Aristotle

Aristotle (sculpture)

Aristotle (Greek: Αριστοτέλης Aristotelēs; 384 BC – March 7, 322 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher. Along with Plato, he is often considered to be one of the two most influential philosophers in Western thought. He wrote many books about physics, poetry, zoology, logic, government, and biology.

Introduction

The three most influential ancient Greek philosophers were Aristotle, Plato (a teacher of Aristotle) and Socrates (ca. 470 BC-399 BC), whose thinking deeply influenced Plato. Among them they transformed Presocratic Greek philosophy into the foundations of Western philosophy as we know it. Socrates did not leave any writings, possibly as a result of the reasons articulated against writing philosophy attributed to him in Plato's dialogue Phaedrus. His ideas are therefore known to us only indirectly, through Plato and a few other writers. The writings of Plato and Aristotle form the core of Ancient philosophy.

Their works, although connected in many fundamental ways, are very different in both style and substance. Plato mainly wrote philosophical dialogues, that is, arguments in the form of conversations, usually with Socrates as a participant. Though the early dialogues are concerned mainly with methods of acquiring knowledge and most of the last ones with justice and practical ethics, his most famous works expressed a synoptic view of ethics, metaphysics, reason, knowledge and human life. The fundamental idea of Plato is that knowledge gained through the senses is always confused and impure; true knowledge being acquired by the contemplative soul that turns away from the world. To attain such true knowledge, the philosopher must make use of the "royal science" of dialectic. One of the necessary obstacles of dialectic is dialogue itself which guides the interlocutors away from the paths to truth. The soul alone can have knowledge of the Forms, the real essences of things, of which the world we see is but an imperfect copy. Such knowledge has ethical as well as scientific importance. Plato can be called, with qualification, an idealist and a rationalist.

Aristotle, by contrast, placed much more value on knowledge gained from the senses and would correspondingly be better classed among modern empiricists (see materialism and empiricism). He also achieved a "grounding" of dialectic in the Topics by allowing interlocutors to begin from commonly held beliefs Endoxa; his goal being non-contradiction rather than Truth. He set the stage for what would eventually develop into the scientific method centuries later. Although he wrote dialogues early in his career, no more than fragments of these have survived. The works of Aristotle that still exist today are in treatise form and were, for the most part, unpublished texts. These were probably lecture notes or texts used by his students, and were almost certainly revised repeatedly over the course of years. As a result, these works tend to be eclectic, dense and difficult to read. Among the most important ones are Physics, Metaphysics, Nicomachean Ethics, Politics, De Anima (On the Soul) and Poetics.

Aristotle is known for being one of the few figures in history who studied almost every subject possible at the time. In science, Aristotle studied anatomy, astronomy, embryology, geography, geology, meteorology, physics,and zoology. In philosophy, Aristotle wrote on aesthetics, economics, ethics, government, metaphysics, politics, psychology, rhetoric and theology. He also dealt with education, foreign customs, literature and poetry. His combined works practically comprise an encyclopedia of Greek knowledge.

History and influence of Aristotle's work

Aristotle (with the features of Bramante) depicted by Raphael holding his Ethics: detail from the Vatican fresco The School of Athens, 1510 – 1511

The history of Aristotle's works from the time of his death until the 1st century BC is obscure. Legend has it that Aristotle's personal library, including the manuscripts of his works, was left to his successor Theophrastus and was later hidden to avoid confiscation or destruction; finally, the manuscripts were rediscovered in 70 BC. Andronicus of Rhodes then edited and published the works. In the interim, however, the works could hardly have been forgotten, since Aristotle's school, the Lyceum, was in operation the whole time.

The majority of Aristotle's work has been lost, some since Classical times. There is a glimpse of what we have lost in the praise given by Cicero to the eloquence of Aristotle's dialogues. The surviving works are known and respected for a plain and unadorned (though not easy) style; not one is a dialogue. Some lost works of Aristotle may have survived in hard-to-restore carbonised form at the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum, currently under excavation.

In late antiquity Aristotle fell nearly out of sight. Early Christian writers such as Tertullian rejected philosophy altogether as a pagan study that was made obsolete by the Gospels. In the 5th century Saint Augustine used Platonic and Neo-Platonic philosophy in his theology, but had no use for Aristotle. At the end of the century, however, Boethius undertook to translate the works of Aristotle and other Greeks into Latin, as the teaching of Greek was being lost in the West; his translations and commentaries were nearly all that was known of Greek philosophy in the West for several centuries. In fact, his Consolation of Philosophy was the most widely published non-religious text during the ensuing decades, and its Aristotelian overtones had immense impact on Christendom.

Aristotle's works were read during the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates, however, and the Islamic philosopher Averroes commented extensively on it and attempted to fuse it with Islamic theology. Maimonides also tried this with Judaism. By the 12th century there was a great revival of interest in Aristotle in Christian Europe, and the great translator William of Moerbeke worked from both Greek and Arabic manuscripts to produce Latin translations. Aristotle's works were commented on by Thomas Aquinas and became the standard philosophical approach of the high and later Middle Ages. Aristotle's works were held in such esteem that he was known as The Philosopher. Dante calls Aristotle the “master knower” and places him in Limbo with the Good Pagans such as Socrates and Plato in the Divine Comedy (Canto IV).

Indeed, the views of Aristotle became the dogma of scholastic philosophy. It was this dogma that was rejected by the philosophers of the early modern period, such as Galileo and Descartes.

Aristotle's theories about drama, in particular the idea of the dramatic unities, also influenced later playwrights, especially in France. He claimed to be describing the Greek theatre, but his work was taken as prescriptive. In more recent times there has been a new revival of interest in Aristotle. His ethical views in particular remain influential.

See also: Aristotle's theory of universals, accidental properties

The article Aristotelian logic discusses the influence of Aristotle's Organon. See also the article Term Logic that outlines the system of traditional logic based on the Organon, that survived until the twentieth century.

Aristotle's moral philosophy was specifically singled out by Alasdair MacIntyre in his book entitled After Virtue as being an exemplar of older forms of moral discourse which he deemed as being in better shape.

