- NAME: Aristotle
- OCCUPATION: Philosopher
- BIRTH DATE: c. 384 BCE
- DEATH DATE: c. 322 BCE
- EDUCATION: Plato's Academy, Lyceum
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Stagira, Chalcidice, Greece
- PLACE OF DEATH: Chalcis, Euboea, Greece
- Full Name: Aristotle
Best Known ForAncient Greek philosopher Aristotle, together with Socrates and Plato, laid much of the groundwork for western philosophy.
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In the same year that Aristotle opened the Lyceum, his wife Pythias died. Soon after, Aristotle embarked on a romance with a woman named Herpyllis, who hailed from his hometown of Stagira. According to some historians,
When Aristotle’s former student Alexander the Great died suddenly in 323 B.C., the pro-Macedonian government was overthrown, and in light of anti-Macedonia sentiment, Aristotle was charge with impiety. To avoid being prosecuted, he left Athens and fled to Chalcis on the island of Euboea, where he would remain until his death.
Aristotle’s research in the sciences included a study of geology. He attempted, with some error, to classify animals into genera based on their similar characteristics. He further classified animals into species based on those that had red blood and those that did not. The animals with red blood were mostly vertebrates, while the “bloodless” animals were labeled cephalopods. Despite the relative inaccuracy of his hypothesis, Aristotle’s classification was regarded as the standard system for hundreds of years.
Marine biology was also an area of fascination for Aristotle. Through dissection, he closely examined the anatomy of marine creatures. In contrast to his geological classifications, his observations of marine life, as expressed in his books, are considerably more accurate.
As evidenced in his treatise Meteorology, Aristotle also dabbled in the earth sciences. By meteorology, Aristotle didn’t simply mean the study of weather. His more expansive definition of meteorology included “all the affectations we may call common to air and water, and the kinds and parts of the earth and the affectations of its parts.” In Meteorology, Aristotle identified the water cycle and discussed topics ranging from natural disasters to astrological events. Although many of his views on the Earth were controversial at the time, they were readopted and popularized during the late Middle Ages.