Aristotle was Plato's best student and perhaps the first and
greatest of all polymaths (someone learned in many fields).
was a philosopher, teacher (he tutored Alexander the Great), and
scientist who dominated the world of knowledge like no one before him
He is also credited with inventing logic and was the first to
divide human knowledge into separate categories enabling us to
understand the world in a systematic fashion.
steered away from Plato's realm of forms and was not inclined to
dismiss the world around us as unreal. Where Plato considered reality
knowable only through reflection and reason, Aristotle saw it in
physical objects, and knowable through science.
Aristotle is said to have transformed every field of knowledge that
he touched (except for mathematics where Plato and platonic thought
were supreme). He studied, wrote about, and became an expert in every
field of science including anatomy, physiology, physics, geology,
geography, and astronomy.
Often regarded as the father of psychology, Aristotle is also
believed to have contributed more to psychology than any other person.
His book De Anima (On the Soul) which deals with the connection
between psychological and physiological processes is considered to be
the first book on psychology.
Aristotle's influence did not stop there. Whether in science or
government he was a visionary who understood how everything worked.
Regarding the concept of democratic government he said: "Man
is by nature a political animal. The basis of a democratic state is
liberty. If liberty and equality are chiefly found in democracy, they
will be best attained when all persons alike share in government to
His work Nicomachean Ethics which focuses on the
importance of virtuous character and ethical behavior is among the
most influential treatises on morality ever written.
Another key concept of Aristotle's was The Golden Mean
- avoid extremes, moderation in all things.
The scope of Aristotle's work is immense and his influence has
been immeasurable. The potency of his philosophy, metaphysics, logic
and ethics remains unimpaired.