Biography

Early life and studies at the Academy

A bust of Aristotle is a nearly ubiquitous ornament in places of high culture in the West.

Aristotle was born at Stageira, a colony of Andros on the Macedonian peninsula of Chalcidice in 384 BC. His father, Nicomachus, was court physician to King Amyntas III of Macedon. It is believed that Aristotle's ancestors held this position under various kings of Macedonia. As such, Aristotle's early education would probably have consisted of instruction in medicine and biology from his father. About his mother, Phaestis, little is known. It is known that she died early in Aristotle's life. When Nicomachus also died, in Aristotle's tenth year, he was left an orphan and placed under the guardianship of his uncle, Proxenus of Atarneus. He taught Aristotle Greek, rhetoric, and poetry (O'Connor et al., 2004). Aristotle was probably influenced by his father's medical knowledge; when he went to Athens at the age of 18, he was likely already trained in the investigation of natural phenomena.

From the ages of 18 to 37 Aristotle remained in Athens as a pupil of Plato and distinguished himself at the Academy. The relations between Plato and Aristotle have formed the subject of various legends, many of which depict Aristotle unfavourably. No doubt there were divergences of opinion between Plato, who took his stand on sublime, idealistic principles, and Aristotle, who even at that time showed a preference for the investigation of the facts and laws of the physical world. It is also probable that Plato suggested that Aristotle needed restraining rather than encouragement, but not that there was an open breach of friendship. In fact, Aristotle's conduct after the death of Plato, his continued association with Xenocrates and other Platonists, and his allusions in his writings to Plato's doctrines prove that while there were conflicts of opinion between Plato and Aristotle, there was no lack of cordial appreciation or mutual forbearance. Besides this, the legends that reflect Aristotle unfavourably are traceable to the Epicureans, who were known as slanderers. If such legends were circulated widely by patristic writers such as Justin Martyr and Gregory Nazianzen, the reason lies in the exaggerated esteem Aristotle was held in by the early Christian heretics, not in any well-grounded historical tradition.

Aristotle as philosopher and tutor

After the death of Plato (347 BC), Aristotle was considered as the next head of the Academy, a post that was eventually awarded to Plato's nephew. Aristotle then went with Xenocrates to the court of Hermias, ruler of Atarneus in Asia Minor, and married his niece and adopted daughter, Pythia. In 344 BC, Hermias was murdered in a rebellion, and Aristotle went with his family to Mytilene. It is also reported that he stopped on Lesbos and briefly conducted biological research. Then, one or two years later, he was summoned to Pella, the Macedonian capital, by King Philip II of Macedon to become the tutor of Alexander the Great, who was then 13.

Plutarch wrote that Aristotle not only imparted to Alexander a knowledge of ethics and politics, but also of the most profound secrets of philosophy. We have much proof that Alexander profited by contact with the philosopher, and that Aristotle made prudent and beneficial use of his influence over the young prince (although Bertrand Russell disputes this). Due to this influence, Alexander provided Aristotle with ample means for the acquisition of books and the pursuit of his scientific investigation.

It is possible that Aristotle also participated in the education of Alexander's boyhood friends, which may have included for example Hephaestion and Harpalus. Aristotle maintained a long correspondence with Hephaestion, eventually collected into a book, unfortunately now lost.

According to sources such as Plutarch and Diogenes, Philip had Aristotle's hometown of Stageira burned during the 340s BC, and Aristotle successfully requested that Alexander rebuild it. During his tutorship of Alexander, Aristotle was reportedly considered a second time for leadership of the Academy; his companion Xenocrates was selected instead.

Founder and master of the Lyceum

In about 335 BC, Alexander departed for his Asiatic campaign, and Aristotle, who had served as an informal adviser (more or less) since Alexander ascended the Macedonian throne, returned to Athens and opened his own school of philosophy. He may, as Aulus Gellius says, have conducted a school of rhetoric during his former residence in Athens; but now, following Plato's example, he gave regular instruction in philosophy in a gymnasium dedicated to Apollo Lyceios, from which his school has come to be known as the Lyceum. (It was also called the Peripatetic School because Aristotle preferred to discuss problems of philosophy with his pupils while walking up and down -- peripateo -- the shaded walks -- peripatoi -- around the gymnasium).

During the thirteen years (335 BC–322 BC) which he spent as teacher of the Lyceum, Aristotle composed most of his writings. Imitating Plato, he wrote Dialogues in which his doctrines were expounded in somewhat popular language. He also composed the several treatises (which will be mentioned below) on physics, metaphysics, and so forth, in which the exposition is more didactic and the language more technical than in the Dialogues. These writings show to what good use he put the resources Alexander had provided for him. They show particularly how he succeeded in bringing together the works of his predecessors in Greek philosophy, and how he pursued, either personally or through others, his investigations in the realm of natural phenomena. Pliny claimed that Alexander placed under Aristotle's orders all the hunters, fishermen, and fowlers of the royal kingdom and all the overseers of the royal forests, lakes, ponds and cattle-ranges, and Aristotle's works on zoology make this statement more believable. Aristotle was fully informed about the doctrines of his predecessors, and Strabo asserted that he was the first to accumulate a great library.

During the last years of Aristotle's life the relations between him and Alexander became very strained, owing to the disgrace and punishment of Callisthenes, whom Aristotle had recommended to Alexander. Nevertheless, Aristotle continued to be regarded at Athens as a friend of Alexander and a representative of Macedonia. Consequently, when Alexander's death became known in Athens, and the outbreak occurred which led to the Lamian war, Aristotle shared in the general unpopularity of the Macedonians. The charge of impiety, which had been brought against Anaxagoras and Socrates, was now, with even less reason, brought against Aristotle. He left the city, saying (according to many ancient authorities) that he would not give the Athenians a chance to sin a third time against philosophy. He took up residence at his country house at Chalcis, in Euboea, and there he died the following year, 322 BC. His death was due to a disease, reportedly 'of the stomach', from which he had long suffered. The story that his death was due to hemlock poisoning, as well as the legend that he threw himself into the sea "because he could not explain the tides," is without historical foundation.

