The Philosopher, Aristotle Essay

1082 words - 4 pages

The ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle was an amazing individual who possessed amultitude of talents ranging from mastery of rhetoric to interest in physiology. Aristotle livedduring the fourth century B.C. in ancient Greece. The culture of the Greeks during this timediffers greatly from our present day life and times. Aristotle came into contact with many greatmen of history, from Plato his instructor and mentor to Alexander the Great, conquerer and rulerof the east. The works of Aristotle have left many after him to contemplate his theories andattitudes toward life and his Realism movement.The time in which Aristotle lived was one where to be heard one had to possess a loudvoice and master the art of persuasion, or rhetoric. This was the case throughout Greece,specifically in Athens, where Aristotle spent the major part of his life. The law in Athens camefrom a group of about five thousand men who were the land holders in the city. In this group anindividual must be heard in order to defend himself and others in need. This was accomplishedby those trained in rhetoric. Therefore those who taught this art stood to obtain a lot of wealthfrom their endeavors. These were known as sophists with whom much contempt was held bysuch philosophers as Socrates. 'The greatest school of Rhetoric in all Greece was at this periodheld in Athens by the renowned Isocrates, who was at the zenith of his reputation.'(Collins p.11) A competitor with this school was Plato's Academy of philosophy which is where Aristotlearrived at in the year 367 B.C.. Plato became Aristotle's teacher and soon realized the massivepotential and sheer intellect that Aristotle possessed.Aristotle was born in 384 B.C. in a town just outside the borders of the MacedonianEmpire, called Stageira. He was rumored to have been raised in the customs of the Asclepiad.'It was the custom in Asclepiad families for the boys to be trained by their father in the practiceof dissection just as regularly as boys in other families learn to read and write.'(Collins p. 3)When Aristotle turned seventeen his father, Nicomachus died and he was put under the care ofProxenus of Atarneus, who sent him to Athens to further his education under the tutorship of thegreat philosopher, Plato.It was at Plato's Academy that Aristotle was realized for his potential and was able togrow in knowledge and understanding of philosophy. It was not long before Aristotle becameknown as 'the Mind of the School' and he stayed there for about twenty years. During this timeAristotle became well known and respected as a writer and orator. His philosophy howevergrew to differ greatly from that of his mentor's, as well as against those of the previouslymentioned, Isocrates. In fact his orations 'during his earlier residence at Athens show himsomewhat petulantly attacking both Plato and Isocrates.'(Collins p. His arguments against histeacher's philosophies were centered on the Platonic theory of Forms. Aristotle started theRealism movement...

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