Aristotleby EthanN548
Early Life:
  • Aristotle was born in Stagira, Thrace, Greece in 384 BCE, over 2,300 years ago.
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  • His father was a doctor for the king of Macedonia.
  • He came from a long line of doctors including Hippocrates. Doctors today still take the Hippocratic Oath.
  • Aristotle may have learned his interest in nature, biology, and anatomy from watching his father treat patients and make medicines from
  • plants.
  • His parents died when he was young. Instead of becoming a physician like his father, he traveled to Athens when he was 17 years old.
  • In 367 BCE, Aristotle became a student at Plato’s Academy. Plato tutored him in logic and philosophy. Ancient Greeks, like Plato and Aristotle, thought of science as less of a precise step-by-step study of the world and more as a study of philosophy.
  • Aristotle later became a teacher at the Academy. He stayed at the school for twenty years until his professor, Plato, died.
  • Aristotle was a tutor in logic, mathematics, astronomy, biology, and navigation to Alexander the Great, who was the grandson to the king of Macedonia, for whom his father was a doctor. Aristotle played with Phillip, Alexander the Great’s dad, as a boy.
  • Aristotle founded and taught at a school in Athens called the Lyceum, which he called the Peripatetic School. (Peripatetic means “to walk about.”)
Affect in Science
  • Considered by some to be the grandfather of science
  • Aristotle picture WEN.jpgAristotle worked in physics, cosmology, natural history, zoology, anatomy, and physiology.
  • He is considered by some to be the first naturalist. A naturalist is a type of scientist that studies nature.
  • Aristotle was one of the first scientists to perform dissections. He cut open many fish and sea creatures to look at their organs and to try to understand how the parts worked.
  • Aristotle believed in hands-on interaction with nature was very unusual in his day. He began to create and test hypotheses, which is the foundation of science today.
  • He classified about 500 animals into eight categories.
  • He was especially descriptive in his studies of fish.
  • When Aristotle was trying to classify animals, he realized that animals could not be classified in the same way that numbers could. He solved this problem through a classification chart of similarities and differences in animals.
  • Aristotle created two basic groups for his classification system. One was animals with “red blood.” (Today we call these animals “vertebrates.”) The other was animals with “no blood.” (Now we classify these creatures as “invertebrates.”)
  • Aristotle, like Socrates, believed the universe was a bunch of spheres, which included the oon, the sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, rotating around the stationary and spherical earth.
  • Because of his theory of the universe, he believed that the universe could not be infinite because an outermost sphere could not rotate around the earth in a finite amount of time.
  • Aristotle described the small tube that mammals have that connect the ear to the throat that is today called the Eustachian tube. No other scientist studied this tube again until 1550 CE.
  • Aristotle studied embryology of chicks in eggs and babies in mammals. His observations and understandings were not advanced again until around 1600 CE
  • He realized that there was one leader in a beehive, but he called it a “king” instead of a “queen.”
  • He was very different than many other scientists of his age because he liked to observe and touch things, not just think about them.
  • Although some of his inferences from his observations were later proven to be inaccurate, his thought process was advanced for his time and he made intuitive hypotheses based upon the information that was available.
Later Life:
  • In 323 BCE, Alexander the Great died, and Aristotle lost a very powerful ally.
  • The Athenians attempted to kill him like they did to Socrates.
  • He ran away to a place called Chalcis on the Aegean island of Euboea.
  • He stayed there until he died a year later in 322 b, of chronic indigestion.

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Mariam Thalos, "Philosophy of science," in AccessScience, ©McGraw-Hill Education, 2012,

Parker, Steve Aristotle and Scientific thought London: Belitha Press Limited, 1994 Print

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