Very little is known about Aristotle's personal appearance except from hostile sources. The statues and busts of Aristotle, possibly from the first years of the Peripatetic School, represent him as sharp and keen of countenance, and somewhat below the average height. His character—as revealed by his writings, his will (which is undoubtedly genuine), fragments of his letters and the allusions of his unprejudiced contemporaries—was that of a high-minded, kind-hearted man, devoted to his family and his friends, kind to his slaves, fair to his enemies and rivals, grateful towards his benefactors. When Platonism ceased to dominate the world of Christian speculation, and the works of Aristotle began to be studied without fear and prejudice, the personality of Aristotle appeared to the Christian writers of the 13th century, as it had to the unprejudiced pagan writers of his own day, as calm, majestic, untroubled by passion, and undimmed by any great moral defects, "the master of those who know".

Methodology

Aristotle defines philosophy in terms of essence, saying that philosophy is "the science of the universal essence of that which is actual". Plato had defined it as the "science of the idea", meaning by idea what we should call the unconditional basis of phenomena. Both pupil and master regard philosophy as concerned with the universal; Aristotle, however, finds the universal in particular things, and called it the essence of things, while Plato finds that the universal exists apart from particular things, and is related to them as their prototype or exemplar. For Aristotle, therefore, philosophic method implies the ascent from the study of particular phenomena to the knowledge of essences, while for Plato philosophic method means the descent from a knowledge of universal ideas to a contemplation of particular imitations of those ideas. In a certain sense, Aristotle's method is both inductive and deductive, while Plato's is essentially deductive.

In Aristotle's terminology, the term natural philosophy corresponds to the phenomena of the natural world, which include: motion, light, and the laws of physics. Many centuries later these subjects would later become the basis of modern science, as studied through the scientific method. The term philosophy is distinct from metaphysics, which is what moderns term philosophy.

In the larger sense of the word, he makes philosophy coextensive with reasoning, which he also called "science". Note, however, that his use of the term science carries a different meaning than that which is covered by the scientific method. "All science (dianoia) is either practical, poetical or theoretical." By practical science he understands ethics and politics; by poetical, he means the study of poetry and the other fine arts; while by theoretical philosophy he means physics, mathematics, and metaphysics.

The last, philosophy in the stricter sense, he defines as "the knowledge of immaterial being," and calls it "first philosophy", "the theologic science" or of "being in the highest degree of abstraction." If logic, or, as Aristotle calls it, Analytic, be regarded as a study preliminary to philosophy, we have as divisions of Aristotelian philosophy (1) Logic; (2) Theoretical Philosophy, including Metaphysics, Physics, Mathematics, (3) Practical Philosophy; and (4) Poetical Philosophy.

Aristotle's logic

Main article: Aristotelian logic

History

Aristotle "says that 'on the subject of reasoning' he 'had nothing else on an earlier date to speak about'" (Bocheński, 1951). However, Plato reports that syntax was thought of before him, by Prodikos of Keos, who was concerned by the right use of words. Logic seems to have emerged from dialectics, the earlier philosophers used concepts like reductio ad absurdum as a rule when discussing, but never understood its logical implications. Even Plato had difficulties with logic. Although he had the idea of constructing a system for deduction, he was never able to construct one. Instead, he relied on his dialectic, which was a confusion between different sciences and methods (Bocheński, 1951). Plato thought that deduction would simply follow from premises, so he focused on having good premises so that the conclusion would follow. Later on, Plato realised that a method for obtaining the conclusion would be beneficial. Plato never obtained such a method, but his best attempt was published in his book Sophist, where he introduced his division method (Rose, 1968).

Analytics and the Organon

What we call today Aristotelian logic, Aristotle himself would have labelled analytics. The term logic he reserved to mean dialectics. Most of Aristotle's work is probably not authentic, since it was most likely edited by students and later lecturers. The logical works of Aristotle were compiled into six books at about the time of Christ:

  1. Categories
  2. On Interpretation
  3. Prior Analytics
  4. Posterior Analytics
  5. Topics
  6. On Sophistical Refutations

The order of the books (or the teachings from which they are composed) is not certain, but this list was derived from analysis of Aristotle's writings. There is one volume of Aristotle's concerning logic not found in the Organon, namely the fourth book of Metaphysics. (Bocheński, 1951).

Modal logic

Aristotle is also the creator of syllogisms with modalities (modal logic). The word modal refers to the word 'modes', explaining the fact that modal logic deals with the modes of truth. Aristotle introduced the qualification of 'necessary' and 'possible' premises. He constructed a logic which helped in the evaluation of truth but which was very difficult to interpret. (Rose, 1968).


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(Rose, 1968). Contemporary anatomists no longer believe that morphology alone can determine the functioning of the brain. He constructed a logic which helped in the evaluation of truth but which was very difficult to interpret. Further research was continued by the Soviet team, but the work on Lenin's brain was no longer advertised. Aristotle introduced the qualification of 'necessary' and 'possible' premises. Vogt's work was considered unsatisfactory by the Soviets. The word modal refers to the word 'modes', explaining the fact that modal logic deals with the modes of truth. However the conclusion of its relevance to genius was contested.

Aristotle is also the creator of syllogisms with modalities (modal logic). Vogt published a paper on the brain in 1929 where he reported that some pyramidal neurons in the third layer of Lenin's cerebral cortex were very large. There is one volume of Aristotle's concerning logic not found in the Organon, namely the fourth book of Metaphysics. (Bocheński, 1951). The Institute of Brain was created in Moscow for this purpose. The order of the books (or the teachings from which they are composed) is not certain, but this list was derived from analysis of Aristotle's writings. The Soviet government commissioned the well-known German neuroscientist Oskar Vogt to study Lenin's brain and to locate the precise location of the brain cells that are responsible for genius. The logical works of Aristotle were compiled into six books at about the time of Christ:. Lenin's brain was removed before his body was embalmed.

