Aristotle, discoverer of science
He lisped and limped on one leg, which did not prevent him from being a dandy of his time: bright clothes, expensive rings, a short haircut according to the latest fashion of that time. The atypical appearance – and independence, unusual for the ancient philosopher: beloved student of Plato, he decided to openly criticize him.
According to legend, Aristotle said: “Plato is my friend, but the truth is more expensive.” Perhaps because of this dispute, it was not Aristotle, but another student, Speusippus, that Plato called the heir to his post the head of the Academy. The academy was called the area in Athens, where there was a gymnasium (a sports club for youth), in which Plato taught his students. Subsequently, the name passed to the school of Plato itself.
Aristotle faced the problem of misunderstanding of the student and teacher when he himself became a teacher. He, a preacher of the golden mean and common sense, was invited to the careers of the 14-year-old Alexander the Great, a young man who was to become the ruler of the world. It is difficult to say whether he managed to teach Alexander self-control and convey to him his political ideals. In any case, it is known that Aristotle instilled in him a love for Homer.
Aristotle was the first to classify knowledge according to the principle that encyclopedias still follow.
When Alexander became king, the philosopher returned to Athens and founded the face, a free educational institution, where he taught while walking, in conversation.
Likey remained a higher educational institution and a research institute for the next several centuries. And Aristotle went down in history as the pioneer of scientific knowledge of the world: European science drew from his works, as from a bottomless treasury, throughout Antiquity, the Middle Ages and modern times. He introduced terminology that has not lost its significance to this day, and the first classified knowledge according to the principle that encyclopedias have been following to this day.
Soul and body are one
Having wondered what kind of power drives all living things, Aristotle began to study the relationship of soul and body. Is the soul only an addition to nature? Or is the body an instrument of the soul: the soul is the captain, and the body is the ship?
After many years of research, Aristotle writes in the treatise “On the Soul” that there is no essential difference between the soul and body. Only together they make up the vital principle, although the body is limited in time and the soul is eternal. It is from this combination, unique to each person, that our individual differences flow, which complement the characteristics of the human race common to all people.
Strive for the golden mean
Aristotle thought a lot about what is good and what is bad in a person, from these thoughts his ethical doctrine was born – a prototype of modern psychology. He defines virtue as the possession of a middle ground between two kinds of perversity, one of which is from excess, the other from lack.
Aristotle was convinced that the world is dominated not by chance, but by expediency
So, courage is the middle between reckless courage and cowardice, generosity is between motivation and stinginess. The principle of the golden mean passes through all the works of Aristotle, it is also important in his political theory: the exemplary and most stable state (according to Aristotle, this is a mixture of oligarchy and democracy) should be based on a wealthy middle class. Not for the rich and not for the poor – because the rich are prone to depravity, and the poor are prone to injustice.
Man made for happiness
Aristotle was convinced that the world was dominated not by chance, but by expediency: every creature and every organ was created by nature for a purpose. He had no doubt that man was created for happiness and goodness – this is his true destiny. The practical realization of virtues should be a daily exercise.
A balance can be achieved if you evenly divide your time between social life and your personal joys. Living in harmony with oneself and respecting the rules of community with other people, a free person can rise to a contemplative (intellectual) life and gain true wisdom. Aristotle believes that this is the life of the gods, and therefore, having achieved wisdom, a person can become like gods.
Be happy together
Aristotle called man a social animal, because he is endowed with the ability to speak and loves to be among his own kind. Happiness can only be achieved in the company of other people. Social life gives a person the opportunity to enter into mutually beneficial and fair relations with others.
From the point of view of the philosopher, the science of the state is the doctrine of the realization of the common good. The state should ensure not only the lives of its citizens – that is, the satisfaction of their basic physical needs – but also their good lives, helping them to become happy.
Around 384 BC: Born in Stagira (Macedonia). Aristotle belonged to the family of hereditary doctors, his father Nicomachus was a court physician and friend of the Macedonian king Amynta.
367 BC: studying in Athens and becoming one of the most brilliant students of Plato at the Academy.
343 BC: Aristotle receives the position of educator of the future king Alexander of Macedon.
335-334 BC: Alexander enters the kingdom, and Aristotle returns to Athens and establishes the face (lyceum).
323-322 BC: Aristotle is being persecuted for his pro-Macedonian mood. Accused of espionage and blasphemy, he escapes from Athens to the island of Euboea, where he dies.