Aristotle


Aristotle

Easton Press Aristotle books

Aristotle Biography - Library of Great Lives
Politics and Poetics - 100 Greatest Books Ever Written - 1979


Franklin Library Aristotle books

Politics - 100 Greatest Books of All Time - 1977
Work of Aristotle - Great Books of the Western World - 4 books 1978, 1979, 1982, 1984


Aristotle biography

Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), was a Greek philosopher, born in Stagira, a Greek colony on the peninsula of Chalcidice, and educated under the Greek philosopher Plato. His father, Nicomachus, was physician to Amyntas 11, King of Macedonia, father of Philip, and grandfather of Alexander the Great. In Aristotle's seventeenth year he was sent to the school of Plato in Athens, where he remained for twenty years. However, as time passed, philosophical differences between teacher and pupil emerged. While Aristotle respected Plato, he diverged from his mentor's philosophical ideals, particularly in his rejection of the Theory of Forms. On the death of Plato, Aristotle withdrew to Mysia and spent three years with Hermeias the "tyrant" of Atarneus, whose sister, Pythias, he afterward married. In 343-42 B.C. he was invited by Philip to Pelia, the capital of Macedonia, to take charge of the education of his young son Alexander (later called "the Great". When Alexander set out upon his Asiatic conquest, in 334 B.C., Aristotle, then in his fifteenth year, returned to Athens and opened in the Lyceum a school of philosophy. 

Unlike Plato's Academy, the Lyceum had a more pragmatic and empirical approach to philosophy. Aristotle delved into a wide array of disciplines, contributing significantly to metaphysics, ethics, politics, biology, and many other fields. His method involved careful observation of the natural world and the classification of knowledge, earning him the title "The Philosopher." 

Aristotle's works are extensive, covering diverse subjects. His Nicomachean Ethics explores virtue and the nature of a good life, while Politics examines governance and political theory. In Metaphysics, he contemplates the fundamental nature of reality, and in Poetics, he analyzes drama and lays the foundation for literary theory.

Aristotle's discussion of government in the Politics is so idea packed that it's been argued over ever since being written. It's an empiric description of human nature under various historical circumstances, filled with information on what had happened to former states & what was happening in his own time, coupled with an analysis of the structure of society.
While it's believed Aristotle's Poetics comprised two books on comedy & tragedy only that on tragedy has survived. He taught that tragedy is composed of six elements: plot-structure, character, style, spectacle & lyric poetry. The characters are merely a means of driving the story; & the plot, not characters, is the chief focus of tragedy. Tragedy is the imitation of action arousing pity & fear, & is meant to effect the catharsis of those emotions. He concludes Poetics with a discussion on which is superior: epic or tragic mimesis. He suggests that because tragedy possesses all the attributes of an epic, possibly possesses additional attributes such as spectacle & music, is more unified, & achieves the aim of its mimesis in shorter scope, it's superior.

Aristotle's impact extended far beyond his lifetime. His works became foundational texts for medieval and Renaissance thought, and his philosophy significantly influenced Christian, Islamic, and Jewish scholars. While some of his scientific ideas, such as his geocentric view of the universe, have been superseded, Aristotle's contributions to logic and the scientific method remain pivotal. In the disturbed time following Alexander's death in 323 B.C., a charge of impiety was brought against Aristotle, and he fled to Chalcis, where he died. Aristotle left behind a vast and enduring legacy. His intellectual achievements have profoundly shaped Western philosophy and continue to inspire scholars, scientists, and thinkers across disciplines. Aristotle's emphasis on reason, empirical observation, and systematic inquiry laid the groundwork for the scientific and philosophical traditions that followed.


Aristotle quotes

"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom."

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."

"The more you know, the more you realize you don't know."

"Happiness depends upon ourselves."

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

"The whole is more than the sum of its parts."

"Education is the best provision for old age."

"Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work."

"The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance."

"Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god."



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