Most of Aristotle's work is probably not authentic, since it was most likely edited by students and later lecturers. Despite Lenin's expressed wish shortly before death that no memorials be created for him, various politicians sought to better their own position vicariously by association with Lenin after his death, and his character was elevated to almost mythical status, with statue after monument after memorial springing up in his honor. The term logic he reserved to mean dialectics. Instead his body was embalmed and placed on permanent exhibition in the Lenin Mausoleum in Moscow. What we call today Aristotelian logic, Aristotle himself would have labelled analytics. Necessary equipment was purchased abroad, but for a variety of reasons the plan was not realised. Plato never obtained such a method, but his best attempt was published in his book Sophist, where he introduced his division method (Rose, 1968). During the early 1920s the Russian movement of cosmism was quite popular and there was an intent to cryogenically preserve Lenin's body in order to revive him in the future.

Later on, Plato realised that a method for obtaining the conclusion would be beneficial. Lenin's wife discovered the paper in Lenin's study, and read it to the central committee, who while believing parts of it, did not take it to heart, and as such, these sharp criticisms of the internal party were not more widely released. Plato thought that deduction would simply follow from premises, so he focused on having good premises so that the conclusion would follow. Of Stalin, who had been the Communist Party's general secretary since April 1922, Lenin said that he had "unlimited authority concentrated in his hands" and suggested that "comrades think about a way of removing Stalin from that post". Instead, he relied on his dialectic, which was a confusion between different sciences and methods (Bocheński, 1951). Most famous of these is Lenin's Testament, which among other things criticized top-ranking communists such as Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin. Although he had the idea of constructing a system for deduction, he was never able to construct one. After his first stroke, Lenin published a number of papers indicating future directions for the government.

Even Plato had difficulties with logic. Lenin's preserved body is on permanent display in Moscow. Logic seems to have emerged from dialectics, the earlier philosophers used concepts like reductio ad absurdum as a rule when discussing, but never understood its logical implications. The city of Petrograd was renamed Leningrad in his honor; this remained the name of the city until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, when it reverted to its original name, St Petersburg. However, Plato reports that syntax was thought of before him, by Prodikos of Keos, who was concerned by the right use of words. Most historians still agree that the most likely cause of his death was a stroke induced by the bullet still lodged in his neck from the assassination attempt. Aristotle "says that 'on the subject of reasoning' he 'had nothing else on an earlier date to speak about'" (Bocheński, 1951). Also, he had no visible lesions on his body that accompany the last stages of the disease.

Main article: Aristotelian logic. Although he might have had syphilis, so did a large percentage of Russians at this time. The last, philosophy in the stricter sense, he defines as "the knowledge of immaterial being," and calls it "first philosophy", "the theologic science" or of "being in the highest degree of abstraction." If logic, or, as Aristotle calls it, Analytic, be regarded as a study preliminary to philosophy, we have as divisions of Aristotelian philosophy (1) Logic; (2) Theoretical Philosophy, including Metaphysics, Physics, Mathematics, (3) Practical Philosophy; and (4) Poetical Philosophy. In 1923, Lenin's doctors treated him with Salvarsan, the only drug at the time specifically used to treat syphilis, and potassium iodine, which was also customary at the time in treating the disease. "All science (dianoia) is either practical, poetical or theoretical." By practical science he understands ethics and politics; by poetical, he means the study of poetry and the other fine arts; while by theoretical philosophy he means physics, mathematics, and metaphysics. Upon a second release of the autopsy report, none of the organs, major arteries or brain areas usually affected by syphilis were cited. Note, however, that his use of the term science carries a different meaning than that which is covered by the scientific method. Abrikosov did not mention syphilis in the autopsy; however, the blood-vessel damage, the paralysis and other incapacities he cited are typical of syphilis.

In the larger sense of the word, he makes philosophy coextensive with reasoning, which he also called "science". Documents also suggest that Alexi Abrikosov, the pathologist in charge of the autopsy, was ordered to prove that Lenin did not die of syphilis. The term philosophy is distinct from metaphysics, which is what moderns term philosophy. Documents released after the fall of the U.S.S.R, along with memoirs of Lenin's physicians, suggest that Lenin was treated for syphilis as early as 1895. Many centuries later these subjects would later become the basis of modern science, as studied through the scientific method. For example, a posthumous diagnosis by two psychiatrists and a neurologist recently published in the European Journal of Neurology claimed to show that Lenin died from syphilis. In Aristotle's terminology, the term natural philosophy corresponds to the phenomena of the natural world, which include: motion, light, and the laws of physics. Therefore, several other theories regarding his death have been put forward.

In a certain sense, Aristotle's method is both inductive and deductive, while Plato's is essentially deductive. The official cause given for Lenin's death was cerebral arteriosclerosis, or a stroke (his fourth), but out of the 27 physicians who treated him, only eight signed onto that conclusion in his autopsy report. For Aristotle, therefore, philosophic method implies the ascent from the study of particular phenomena to the knowledge of essences, while for Plato philosophic method means the descent from a knowledge of universal ideas to a contemplation of particular imitations of those ideas. Rumors of Lenin's syphilis sprang up shortly after his death. Both pupil and master regard philosophy as concerned with the universal; Aristotle, however, finds the universal in particular things, and called it the essence of things, while Plato finds that the universal exists apart from particular things, and is related to them as their prototype or exemplar. Lenin died on January 21, 1924. Plato had defined it as the "science of the idea", meaning by idea what we should call the unconditional basis of phenomena. In March 1923 he suffered the third stroke and was left bedridden and no longer able to speak.

Aristotle defines philosophy in terms of essence, saying that philosophy is "the science of the universal essence of that which is actual". After the second stroke in December of the same year, he resigned from active politics. When Platonism ceased to dominate the world of Christian speculation, and the works of Aristotle began to be studied without fear and prejudice, the personality of Aristotle appeared to the Christian writers of the 13th century, as it had to the unprejudiced pagan writers of his own day, as calm, majestic, untroubled by passion, and undimmed by any great moral defects, "the master of those who know". He was left partially paralyzed (on his right side) and his role in government declined. His character—as revealed by his writings, his will (which is undoubtedly genuine), fragments of his letters and the allusions of his unprejudiced contemporaries—was that of a high-minded, kind-hearted man, devoted to his family and his friends, kind to his slaves, fair to his enemies and rivals, grateful towards his benefactors. In May 1922, Lenin had his first stroke. The statues and busts of Aristotle, possibly from the first years of the Peripatetic School, represent him as sharp and keen of countenance, and somewhat below the average height. The bullet was still lodged in his neck too close to his spine for medical techniques of the time to remove.

