5 Questions

What is the capital of France?

Who painted the Mona Lisa?

What is the largest planet in our solar system?

What is the smallest country in the world?

What is the largest ocean in the world?


Life and Works of Aristotle

  • Aristotle was an Ancient Greek philosopher and polymath who wrote on a broad range of subjects including physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, aesthetics, poetry, drama, music, rhetoric, psychology, linguistics, economics, politics, meteorology, geology, and government.

  • He founded the Peripatetic school of philosophy in the Lyceum in Athens and began the Aristotelian tradition that followed, which set the groundwork for the development of modern science.

  • Little is known about Aristotle's life, but he was born in the city of Stagira in northern Greece during the Classical period and was brought up by a guardian after his father's death. He joined Plato's Academy in Athens at the age of seventeen or eighteen and remained there until the age of thirty-seven.

  • Aristotle tutored Alexander the Great at the request of Philip II of Macedon and established a library in the Lyceum which helped him to produce many of his hundreds of books on papyrus scrolls.

  • Though Aristotle wrote many treatises and dialogues, only around a third of his original output has survived, none of it intended for publication.

  • Aristotle provided a complex synthesis of the various philosophies existing prior to him, and his philosophy has exerted a unique influence on almost every form of knowledge in the West, making him one of the most important figures in Western philosophy.

  • Aristotle's views profoundly shaped medieval scholarship, and his influence on logic continued well into the 19th century.

  • Aristotle's most important works include Physics, Metaphysics, Nicomachean Ethics, Politics, On the Soul and Poetics.

  • He is credited with the earliest study of formal logic, and his conception of it was the dominant form of Western logic until 19th-century advances in mathematical logic.

  • Aristotle's ontology places the universal in particulars, things in the world, whereas for Plato the universal is a separately existing form which actual things imitate.

  • Aristotle introduced the concept of potentiality and actuality in association with the matter and the form, with actuality being the fulfilment of the end of the potentiality.

  • Aristotle's philosophy has influenced Judeo-Islamic philosophies during the Middle Ages, as well as Christian theology, especially the Neoplatonism of the Early Church and the scholastic tradition of the Catholic Church.

  • Aristotle died in Chalcis, Euboea of natural causes in 322 BC, having named his student Antipater as his chief executor and leaving a will in which he asked to be buried next to his wife.Aristotle: A Summary of his Contributions to Philosophy and Science

  • Aristotle's epistemology is based on the study of things that exist or happen in the world, whereas Plato's epistemology begins with knowledge of universal Forms and descends to knowledge of particular imitations of these.

  • Aristotle's "natural philosophy" spans a wide range of natural phenomena including physics, biology, and other natural sciences, and his use of the term "science" carries a different meaning than that covered by the term "scientific method".

  • Aristotle describes two kinds of motion: "violent" or "unnatural motion", such as that of a thrown stone, and "natural motion", such as of a falling object.

  • Aristotle suggested that the reason for anything coming about can be attributed to four different types of simultaneously active factors, which he called "causes".

  • Aristotle describes experiments in optics using a camera obscura in Problems, book 15.

  • According to Aristotle, spontaneity and chance are causes of some things, distinguishable from other types of cause such as simple necessity.

  • Aristotle refuted Democritus's claim that the Milky Way was made up of "those stars which are shaded by the earth from the sun's rays."

  • Aristotle was one of the first people to record any geological observations and made many observations about the hydrologic cycle and meteorology.

  • Aristotle was the first person to study biology systematically, and biology forms a large part of his writings.

  • Aristotle distinguished about 500 species of animals, arranging these in a graded scale of perfection, a nonreligious version of the scala naturae, with man at the top.

  • Aristotle's psychology posits three kinds of soul: the vegetative soul, the sensitive soul, and the rational soul, with humans having a rational soul.

