Aristotle, Greek philosopher and scientist, is one of the most famous of
ancient philosophers. He was born in Stagira, Greece to a physician to
the royal court.
When he became eighteen, Aristotle entered Plato's School in Athens and
remained at this academy for twenty years, as a student and then as a
teacher. He was recognized as the Academy's brightest and was given the
title of "The Intelligence of the School". When Plato died in 347 BC,
Aristotle left Athens and joined a group of disciples of Plato, with his
friend Hermias. Hermias became ruler of a city called Assos, a city in
Asia Minor. Aristotle married Hermias' adopted daughter, Pythias. In
343 or 342 BC, Philip II, king of Macedonia, told Aristotle to supervise
the education of his son, Alexander (later known as "Alexander the
Great"). He taught him until 336 BC, when Alexander became the ruler of
Macedonia. Alexander the Great later became the ruler of all Greece, and
over threw the Persian Empire. In 334 BC, Aristotle returned to Athens
and started his own school, the Lyceum. Because he taught while walking
around, his students were called the Peripatetic students, meaning
"walking" or "strolling". When Alexander died in 323 BC, Aristotle was
charged with impiety (lack of reverence to the gods) by the Athenians.
The Athenians probably did this because they resented
Aristotle's friendship with Alexander, the man who conquered them.
Aristotle fled to Euboea. He died there the next year.
Aristotle believed that there was no way to make an accurate
resolution of human decisions since an individual had his or her own
choice. He did, however, say that all human beings want "happiness" and
that there are many ways in which this goal can be achieved.
He also believed that "full excellence" can only be reached by the
mature male adult of the upper class, not by women, or children, or
barbarians (non-Greeks), or manual workers.