Very little is known about Aristotle's personal appearance except from hostile sources. The assassination attempt earlier in his life also added to his health problems. The story that his death was due to hemlock poisoning, as well as the legend that he threw himself into the sea "because he could not explain the tides," is without historical foundation. Lenin's health had already been severely damaged due to the intolerable strains of revolution and war. His death was due to a disease, reportedly 'of the stomach', from which he had long suffered. Of course, that was in a time of peace and order; there had not been war throughout Russia before. He took up residence at his country house at Chalcis, in Euboea, and there he died the following year, 322 BC. For comparison, the worst crop failure of late tsarist Russia, in 1892, caused 375,000 to 400,000 deaths [6][7][8].

He left the city, saying (according to many ancient authorities) that he would not give the Athenians a chance to sin a third time against philosophy. Estimates on the deaths from this famine are between 3 and 10 million. The charge of impiety, which had been brought against Anaxagoras and Socrates, was now, with even less reason, brought against Aristotle. Lenin's first heart attack was in the fall of 1922; and the extent of his responsibility for the grain sales is therefore unclear, but he would certainly have been pleased. Consequently, when Alexander's death became known in Athens, and the outbreak occurred which led to the Lamian war, Aristotle shared in the general unpopularity of the Macedonians. When this was discovered, foreign relief organizations suspended aid. Nevertheless, Aristotle continued to be regarded at Athens as a friend of Alexander and a representative of Macedonia. The net effect, since grain is fungible, was that they received money for nothing from capitalist philanthropy.

During the last years of Aristotle's life the relations between him and Alexander became very strained, owing to the disgrace and punishment of Callisthenes, whom Aristotle had recommended to Alexander. The Bolsheviks permitted the relief agencies to continue distributing free food in 1923, while they sold grain abroad. Aristotle was fully informed about the doctrines of his predecessors, and Strabo asserted that he was the first to accumulate a great library. The famine continued through 1922; the A.R.A fed ten million people, and presumably was what kept most of them alive. Pliny claimed that Alexander placed under Aristotle's orders all the hunters, fishermen, and fowlers of the royal kingdom and all the overseers of the royal forests, lakes, ponds and cattle-ranges, and Aristotle's works on zoology make this statement more believable. Lenin allowed relief organizations to bring aid, this time, but later had most of the Russian members organizing the aid liquidated. They show particularly how he succeeded in bringing together the works of his predecessors in Greek philosophy, and how he pursued, either personally or through others, his investigations in the realm of natural phenomena. This was one of the causes of the New Economic Policy of 1921; it also helped produce an opening to the West.

These writings show to what good use he put the resources Alexander had provided for him. These practices and the accumulated disruptions of six and a half years of war produced a true famine in the early spring of 1921: a hunger so severe that it was doubtful that seed-grain would sown and not eaten. He also composed the several treatises (which will be mentioned below) on physics, metaphysics, and so forth, in which the exposition is more didactic and the language more technical than in the Dialogues. 121). Imitating Plato, he wrote Dialogues in which his doctrines were expounded in somewhat popular language. In 1920 Lenin ordered increased emphasis on the food requisitioning from the peasantry, at the same time that the Cheka gave detailed reports about the large scale famine (p. During the thirteen years (335 BC–322 BC) which he spent as teacher of the Lyceum, Aristotle composed most of his writings. 116-118.

(It was also called the Peripatetic School because Aristotle preferred to discuss problems of philosophy with his pupils while walking up and down -- peripateo -- the shaded walks -- peripatoi -- around the gymnasium). 92-97 and p. He may, as Aulus Gellius says, have conducted a school of rhetoric during his former residence in Athens; but now, following Plato's example, he gave regular instruction in philosophy in a gymnasium dedicated to Apollo Lyceios, from which his school has come to be known as the Lyceum. The war on the peasantry, including the use of poison gas, death camps, and deportations are documented on p. In about 335 BC, Alexander departed for his Asiatic campaign, and Aristotle, who had served as an informal adviser (more or less) since Alexander ascended the Macedonian throne, returned to Athens and opened his own school of philosophy. 97 and p 120-121. During his tutorship of Alexander, Aristotle was reportedly considered a second time for leadership of the Academy; his companion Xenocrates was selected instead. The food requisitioning are documented on p.

According to sources such as Plutarch and Diogenes, Philip had Aristotle's hometown of Stageira burned during the 340s BC, and Aristotle successfully requested that Alexander rebuild it. The Cheka and the army began by shooting hostages, and ended by waging a second full-scale civil war against the peasantry. Aristotle maintained a long correspondence with Hephaestion, eventually collected into a book, unfortunately now lost. In retaliation, Lenin ordered the seizure of the food peasants had grown for their own subsistence and their seed grain. It is possible that Aristotle also participated in the education of Alexander's boyhood friends, which may have included for example Hephaestion and Harpalus. This led peasants to drastically reduce their crop production. Due to this influence, Alexander provided Aristotle with ample means for the acquisition of books and the pursuit of his scientific investigation. The American Relief Association, which Herbert Hoover had formed to help the starvation of WWI, offered assistance to Lenin in 1919, on condition that they have full say over the Russian railway network and hand out food impartially to all; Lenin refused this as interference in Russian internal affairs.

