Probably the most well known Greek philosopher of all ages, Aristotle was born in Stagira in Macedonia which was in near the northern boundary of Greece. As soon as he attained adulthood at 18, he was admitted to Plato’s school and he studied and taught there for nineteen years.
Aristotle possessed knowledge both vast and varied. His books range across subjects from metaphysics to biology, physics to aesthetics, logic to poetry and music, politics and government to theatre and linguistics and more. He is credited with constituting the first proper system of philosophy in the West. When Plato died, he left the school and went to teach a young prince, the son of Philip of Macedon. This boy would later go on to be called Alexander the Great.
As his tutor, Aristotle was able to procure resources not available to him earlier and all the materials that he desired. He produced most of his books with the aid of the library at Lyceum which he himself had set up. While a student of Plato, he made his own contributions to the latter’s teachings but as he grew older, he became more and more interested in empiricism. According to Aristotle, all the knowledge people possessed came from the way they perceived things. The way he perceived the natural science became the fundamental knowledge on which he based much of his writing.
His works would go on to have a deep and abiding influence on learning in the Middle Ages. Aristotle’s shadow was so great that it even fell on the work of the Renaissance period. Other theories and concepts only took over in during the Enlightenment. His theories in the field of zoology, for example, his theory that the octopus had a tentacle meant for reproduction, were not disputed or fully believed until the 1800s. Moreover, his books also constitute the most ancient works on formal late.
Through his work in metaphysics, Aristotle also shaped Judeo-Islamic philosophy and theology in medieval times. His ideas are still used, especially by Catholic theologians, today.