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Author Biography.

Aristotle (384 - 322 b.c.)

Greek philosopher, scientist, physician. One of the greatest figures in the history of Western thought, Aristotle was born in Stagira, Macedonia. In 367 BC, he went to Athens, where he was associated with Plato's Academy until Plato's death in 347 BC. He then spent time in Asia Minor and in Mytilene (on Lesbos). In 342 BC he was invited by Philip of Macedon to educate his son, Alexander (later, the Great). He returned to Athens (335 BC) and opened a school (the Lyceum); his followers were called Peripatetics, supposedly from his practice of walking up and down restlessly during his lectures. After Alexander's death (323 BC), there was strong anti-Macedonian sentiment in Athens; Aristotle was accused of impiety and, perhaps with Socrates' fate in mind, escaped to Chalcis in Euboea, where he died the next year.

Aristotle's writings represented an enormous, encyclopedic output over virtually every field of knowledge: logic, metaphysics, ethics, politics, rhetoric, poetry, biology, zoology, physics, and psychology. The bulk of the work that survives actually consists of unpublished material in the form of lecture notes or students' textbooks; but even this incomplete corpus is extraordinary for its range, originality, systematization, and sophistication.

His work exerted an enormous influence on mediaeval philosophy (especially through St Thomas Aquinas), Islamic philosophy (especially through Averro‘s), and indeed, on the entire Western intellectual and scientific tradition. The works most read today include Metaphysics, Nicomachean Ethics, Politics, Poetics, De anima and the Organon (treatises on logic).

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