Sunday, 7 March 2010

On this day...

Arguably the greatest philosopher to have lived, Aristotle, is said to have died in 322 BC, at the age of 62. A student of Plato, who in turn was a pupil of Socrates, Aristotle is considered one of the most important figures in Western philosophy. His writings encompass areas of morality, theology, ethics, logic, politics, poetry - the list goes on. Aristotle's father was the personal physician to King Amyntas of Macedon, and as such, Aristotle was educated as a member of the aristocracy.

Having received training at Plato's academy, Aristotle travelled far and wide, to Asia Minor and the Greek islands, finally ending up in Macedon, where he became tutor to young Alexander the Great, and two other future kings, Ptolemy and Cassander. Returning to Athens, Aristotle established his own school, Lyceum, and here composed many of his most famous treatises, including 'De Anima'. He died amidst accusations of plotting against his former pupil Alexander. Aristotle himself divided his works into the 'exoteric' and 'esoteric', and the traditional 'Corpus Aristotelicum' which survived through to the Middle Ages consists of 45 treatises.

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