  • Aristotle's division of sensation and thought generally differed from the concepts of previous philosophers, with the exception of Alcmaeon.Aristotle's Views on Memory, Dreams, Practical Philosophy, and Women


  • Aristotle believed memory is the ability to hold a perceived experience in the mind and to distinguish between the internal "appearance" and an occurrence in the past.
  • Memories are mental pictures that can be recovered through the impressions left on a semi-fluid bodily organ.
  • Retrieval of impressions cannot be performed suddenly, and a transitional channel is needed and located in past experiences.
  • Recollection occurs when one retrieved experience naturally follows another, and it is the self-directed activity of retrieving the information stored in a memory impression.
  • Only humans can remember impressions of intellectual activity, such as numbers and words.


  • Aristotle explains that dreams result from lasting impressions made throughout the day, noticed as there are no new distracting sensory experiences during sleep.
  • Dreams do not resemble the actual waking experience, and a person sleeping is in a suggestible state and unable to make judgments.
  • Aristotle claimed that dreams are not foretelling and not sent by a divine being and that instances in which dreams do resemble future events are simply coincidences.

Practical Philosophy:

  • Aristotle considered ethics to be a practical rather than theoretical study, aimed at becoming good and doing good rather than knowing for its own sake.
  • He wrote several treatises on ethics, most notably including the Nicomachean Ethics, which teaches that virtue has to do with the proper function of a thing.
  • Aristotle considered the city to be a natural community, and he is considered one of the first to conceive of the city in an organic manner.
  • Aristotle made substantial contributions to economic thought, especially to thought in the Middle Ages.
  • In Politics, Aristotle offers one of the earliest accounts of the origin of money.

Views on Women:

  • Aristotle's analysis of procreation describes an active, ensouling masculine element bringing life to an inert, passive female element.

  • He believed that women are inferior to men in terms of rationality and virtue, and he believed that women should be subordinate to men in society and in the family.

  • Aristotle believed that women's role in society was to bear children and care for the household.Aristotle: Contributions, Influence, and Legacy

  • Aristotle was one of the most influential people in history, contributing to almost every field of human knowledge then in existence and founding many new fields.

  • He was the founder of formal logic, pioneered the study of zoology, and left every future scientist and philosopher in his debt through his contributions to the scientific method.

  • Aristotle's influence over Alexander the Great is seen in the latter's bringing with him on his expedition a host of zoologists, botanists, and researchers.

  • After Theophrastus, the Lyceum failed to produce any original work, and it is not until the age of Alexandria under the Ptolemies that advances in biology can be again found.

  • Aristotle was one of the most revered Western thinkers in early Islamic theology, and his works were translated into Arabic and studied by Muslim philosophers, scientists, and scholars.

  • In the Early Modern period, scientists such as William Harvey and Galileo Galilei reacted against Aristotle's theories, establishing new theories based to some degree on observation and experiment.

  • During the 20th century, Aristotle's work was widely criticized, but by the start of the 21st century, he was taken more seriously.

  • Aristotle's surviving works are collected in the Corpus Aristotelicum, which is divided into the "exoteric" and "esoteric" groups.

  • The lost works of Aristotle appear to have been originally written with a view to subsequent publication, whereas the surviving works mostly resemble lecture notes not intended for publication.

  • Aristotle's literary style was described as "a river of gold" by Cicero, but this must have applied to the published works, not the surviving notes.

  • Aristotle's legacy is seen in the continued interest in his thinking by biologists, as well as in modern philosophy, literature, and film.

  • Aristotle has been called the father of logic, biology, political science, zoology, embryology, natural law, scientific method, rhetoric, psychology, realism, criticism, individualism, teleology, and meteorology.

  • Despite accusations of misogyny and sexism, Aristotle gave equal weight to women's happiness as he did to men's, and commented that the things that lead to happiness need to be in women as well as men.


Test your knowledge on the life and works of Aristotle with this informative quiz. Explore the diverse subjects that Aristotle wrote about, including philosophy, science, ethics, politics, and more. Discover his contributions to formal logic, biology, and the scientific method, and learn about his influence on Western philosophy and science. Test your understanding of Aristotle's views on memory, dreams, practical philosophy, and women, and explore his legacy as one of the most influential figures in history. Challenge yourself to become an expert on

Ready to take the quiz?

Play Quiz