy.

At the age of seventeen or eighteen, Aristotle moved to Athens to continue his education at Plato's Academy. He probably experienced the Eleusinian Mysteries as he wrote when describing the sights one viewed at the Eleusinian Mysteries, "to experience is to learn". Aristotle remained in Athens for nearly twenty years before leaving in 348/47 BC. The traditional story about his departure records that he was disappointed with the Academy's direction after control passed to Plato's nephew Speusippus, although it is possible that he feared the anti-Macedonian sentiments in Athens at that time and left before Plato died. 

Aristotle then accompanied Xenocrates to the court of his friend Hermias of Atarneus in Asia Minor. After the death of Hermias, Aristotle travelled with his pupil Theophrastus to the island of Lesbos, where together they researched the botany and zoology of the island and its sheltered lagoon. While in Lesbos, Aristotle married Pythias, either Hermias's adoptive daughter or niece. She bore him a daughter, whom they also named Pythias. In 343 BC, Aristotle was invited by Philip II of Macedon to become the tutor to his son Alexander.

Aristotle was appointed as the head of the royal academy of Macedon. During Aristotle's time in the Macedonian court, he gave lessons not only to Alexander but also to two other future kings: Ptolemy and Cassander. Aristotle encouraged Alexander toward eastern conquest, and Aristotle's own attitude towards Persia was unabashedly ethnocentric. In one famous example, he counsels Alexander to be "a leader to the Greeks and a despot to the barbarians, to look after the former as after friends and relatives, and to deal with the latter as with beasts or plants". 

By 335 BC, Aristotle had returned to Athens, establishing his own school there known as the Lyceum. Aristotle conducted courses at the school for the next twelve years. While in Athens, his wife Pythias died and Aristotle became involved with Herpyllis of Stagira, who bore him a son whom he named after his father, Nicomachus. If the Suda – an uncritical compilation from the Middle Ages – is accurate, he may also have had an erômenosPalaephatus of Abydus.

This period in Athens, between 335 and 323 BC, is when Aristotle is believed to have composed many of his works. He wrote many dialogues, of which only fragments have survived. Those works that have survived are in treatise form and were not, for the most part, intended for widespread publication; they are generally thought to be lecture aids for his students. His most important treatises include PhysicsMetaphysicsNicomachean EthicsPoliticsOn the Soul and Poetics. Aristotle studied and made significant contributions to "logic, metaphysics, mathematics, physics, biology, botany, ethics, politics, agriculture, medicine, dance, and theatre."

Near the end of his life, Alexander and Aristotle became estranged over Alexander's relationship with Persia and Persians. A widespread tradition in antiquity suspected Aristotle of playing a role in Alexander's death, but the only evidence of this is an unlikely claim made some six years after the death. Following Alexander's death, anti-Macedonian sentiment in Athens was rekindled.

In 322 BC, Demophilus and Eurymedon the Hierophant reportedly denounced Aristotle for impiety, prompting him to flee to his mother's family estate in Chalcis, on Euboea, at which occasion he was said to have stated: "I will not allow the Athenians to sin twice against philosophy" – a reference to Athens's trial and execution of Socrates. He died on Euboea of natural causes later that same year, having named his student Antipater as his chief executor and leaving a will in which he asked to be buried next to his wife. (Information from Wikipedia-sorry for underlining-working on it)

There are many excellent videos on the life of Aristotle, you may view some here.

SPHERE OF ACTION OR FEELING

EXCESS

MEAN

DEFICIENCY

Fear and Confidence

Rashness

Courage

Cowardice

Pleasure and Pain

Degenerate/Self-indulgence

Temperance

Insensibility

Getting and Spending(minor)

Extravagant/Lavish

Generosity

Illiberality/Meanness

Getting and Spending(major)

Vulgarity/Tastelessness

Magnificence

Pettiness/Stinginess

Honor and Dishonor(major)

Vanity

Magnanimity/Generosity

Timid/Cowardly

Honor and Dishonor(minor)

Ambition/Empty Vanity

Proper ambition/pride

Laziness/undue humility

Anger

Irritable/Angry

Patience/Good temper

Lack of spirit

Self-expression

Boastfulness

Truthfulness

Understatement/mock modesty

Conversation

Buffoonery

Wittiness

Boorishness

Social Conduct

Servile

Friendliness

Irritable

Shame

Shyness

Modesty

Shamelessness

Indignation

Envy

Righteous Indignation

Malicious enjoyment/Spitefulness

 

Aristotle Quotes

“The beauty of the soul shines out when a man bears with composure one heavy mischance after another, not because he does not feel them, but because he is a man of high and heroic temper.”

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

“What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.”

“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”

“Hope is a waking dream.”

“No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.”

“Happiness depends upon ourselves.”

“Anybody can become angry — that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not within everybody's power and is not easy.”

“Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives - choice, not chance, determines your destiny.”

“Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.”

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”

“A friend to all is a friend to none.”

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”

“Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.”

“To perceive is to suffer.”

“Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.”

“He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.”

“The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living differ from the dead.”

“Whosoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast or a god.”

“I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies, for the hardest victory is over self.”

“Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.”

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”

“It is not enough to win a war; it is more important to organize the peace.”

“The antidote for fifty enemies is one friend.”

“The high-minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think.”

“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.”

“To write well, express yourself like the common people, but think like a wise man.”

“One swallow does not make a summer, neither does one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.”

“Learning is not child's play; we cannot learn without pain.”

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

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