Aristotle: The Most Influential Greek Thinker
Aristotle was one of the most influential thinkers in western culture, and a Greek philosopher, teacher, and scientist. He was probably the most scholarly and learned of the ancient Greek Philosophers. Aristotle mastered the entire development of Greek though before him and employed this knowledge in his writings. He criticized, summarized, and furthered the development of the Greek philosophies. Aristotle, along with his teacher Plato, are the two most important Greek Philosophers.
Aristotle was born in Satagira, a small town in Greece. Aristotle’s father worked as a personal physician for the grandfather of Alexander The Great. Both of Aristotle’s parents died when he was a boy, he was then raised by a guardian. When Aristotle was about eighteen years old, he entered Plato’s school in Athens known as the Academy. He trained there for twenty years. Plato dubbed Aristotle as the brightest student in the Academy and called him the “reader”. When Plato died in 347 B.C., Aristotle left the Academy to join a group of Plato’s followers. While there, Aristotle married a young woman named Pithias.
Around 342 B.C., PhilipII, invited Aristotle to supervise the education of his young son Alexander. Alexander later conquered all of Greece, ran one of the most powerful empires, and became known as Alexander The Great. Aristotle was Alexander’s sole teacher until the youth succeeded his father’s throne in 336 B.C. In 334 B.C., Aristotle founded his own school in Athens called the Lyceum.
In 323 B.C., Aristotle was accused of lack of reverence towards the gods by the Athenians. To avoid the death sentence, he fled to the city of Chalcis where he died a year later.
After his death, Aristotle’s philosophy was continued to be taught at the Lycuem by his successors. Aristotle’s philosophy spread to Rome in 155 B.C. giving Romans their first contact with Greek philosophy. Aristotle’s philosophy was then lost until its rebirth in the 1100’s, where it was introduced to the Christian culture of western Europe.
Aristotle philosophy was basically the opposite of his teacher Plato’s. Aristotle believed that the artist is a creator, that the artist improves on an original design. Aristotle also believes that Imitation is necessary. Aristotle used Homeopathic Psychology which is to expose the good to the bad to purge the bad. Aristotle did not abandon his mentor’s ideas he only improved on them.
Aristotle’s philosophy influenced a countless number of people since its birth. He was responsible for the tutelage of Alexander The Great, he Influenced much of Europe in its early stages, and he even affected the beginnings of the modern Christian culture. Aristotle was definitely one of the most influential Greek Philosophers of all time.
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