We have much proof that Alexander profited by contact with the philosopher, and that Aristotle made prudent and beneficial use of his influence over the young prince (although Bertrand Russell disputes this). The Bolshevik efficiency at this is confirmed by their recently uncovered records; it is probably one cause of their victory. Plutarch wrote that Aristotle not only imparted to Alexander a knowledge of ethics and politics, but also of the most profound secrets of philosophy. All sides in the Russian Civil Wars of 1918-20 - the Bolsheviks, the Whites, the Anarchists, the seceding nationalities - provisioned themselves by the ancient method of "living off the land": they seized food from those who grew it, gave it to their armies and supporters, and denied it to their enemies. Then, one or two years later, he was summoned to Pella, the Macedonian capital, by King Philip II of Macedon to become the tutor of Alexander the Great, who was then 13. In total, 50,000-200,000 summary executions of "class enemies" occurred during Lenin regime. It is also reported that he stopped on Lesbos and briefly conducted biological research. 105).

In 344 BC, Hermias was murdered in a rebellion, and Aristotle went with his family to Mytilene. There were large scale rapes of "bourgeoisie women" documented in 1920 (p. Aristotle then went with Xenocrates to the court of Hermias, ruler of Atarneus in Asia Minor, and married his niece and adopted daughter, Pythia. 80). After the death of Plato (347 BC), Aristotle was considered as the next head of the Academy, a post that was eventually awarded to Plato's nephew. In May 1919, there were 16,000 people in labor camp based on the old Tsarist katorga labor camps, in September 1921 there were more than 70,000 (p. If such legends were circulated widely by patristic writers such as Justin Martyr and Gregory Nazianzen, the reason lies in the exaggerated esteem Aristotle was held in by the early Christian heretics, not in any well-grounded historical tradition. This led to the particularly intensive period of oppression called the Red Terror.

Besides this, the legends that reflect Aristotle unfavourably are traceable to the Epicureans, who were known as slanderers. After the assassination attempt on Lenin and the succesful assassination of Cheka leader Moisei Uritsky on the same day, Lenin and the other Bolshevik leaders decided to respond with overwhelming force, both as retribution and as a deterrent for any similar future attempts. In fact, Aristotle's conduct after the death of Plato, his continued association with Xenocrates and other Platonists, and his allusions in his writings to Plato's doctrines prove that while there were conflicts of opinion between Plato and Aristotle, there was no lack of cordial appreciation or mutual forbearance. 63). It is also probable that Plato suggested that Aristotle needed restraining rather than encouragement, but not that there was an open breach of friendship. Trotsky also supported starting concentration camps (p. No doubt there were divergences of opinion between Plato, who took his stand on sublime, idealistic principles, and Aristotle, who even at that time showed a preference for the investigation of the facts and laws of the physical world. 72-73).

The relations between Plato and Aristotle have formed the subject of various legends, many of which depict Aristotle unfavourably. (p. From the ages of 18 to 37 Aristotle remained in Athens as a pupil of Plato and distinguished himself at the Academy. On the 9 and 10 of August, Lenin sent out telegrams ordering mass executions, deportations, and concentration camps. Aristotle was probably influenced by his father's medical knowledge; when he went to Athens at the age of 18, he was likely already trained in the investigation of natural phenomena. 68). He taught Aristotle Greek, rhetoric, and poetry (O'Connor et al., 2004). In June 1918, the Cheka already had 12,000 members (p.

When Nicomachus also died, in Aristotle's tenth year, he was left an orphan and placed under the guardianship of his uncle, Proxenus of Atarneus. 67). It is known that she died early in Aristotle's life. There were around 110 peasants uprisings in July and August (p. About his mother, Phaestis, little is known. 68). As such, Aristotle's early education would probably have consisted of instruction in medicine and biology from his father. Also in May, several working-class demonstrations were bloodily suppressed (p.

It is believed that Aristotle's ancestors held this position under various kings of Macedonia. 66). His father, Nicomachus, was court physician to King Amyntas III of Macedon. Starting in May, food was being "requisitioned" from the peasants (p. Aristotle was born at Stageira, a colony of Andros on the Macedonian peninsula of Chalcidice in 384 BC. 60-61). Aristotle's moral philosophy was specifically singled out by Alasdair MacIntyre in his book entitled After Virtue as being an exemplar of older forms of moral discourse which he deemed as being in better shape. Starting in January 1918, war prisoners were being tortured and killed on a large scale (p.

See also the article Term Logic that outlines the system of traditional logic based on the Organon, that survived until the twentieth century. 55). The article Aristotelian logic discusses the influence of Aristotle's Organon. On November 13, an order was sent out that all who were suspected being an "enemy of the people" should be imprisoned (p. See also: Aristotle's theory of universals, accidental properties. 54). His ethical views in particular remain influential. The Communists started closing down independent newspaper and radio stations the day after (p.

In more recent times there has been a new revival of interest in Aristotle. According to the claims of the Black Book of Communism (Using the Julian calendar): The October revolution was on October 25. He claimed to be describing the Greek theatre, but his work was taken as prescriptive. But the same month saw the suppression of an uprising among sailors at Kronstadt ("the Kronstadt rebellion"). Aristotle's theories about drama, in particular the idea of the dramatic unities, also influenced later playwrights, especially in France. In March 1921, Lenin replaced the policy of War communism (which had been used during the civil war) with the New Economic Policy (NEP), in an attempt to rebuild industry and especially agriculture. It was this dogma that was rejected by the philosophers of the early modern period, such as Galileo and Descartes. The long years of war had taken their toll on Russia, however, and much of the country lay in ruins.

Indeed, the views of Aristotle became the dogma of scholastic philosophy. However the defeat of Soviet Russia in Polish-Soviet War invalidated these plans. Aristotle's works were held in such esteem that he was known as The Philosopher. Dante calls Aristotle the “master knower” and places him in Limbo with the Good Pagans such as Socrates and Plato in the Divine Comedy (Canto IV). With revolution in Germany and Spartacist League on the rise, Lenin viewed this a perfect time and place to "to probe Europe with the bayonets of the Red Army." Lenin saw Poland as the bridge that the Red Army would have to cross in order to link up the Russian Revolution with the communist supporters in the German Revolution, and to assist other communist movements in Western Europe. Aristotle's works were commented on by Thomas Aquinas and became the standard philosophical approach of the high and later Middle Ages. When the newly independent Second Polish Republic began securing its eastern territories annexed by Russia in the partitions of Poland in late 18th century, it clashed with Bolshevik forces for dominance in these areas, which have led to the outbreak of the Polish-Soviet War in 1919. By the 12th century there was a great revival of interest in Aristotle in Christian Europe, and the great translator William of Moerbeke worked from both Greek and Arabic manuscripts to produce Latin translations. In the later months of 1919, successes against White Russian forces convinced Lenin that it was time to spread the revolution to the West, by force if necessary.

