Aristotle (384 BC -322 BC) was a Greek philosopher, logician, and scientist. Along with his teacher Plato (author of The Republic), Aristotle is generally regarded as one of the most influential ancient thinkers in a number of philosophical fields, including political theory. Aristotle’s’ writing reflects his time, background, and beliefs.
Aristotle was born in Stagira, Macedonia. His father, Nichomacus, was the personal physician to the King of Macedonia, Amyntas. At the age of seventeen, Aristotle left for Athens to study at Plato’s Academy. He studied at Plato’s Academy for about twenty years, up until Plato’s death. Soon thereafter, Aristotle went to a city in Asia Minor, called Assos, where his friend, Hermias was ruler (Encyclopaedia Britannica). It was in Assos where Aristotle met Pythias, who is described as either a niece or daughter of Hermias. Aristotle married Pythias after the murder of Hermias by the Persians. Aristotle then went to Pella, the capitol of Macedonia, where he became the tutor for the king’s son, Alexander, who later became Alexander the Great.
When Alexander became King, Aristotle went to Athens where he began to lecture at the Lyceum. Aristotle lectured while walking about in one of the Lyceum’s covered walkways, which earned him the nickname “Peripatetic”, which means walking about. Aristotle lectured and directed the Lyceum for twelve years, producing many the lecture notes, which now form his work. Only a small amount of Aristotle’s work has survived. Some of Aristotle’s writings which did survive are: “Metaphysics” which were his writings on the Nature, Scope, and Properties of Being; and “Physics” his writings on Astronomy, Meteorology, Plants, and Animals. These writings have changed the way the modern world thinks and lives. Aristotle’s works encompassed all the major areas of thought, which are Logic, Science, Metaphysics, Ethics, and Politics. He developed a new, non-Platonic theory of form, created a system of deductive reasoning for universal and existential statements, produced a theory of the Cosmos, matter, life, and mind, and theorized about the relationship between ethics and politics and the nature of good life (The World Book Encyclopedia).
His system rivaled Plato’s for the next 2000 years. Aristotle was a firm believer that philosophy came from wonder, and that knowledge came from experience. He had a wealth of knowledge, from his many varied experiences; if he was correct about philosophy coming from wonder, he would have had to wonder quite a bit. Aristotle was a genius and this is evident in his writings, because the ideas and concepts he proposed in his writing were hundreds of years ahead of his time. Aristotle learned from the best and taught the best, so his ideas and thoughts were always being challenged, which made him thrive for knowledge(Young Students Learning Library).
Aristotle is considered by many to be the best philosopher ever. His ideas reflect this title. Aristotle's system of philosophy was never as influential in ancient times as Plato's. Indeed, Aristotle's works may not have been published for some centuries after his death. After the fall of Rome, his work was largely lost to Europe, while Plato’s were saved. Aristotle’s works still played a vital role in our society’s evolution. Aristotle’s writings were so ahead of his time, they made people question his sanity. Although during his lifetime Aristotle was labeled insane, he is now labeled as the most influential philosopher of all time.