A is for Aristotle

I’ve shamelessly stolen this idea from ReadHeadFashionista; I’ve decided to do a quick overview of thinkers, philosophers and smartarses. None of these entries are going to be particularly long, just because I can’t read more than 500 words without my brain going into spasm. Anyway, here we go with Mr A.

All human beings, by nature, desire to know.


Aristotle was an ancient Greek philosopher, born 384 BC and died 322 BC. He was taught by Plato, and later became a teacher, his most prestigious student was Alexander the Great. Like a lot of Greek philosopher types, he dabbled in a bit of everything; Wikipedia lists his subjects of interests as: physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology.

His major intellectual contribution to the knowledge-o-sphere was the application of logic to science. According to him, a novel theory can be proposed on the basis of prior knowledge. He used his keen observational skills and applied his logic to natural philosophy – leading him to make logical predictions. Some of these were of course correct, not all of them though. He believed in geocentricity – the  long held theory that the Earth was the centre of the universe and he was a proponent of the 5 element theory of matter.

One of his most significant contributions to science was his work classifying animals. He applied his signature logic to his studies of animals; some of his work wasn’t superseded until the 19th century. For example, according to Wikipedia, through his work studying and dissecting animals, he divided them into vertebrates and invertebrates (he referred to them as animals with blood and animals without blood), had separated verterbrates into mammals and egg-laying animals, and had subdivided invertebrates  into insects, crustaceans and molluscs.


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