A pioneering philosopher and one of the most pivotal in a line of great men who informed our understanding of the world, here are 5 facts about Aristotle.
1. Alexander the Great was his student
Out of his pupils, perhaps the most famous is Alexander of Macedon, better known as Alexander the Great. Between the ages of 13 and 16, Aristotle schooled the future warlord in medicine, philosophy, morals, religion, logic and art, as well as instilling in him a passion for literature, most notably the works of Homer
2. His studies inspired chaos theory
Of all the various scientific and theoretic concepts that he devised, perhaps one of the more influential on future academia was the idea of causality: the relationship between cause and effect. Years later, this idea would mushroom into the study of dynamic behaviour that we know as chaos theory.
3. He was a master of many trades
It’s fair to say that Aristotle’s studies covered a wide breadth of subject matter. His knowledge encompassed – but was not limited to – physics, medicine, psychology, biology, geology, metaphysics, poetry, politics and government. Notably, he is also recognised as one of the founding fathers of western philosophy. This guy was busy.
4. The chicken and egg conundrum stumped him
Like many after him, he pondered the question of whether the chicken or egg came first without success, saying: “…there could not have been a first egg to give beginning to birds, or there should have been a first bird which gave a beginning to eggs; for a bird comes from an egg.”
5. His life ended in exile
After Alexander’s death, the rekindled anti-Macedonian sentiment in Athens saw Aristotle’s safety threatened. Mindful of Socrates’s execution in similar circumstances, he fled to his mother’s family’s estate in Chalcis. He died in the same year, and was buried next to his wife.