“Plato is dear to me, but dearer still is the truth.”
All quotations without a footnote link are from Thomson & Missner, On Aristotle, Belmont, California: Wadsworth, 2000.
Aristotle was born in 384 B.C. and died in 322 B.C., which means he lived to be roughly 62 years old. We would say he died young, yet no single individual did more to influence the history of thought than Aristotle. “He single-handedly founded the sciences of Logic, Biology and Psychology.”¹
It was Aristotle’s division of knowledge into different subject matters that we still generally accept. It was Aristotle who through the work of Thomas Aquinas had an important influence on the development of Christian theology and ethics. It was Aristotle who emphasized the role of systematic empirical investigation that is one of the basic foundations of our science. In many areas of knowledge we still rely on concepts that Aristotle first developed.
According to a Chinese proverb, “One’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” If ever this were true, it’s true once you read Aristotle. His mind was so keen and his words so persuasively enlightening, once you read his works, although you may not agree with all his assumptions or arguments, your mind will never be the same.