|Specialty||Biology, Physics, Metaphysics, Zoology, Music, Rhetoric, Theatre, Poetry, Government, Politics, Ethics|
|Died||322 BC (at age 62)
Many are familiar with the great works of Aristotle that relate to philosophy, but not everyone is familiar with his works outside of that realm. This might seem surprising to some, but Aristotle was involved in many scientific disciplines. Most notably, he was highly skilled in physics. There are other areas of science he had invested a great deal of his life in. Such areas include biology, zoology, and metaphysics. We know this based on all the writings he compiled during his life.
Aristotle was born in Stagira, Chalcidice around 384 B.C. His father was a physician for the Macedonian monarchy. Sadly, we do not know too much about the early life of Aristotle. Records were either not kept or they have been lost. It is safe to say his exposure to royalty and the fact his father was a physician means he probably had a good education as a child.
At the age of 18, he would go on to study at Plato’s Academy. He would remain at the academy for roughly 20 years. Afterward, he left the academy and would travel to Athens. He would further his education through traveling to different regions that offered options for learning about particular areas of knowledge and discipline.
For example, he would travel to the Isle of Lesbos to study botany and zoology for a time. A lifetime of serious learning eventually was very helpful to Aristotle as it contributed greatly to the overall wealth of knowledge he required for success as a philosopher and physicist.
Creating His Own School
Aristotle was able to craft his own identity in the academic world. In 335 B.C., he was able to found his own school located in Athens. The school would be known as the Lyceum. He would teach at this school for roughly 12 years. During this time, Aristotle would also write a great deal of his body of work. Legendary material such as Poetics, Nicomachean Ethics, Physics and Metaphysics would be written during this time period.
Sadly, of the scores of dialogues he wrote, only fragments remain to this day. So, we are not left with a complete picture of his great works.
What we do know of Aristotle’s views and theories on physics is that he truly was a profound thinker who grasped the higher levels of this area of science in a manner much different than his contemporaries. Physicists in the medieval times based a great deal of their scholarly pursuits around what he had discovered. Even later into the Renaissance period, Aristotle’s work had huge influences, although Newton eventually superseded him.
Concepts of the Metaphysical Sciences
Metaphysics attempts to answer questions about who we are and why we are here. In the works of Aristotle, theories and discussions about metaphysics are still highly influential to thinkers to this very day.
One of the more interesting notes about Aristotle’s work on zoology is that it was not verified by science until the 19th century. There can be a bittersweet conclusion drawn here that, although his material was ignored for such a long time, it was still highly valuable and relevant.
Medicine and Psychology
Aristotle also performed quite a bit of study in areas of biology and medicine. While some of his theories are interesting, they have not stood the test of time. As a result, much of his work surrounding biology and medicine is considered lesser in nature than his other material.
Aristotle also wrote extensively on the discipline of psychology. The work On the Soul remains a brilliant piece that is clearly still applicable to the study of mental sciences to this day. Within this work, there was a lot of emphasis placed on the role logic plays in the way people think.
Aristotle died around 322 B.C. He passed away in Euboea due to natural causes. One of his greatest students was Alexander the Great and, sadly, their relationship was very strained and never mended.