Maimonides also tried this with Judaism. Eventually, the Red Army won the civil war, defeating the White Russian forces and their allies in 1920 (although smaller forces remained for several more years). Aristotle's works were read during the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates, however, and the Islamic philosopher Averroes commented extensively on it and attempted to fuse it with Islamic theology. Foreign powers such as France, Britain, United States and Japan also intervened in this war (on behalf of the White Army). In fact, his Consolation of Philosophy was the most widely published non-religious text during the ensuing decades, and its Aristotelian overtones had immense impact on Christendom. Although many different factions were involved in the civil war, the two main forces were the Red Army (communists) and the White Army (monarchists). At the end of the century, however, Boethius undertook to translate the works of Aristotle and other Greeks into Latin, as the teaching of Greek was being lost in the West; his translations and commentaries were nearly all that was known of Greek philosophy in the West for several centuries. A wide variety of political movements and their supporters took up arms to support or overthrow the soviet government.

In the 5th century Saint Augustine used Platonic and Neo-Platonic philosophy in his theology, but had no use for Aristotle. Meanwhile, a civil war raged across Russia. Early Christian writers such as Tertullian rejected philosophy altogether as a pagan study that was made obsolete by the Gospels. In Russia, the Bolshevik Party was renamed the "Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks)", which eventually became the CPSU. In late antiquity Aristotle fell nearly out of sight. From that point onwards, they would be known as communists. Some lost works of Aristotle may have survived in hard-to-restore carbonised form at the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum, currently under excavation. Members of the Communist International, including Lenin and the Bolsheviks themselves, broke off from the broader socialist movement.

The surviving works are known and respected for a plain and unadorned (though not easy) style; not one is a dialogue. In March, 1919, Lenin and other Bolshevik leaders met with revolutionary socialists from around the world and formed the Communist International. There is a glimpse of what we have lost in the praise given by Cicero to the eloquence of Aristotle's dialogues. Lenin eventually recovered, though his health declined from this point, and it is believed that the incident contributed to his later strokes. The majority of Aristotle's work has been lost, some since Classical times. Doctors were summoned, but decided that it was too dangerous to remove the bullets. In the interim, however, the works could hardly have been forgotten, since Aristotle's school, the Lyceum, was in operation the whole time. Lenin was taken to his private apartment in the Kremlin, and refused to venture to a hospital, believing other assassins would be waiting there.

Andronicus of Rhodes then edited and published the works. She called out to Lenin, and when he turned to answer, fired three shots, two of which struck him in the shoulder and lung. Legend has it that Aristotle's personal library, including the manuscripts of his works, was left to his successor Theophrastus and was later hidden to avoid confiscation or destruction; finally, the manuscripts were rediscovered in 70 BC. On August 30, 1918, Fanya Kaplan, a member of the Socialist Revolutionary Party, approached Lenin after he'd spoken at a meeting and was on his way to his car. The history of Aristotle's works from the time of his death until the 1st century BC is obscure. Lenin responded by (unsuccessfully) trying to shut down their activities. His combined works practically comprise an encyclopedia of Greek knowledge. The situation degenerated, with non-Bolshevik parties (including some of the socialist groups) actively seeking the overthrow of the soviet government.

He also dealt with education, foreign customs, literature and poetry. However, their coalition collapsed after the Social Revolutionaries opposed the Brest-Litovsk treaty, and they joined other parties in seeking to overthrow the government of the soviets. In philosophy, Aristotle wrote on aesthetics, economics, ethics, government, metaphysics, politics, psychology, rhetoric and theology. They formed a coalition government with the left wing of the Socialist Revolutionaries. In science, Aristotle studied anatomy, astronomy, embryology, geography, geology, meteorology, physics,and zoology. [5]. Aristotle is known for being one of the few figures in history who studied almost every subject possible at the time. The Bolsheviks instead opened a counter-Assembly, the third Congress of Soviets, giving themselves and their allies over 90% of the seats.

Among the most important ones are Physics, Metaphysics, Nicomachean Ethics, Politics, De Anima (On the Soul) and Poetics. Lenin dissolved the Assembly on the same day it opened its first session. As a result, these works tend to be eclectic, dense and difficult to read. One month after the October revolution, the Bolsheviks gained 25% of the votes in the Russian Constituent Assembly election, 1917. These were probably lecture notes or texts used by his students, and were almost certainly revised repeatedly over the course of years. As a result of this turn of events, Lenin's position consequently gained the support of the majority in the Bolshevik leadership, and Russia signed the eventual Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, under disadvantageous terms (March 1918). The works of Aristotle that still exist today are in treatise form and were, for the most part, unpublished texts. After the negotiations collapsed, Germany launched an invasion that resulted in the loss of much of Russia's western territory.

Although he wrote dialogues early in his career, no more than fragments of these have survived. Leon Trotsky, who led the negotiations, advocated an intermediate position, calling for a peace treaty only on the conditions that no territorial gains on either side be consolidated. He set the stage for what would eventually develop into the scientific method centuries later. Other Bolshevik leaders, such as Bukharin, advocated continuing the war as a means of fomenting revolution in Germany. He also achieved a "grounding" of dialectic in the Topics by allowing interlocutors to begin from commonly held beliefs Endoxa; his goal being non-contradiction rather than Truth. Faced with the threat of German invasion, Lenin argued that Russia should immediately sign a peace treaty. Aristotle, by contrast, placed much more value on knowledge gained from the senses and would correspondingly be better classed among modern empiricists (see materialism and empiricism). On November 8, Lenin was elected as Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars by the Russian Soviet Congress.

