(b Stagira, 384 BC; d Khalkis, 322 BC).
Ancient Greek philosopher. Born to a physician at the Macedonian court, Aristotle travelled to Athens in his 18th year to study philosophy at Plato’s Academy. He remained for nearly twenty years until Plato’s death in 348 BC; he was then forced to leave Athens: probably he had come under suspicion because of his Macedonian connections. He went first to Assos, then to Mytilene, doing the original biological research on which his later scientific writings are based. During this period, he spent some time as tutor to the young Alexander the Great (reg 336–323 BC); the relationship does not seem to have been a warm one. Returning to Athens in 335 BC, he set up his own philosophical school, later called the Lyceum. From the colonnaded path, or peripatos, attached to the building, his followers were later called ‘Peripatetics’. Here he taught, and wrote most of his surviving works. After Alexander’s death in 323 BC, anti-Macedonian feeling once again forced Aristotle to leave Athens; he died in exile of a stomach ailment about a year later.
Martha C. Nussbaum