Early Mathematicians X: Aristotle


  • 384-322 BC
  • Systematized deductive logic
  • His father was a medical doctor.
  • When Aristotle was a young boy his father served as the personal physician to the royal court of King Amyntas III, of Macedonia.
  • Aristotle probably was friends with young Phillip, Amyntas’s son since they were the same age.
  • At 17 he became a student at Plato’s Academy in Athens.
  • When Aristotle arrived, Plato was in Sicily and Eudoxus was running the school.
  • Aristotle eventually became a teacher at the Academy and taught there for 20 years.
  • It was during Phillip’s reign as “king” of Macedonia that politics started to shape Aristotle’s life.
  • Around the time of Plato’s death, Athens was politically opposed to the rise of the Macedonian Empire.
  • When Plato died in 347 BC, Aristotle was not named headmaster of the school and left shortly after.
  • It is rumored that Aristotle was the personal tutor of Phillip’s son Alexander.
  • When Alexander replaced his father as leader of the Macedonians, he sought a peaceful relationship with Athens.
  • He encouraged the Academy to continue their work with his “full support”, but he sent Aristotle to set up a rival school in Athens in an effort to undermine the politcal influence of Plato’s successors at the Academy of Athens.
  • Aristotle’s Lyceum in Athen taught a wider range of subjects than the former institution.
  • Upon Alexander’s death, Aristotle was forced to retire and leave Athens for good.

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