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Aristotle Essay, Research Paper

How did Aristotle become a philosopher and what did he do? Aristotle was born in 384 BCE. at Stagirus, a Greek colony on the coast of Thrace. ??His father, Nichomachus, was a court physician to King Amytas of Macedonia, which provided Aristotle his long association with the Macedonian court, which later in his life proved to be a great influence.??When he was the age of 10, Aristotle’s father died. There he was taken under by Proxenus. Proxenus sent Aristotle at the age of 17 to Athens to complete his education. Athens, was the intellectual center of the world then. There he joins Plato??s Academy and began to be a prominent figure. He studied under Plato for over 20 years.

When Plato died 347 BCE. ??At the invitation of his friend Hermeas, ruler of Atarneus and Assos in Mysia, Aristotle left for his court. He stayed three year and, while there, married Pythias, the niece of the King. In later life he was married a second time to a woman named Herpyllis, who bore him a son, Nichomachus. At the end of three years Hermeas was overtaken by the Persians, and Aristotle went to Mytilene.?? At the invitation of Philip of Macedonia he became the tutor of his 13 year old son Alexander for the next five years. Philip and his son respected Aristotle and gave high honor to him, funding his teaching and his own studies. When Philip died, Alexander took his place. Seeing that his work was done here. He went back to Athens and set up his own school called the Lyceum. There he devoted 13 yrs teaching. When teaching at the Lyceum, Aristotle walked about as he discoursed. It was in connection with this that his followers became known in later years as the peripatetics, meaning “to walk about.”

Logic

The Categories of Aristotle are classifications of individual words and include the following ten: substance, quantity, quality, relation, place, time, situation, condition, action, and passion. They seem to be arranged according to the order of the questions we would ask in gaining knowledge of an object. For example, we ask, first, what a thing is, then how great it is, next of what kind it is. Substance is always regarded as the most important of these. Substances are further divided into first and second: first substances are individual objects; second substances are the species in which first substances or individuals inhere.

??Notions when isolated do not in themselves express either truth or falsehood: it is only with the combination of ideas in a proposition that truth and falsity are possible. The elements of such a proposition are the noun substantive and the verb. The combination of words gives rise to rational speech and thought, conveys a meaning both in its parts and as a whole. Such thought may take many forms, but logic considers only demonstrative forms which express truth and falsehood. The truth or falsity of propositions is determined by their agreement or disagreement with the facts they represent. Thus propositions are either affirmative or negative, each of which again may be either universal or particular or undesignated. A definition, for Aristotle is a statement of the essential character of a subject, and involves both the genus and the difference. To get at a true definition we must find out those qualities within the genus which taken separately are wider than the subject to be defined, but taken together are precisely equal to it. For example, “prime” “odd” and “number” are each wider than “triplet” (i.e., a collection of any three items, such as three rocks); but taken together they are just equal to it. The genus definition must be formed so that no species is left out. Having determined the genus and species, we must next find the points of similarity in the species separately and then consider the common characteristics of different species. Definitions may be imperfect by (1) being obscure, (2) by being too wide, or (3) by not stating the essential and fundamental attributes. Obscurity may arise from the use of equivocal expressions, of metaphorical phrases, or of eccentric words. The heart of Aristotle’s logic is the syllogism, the classic example of which is as follows: All men are mortal; Socrates is a man; therefore, Socrates is mortal. The syllogistic form of logical argumentation dominated logic for 2,000 years”

Aristotle also studied philosophy(Metaphysics), philosophy of nature, psychology, ethics, politics, and art. In conclusion Aristotle became a philosopher by attending Plato??s Academy and with help of other influences like tutoring Alexander.


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