Aristotle was a Greek philosopher who was a student of Plato and a teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology. Together with Socrates and Plato, Aristotle is one of the three most important founders of Western philosophy.
Aristotle’s views on the physical sciences shaped medieval scholarship, and their influence expanded into the Renaissance. In zoology, some of his observations were confirmed to be accurate only in the 19th century1. His works also contain the earliest known formal study of logic.
In metaphysics, Aristotle had an influence on the philosophical thinking of the Islamic and Jewish cultures. His teachings continue to influence Christian theology, especially the tradition of the Catholic Church. Additionally, Aristotle was known among medieval Muslim intellectuals as “The First Teacher”1.
At the age of eighteen Aristotle moved to Athens to continue his education at Plato’s Academy. He remained at the Academy for twenty years before leaving Athens again. After he traveled with his friends, Aristotle was asked by King Philip the II of Macedon to become the tutor for his son Alexander. Aristotle was appointed the head of the royal academy at Macedon and taught not only Alexander the Great but also the future kings Ptolemy and Cassander. He taught all three future kings to trust the Greeks and hate the Persians and barbarians (those who do not speak the Greek language)1.
Eventually, when Alexander the Great died anti-Macedonian sentiment spread through Greece. Aristotle was denounced and fled Athens to Euboea where he died of natural causes.
1. Christopher Shields (2008). Aristotle. [ONLINE] Available at: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle/. [Last Accessed 8/2/14].