Aristotle — страница 3

  • Просмотров 467
  • Скачиваний 9
  • Размер файла 23

in suggests that Philip saw in Aristotle a future head of the Academy in Athens. Certainly this would have suited Philip well for Speusippus, the then head of the Academy, was strongly opposed to Philip and strongly encouraging Athens to oppose the rise of Macedonia. The treaty between Athens and Macedonia began to fall apart in 340 BC and preparations for war began. The following year Speusippus died but Aristotle, although proposed as head of the Academy, was not elected. The position went to Xenocrates and Philip lost interest in his support for Aristotle. He moved back to his home in Stagirus and took with him to Stagirus his circle of philosophers and scientists. Aristotle did not marry again after the death of his wife but he did form a relationship with Herpyllis, who came

from his home town of Stagirus. It is not clear when they first met but together they had a son, Nicomachus, named after Aristotle's father. Philip was now at the height of his power but, as so often happens, that proved the time for internal disputes. Aristotle supported Alexander, Philip's son who soon became king. Alexander decided on a policy similar to his father in regard to Athens and sought to assert his power by peaceful means. Alexander protected the Academy and encouraged it to continue with its work. At the same time, however, he sent Aristotle to Athens to found a rival establishment. In 335 BC Aristotle founded his own school the Lyceum in Athens. He arrived in the city with assistants to staff the school and a large range of teaching materials he had gathered while

in Macedonia; books, maps, and other teaching material which may well have been intended at one stage to support Aristotle in his bid to become head of the Academy. The Academy had always been narrow in its interests but the Lyceum under Aristotle pursued a broader range of subjects. Prominence was given by Aristotle to the detailed study of nature and in this and all the other subjects he studied:- His own researches were carried out in company, and he communicated his thoughts to his friends and pupils, never thinking to retain them as a private treasure-store. He thought, indeed, that a man could not claim to know a subject unless he was capable of transmitting his knowledge to others, and he regarded teaching as the proper manifestation of knowledge. Whether the works that

come down to us are due to Aristotle or to later members of his school was questioned by a number of scholars towards the end of the 19th century. The reasons are discussed by Jaeger , but in this work Jaeger argues that the apparent differences in the approach by Aristotle in different works can be explained by his ideas developing over a number of years. Grayeff [6] examines certain texts in detail and again claims that they represent developments in the ideas of Aristotle's school long after his death. He writes:- According to a tradition which arose about two hundred and fifty years after his death, which then became dominant and even today is hardly disputed, Aristotle in these same years lecturer - not once, but two or three times, in almost every subject - on logic,

physics, astronomy, meteorology, zoology, metaphysics, theology, psychology, politics, economics, ethics, rhetoric, poetics; and that he wrote down these lectures, expanding them and amending them several times, until they reached the stage in which we read them. However, still more astounding is the fact that the majority of these subjects did not exist as such before him, so that he would have been the first to conceive of and establish them, as systematic disciplines. After the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC, anti-Macedonian feeling in Athens made Aristotle retire to Chalcis where he lived in the house which had once belonged to his mother and was still retained by the family. He died the following year from a stomach complaint at the age of 62. It is virtually

impossible to give an impression of Aristotle's personality with any certainty but the authors of write:- The anecdotes related of him reveal him as a kindly, affectionate character, and they show barely any trace of the self-importance that some scholars think they can detect in his works. His will, which has been preserved, exhibits the same kindly traits; he makes references to his happy family life and takes solicitous care of his children, as well as his servants. Barnes writes:- He was a bit of a dandy, wearing rings on his fingers and cutting his hair fashionably short. He suffered from poor digestion, and is said to have been spindle-shanked. He was a good speaker, lucid in his lectures, persuasive in conversation; and he had a mordant wit. His enemies, who were numerous,