One of the greatest thinkers of all time, Greek philosopher and scientist Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), pupil of Plato, became the tutor to the gifted Alexander the Great. Aristotle was the son of a court physician and born in the city of Stagira in northern Greece.
What is being?" he asked and sought to explore the world he lived in. "All men by nature desire to know."
Many of Aristotle's teachings are used today. In exploring the facts and laws of the physical world, the great philosopher mapped out metaphysics, logic, economics, ethics, and more. His writings were preserved by his student and successor, Theophrastus.
"In the arena of human life the honors and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action," said Aristotle who taught the four timeless virtues: Truth, Beauty, Goodness, and Unity.
Aristotle celebrated art as the imitation of the possible and the actual. He called Sophocles' tragedies the highest form of poetry. "The aim of art," he said, "is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance; for this, not the external mannerism and detail, is true reality."
Disagreeing with Plato and Socrates, Aristotle said knowledge was not preexistant or innate, but grows from experiences stored memory.
Perhaps Aristotle's most important contribution was the idea of deductive logic which relied on the empirical, direct observation of nature with theory following facts. "In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous," he said.
More ARISTOTLE Quotations
Those who understand, teach.