Plato can be called, with qualification, an idealist and a rationalist. Kaiser Wilhelm II himself is thought to have expected Lenin to paralyze the Russian army through revolution and end the war on the Eastern front and he saw him only as a contemporary figure that would lose power soon afterwards. Such knowledge has ethical as well as scientific importance. Eye witnesses are said to have confirmed that Lenin had been carried in a sealed train on the way, escorted by Germans. The soul alone can have knowledge of the Forms, the real essences of things, of which the world we see is but an imperfect copy. It has been largely suggested that Lenin had reached Petrograd from Switzerland with the help of the German Empire. One of the necessary obstacles of dialectic is dialogue itself which guides the interlocutors away from the paths to truth. His ideas of government were expressed in his essay "State and Revolution" [4], which called for a new form of government based on the worker's councils, or soviets.

To attain such true knowledge, the philosopher must make use of the "royal science" of dialectic. He returned in October, inspiring an armed revolution with the slogan "All Power to the Soviets!", against the Provisional Government. The fundamental idea of Plato is that knowledge gained through the senses is always confused and impure; true knowledge being acquired by the contemplative soul that turns away from the world. After a failed workers' uprising in July, Lenin fled to Finland for safety. Though the early dialogues are concerned mainly with methods of acquiring knowledge and most of the last ones with justice and practical ethics, his most famous works expressed a synoptic view of ethics, metaphysics, reason, knowledge and human life. However, this uncompromising stand meant that the Bolsheviks were the obvious home for the masses as they became disillusioned and with the luxury of opposition they were freed from the responsibility for any consequences from the implementation of their policies (Christopher Read: From Tsar to soviets pp151-3). Plato mainly wrote philosophical dialogues, that is, arguments in the form of conversations, usually with Socrates as a participant. Initially by this lurch to the left Lenin isolated his party.

Their works, although connected in many fundamental ways, are very different in both style and substance. In the April theses called for uncompromising opposition to the provisional government. The writings of Plato and Aristotle form the core of Ancient philosophy. On April 16, 1917, he returned to Petrograd from Switzerland following the overthrow of Tsar Nicholas II, and took a leading role within the Bolshevik movement, publishing the April Theses [3]. His ideas are therefore known to us only indirectly, through Plato and a few other writers. Inessa Armand became Lenin's partner. Socrates did not leave any writings, possibly as a result of the reasons articulated against writing philosophy attributed to him in Plato's dialogue Phaedrus. When Inessa Armand left Russia and settled in Paris, she met Vladimir Lenin and other Bolsheviks living in exile.

Among them they transformed Presocratic Greek philosophy into the foundations of Western philosophy as we know it. He continued to travel in Europe and participated in many socialist meetings and activities, including the Zimmerwald Conference of 1915. 470 BC-399 BC), whose thinking deeply influenced Plato. In 1907 he moved to Finland for security reasons. The three most influential ancient Greek philosophers were Aristotle, Plato (a teacher of Aristotle) and Socrates (ca. In 1906 he was elected to the Presidium of the RSDLP. . He was active in the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP), and in 1903 he led the Bolshevik faction after a split with the Mensheviks that was partly inspired by his pamphlet What is to be Done? [2].

He wrote many books about physics, poetry, zoology, logic, government, and biology. At this period, he started using various aliases, finally settling upon Lenin, most likely in allusion to the Lena execution. Along with Plato, he is often considered to be one of the two most influential philosophers in Western thought. He travelled in Russia and elsewhere in Europe and published the paper Iskra as well as other tracts and books related to the revolutionary movement. Aristotle (Greek: Αριστοτέλης Aristotelēs; 384 BC – March 7, 322 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher. In 1900, his exile ended. On Sophistical Refutations. In April 1899, he published the book The Development of Capitalism in Russia [1].

Topics. In July 1898, he married Nadezhda Krupskaya, who was a socialist activist. Posterior Analytics. On December 7, 1895, he was arrested and held by authorities for an entire year, then exiled to the village of Shushenskoye in Siberia. Prior Analytics. Petersburg. On Interpretation. Rather than settle into a legal career, he became more involved in revolutionary propaganda efforts and the study of Marxism, much of it in St.

Categories. He continued to study independently and by 1891 had earned a license to practice law. This radicalized Vladimir (his official Soviet biographies have this event as central to Lenin's revolutionary exploits) and later that year he was arrested, and expelled from Kazan University for participating in student protests. The following year, in May of 1887 his eldest brother Alexander Ulyanov was hanged for participation in a plot threatening the life of Tsar Alexander III. Two tragedies occurred in his early life: in 1886, his father died of a cerebral hemorrhage.

Vladimir distinguished himself in the study of Latin and Greek. Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin) himself was baptised into the Russian Orthodox Church. He had Kalmyk ancestry through his paternal grandparents, Volga German ancestry through his maternal grandmother, who was a Lutheran, and Jewish ancestry through his maternal grandfather (converted to Christianity). Like many Russians, he was of mixed ethnic and religious ancestry.

Born in Simbirsk, Russia, Lenin was the son of Ilya Nikolaevich Ulyanov (1831 - 1886), a Russian civil service official who worked for increased democracy and free universal education in Russia, and his liberal wife Maria Alexandrovna Blank (1835 - 1916). . He is sometimes erroneously referred to in the West as "Nikolai Lenin", though he has never been known as such in Russia. There are other theories on where his name came from and he himself is not known to have ever stated exactly why he chose it.

However, Plekhanov appears to have been a significant influence upon Lenin at that time in his life, so the veracity of this explanation is subject to question. Ulyanov picked the Lena which is longer and flows in the opposite direction. It has been suggested that he chose this name to show his opposition to Georgi Plekhanov who used the pseudonym Volgin, after the Volga River; i.e. "Lenin" was one of his revolutionary pseudonyms.

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (Russian: Влади́мир Ильи́ч Ле́нин  listen?), original surname Ulyanov (Улья́нов) (April 22 (April 10 (O.S.)), 1870 – January 21, 1924), was a Russian revolutionary, the leader of the Bolshevik party, the first Premier of the Soviet Union, and the main theorist of Leninism, which he described as an adaptation of Marxism to "the age of imperialism".

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