Aristotle was a Greek philosopher who lived from 384-322 BC. He was the philosopher for a very long time, until other philosophers like Plato and Pythagoras got a slice of the pie.
Aristotle was the son of a physician which set him up to make many scientific observations about everything he did. His students gathered all kinds of scientific information, from Greek constitutions and the histories of science and philosophy to animals and plants.
Aristotle’s central difference with Plato, another famous Greek philosopher, was the Forms. Plato believed that (for example) every chair derived its chairness from one eternal source and that every chair answered to that source. Aristotle, on the other hand, claimed the opposite. Chairness answered to chair, not chair to chairness. I am more inclined to Plato’s way of thinking. An easy was to memorize this is to think Plato=eternal and Aristotle=physical.
Aristotle wrote a treatise on meteorology, which was very odd at times. He looked for natural causes.
Aristotle’s History of Animals categorizes and subdivides different animal species. Aristotle was fascinated by animals. He documented everything from locomotion and digestion to reproduction and hibernation. But the book also has many errors. (more…)