Aristotle (Greek: Ἀριστοτέλης, * 384 BC in Stagira / Macedonia, † 322 BC in Chalcis / Euboea) was a Greek philosopher, natural scientist and one of the most influential thinkers in Western intellectual history, who either founded or decisively influenced numerous disciplines himself. After his origin, Aristotle was also called The Stagirite and later simply The Philosopher.
Aristotle was born in Stageira in 384 BC, the son of Nicomachus. His father was personal physician at the court of King Amyntas II of Macedonia. In 367 BC, at the age of 17, Aristotle entered the Platonic Academy in Athens and studied there for 20 years.
Plato died in 347 BC. The Academy is headed by Speusippos, a nephew of Plato, rather than the obviously more gifted and talented Aristotle. This is due to the fact that Aristotle was a metic, had no citizenship rights in Athens and therefore could not take over the Academy. Aristotle followed the call of the tyrant Hermias of Atarneus in Asia Minor, who was also a student of Plato and at the same time a vassal of the Persian king. Aristotle married the niece of the city prince Pytias and founded a school in Atarneus (Diogenes Laertios, 5,3 f.). From 343 BC to 336 BC, Aristotle was commissioned by the Macedonian king Philip II to teach his son Alexander the Great.
In 335 BC Aristotle returned to Athens and founded his own school, the Lykeion (later also called Peripatos). This existed until about 40 BC and the philosophical direction of the Peripatetics emerged from it. In 323 BC Aristotle left Athens, because after Alexander's death the anti-Macedonian party gained the upper hand and Aristotle was accused of impiety. He flees to Chalkis, the birthplace of his mother, where he dies the following year (Diog. Laert. 5,6 ff).
Teaching and writings
„Plato's disciple Aristotle (born 384 B.C. in Stagira in Thrace, died 321 B.C.) designates, alongside his teacher, a high point of Greek thought. In him, the integration of thought into the worldview is already complete and has come to rest. Thought takes up its rightful possession to comprehend the beings and processes of the world by itself. Plato still uses his imagination to place thought in his dominion and lead it to the world of ideas. With Aristotle, this dominion has become self-evident. It is also important to consolidate it everywhere across the realms of knowledge. Aristotle understands how to use thought as a tool that penetrates the essence of things. For Plato, it is a matter of overcoming the thing or essence of the external world; and when it is overcome, the soul carries within itself the idea by which the external being was only overshadowed, but is alien to it, and hovers above it in a spiritual world of truth. Aristotle wants to immerse himself in beings and processes, and what the soul finds in this immersion is for him the essence of the thing itself. The soul feels as if it had only lifted this essence out of the thing and brought it into thought form for itself, so that it could carry it with it like a memento of the thing. Thus, for Aristotle, the ideas are in things and processes; they are one side of things, that which the soul can lift out of them by its means; the other side, which the soul cannot lift out of things, by which these have their life built upon themselves, is the substance, matter (hyle).“ (Lit.:GA 18, p. 73f)
- Rudolf Steiner: Die Rätsel der Philosophie in ihrer Geschichte als Umriß dargestellt, GA 18 (1985), ISBN 3-7274-0180-X; Tb 610/11, ISBN 978-3-7274-6105-7 English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
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