Ryan Waldrop

Place of birth:


Chalcidice (Chalkidiki),

northern Greece
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Date of birth and death:

  • Born: 384 BC
  • Died: 322 BC (62 years old)


  • Peripatetic school
  • Aristotelianism
  • There was no major universities around during this time

Major contributions to physics:

  • Aristotle proposed a fifth element, aether, in addition to the four proposed earlier by Empedocles.
  • Aristotle defined motion as the actuality of a potentiality as such.
  • With regard to the change (kinesis) and its causes now, as he defines in his Physics by:

  1. growth and diminution, which is change in quantity;
  2. locomotion, which is change in space; and
  3. alteration, which is change in quality.
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More than 2300 years after his death, Aristotle remains one of the most influential people who ever lived. He contributed to almost every field of human knowledge then in existence, and he was the founder of many new fields. He wrote on many different "scientific" subjects, including physics, logic, biology, zoology, poetry, theater, music, politics, government, and ethics. He is also generally attributed with the birth of "western philosophy", which includes logic, theology, politics, and ethics. Aristotle defines metaphysics as "the knowledge of immaterial being," or of "being in the highest degree of abstraction." He refers to metaphysics as "first philosophy", as well as "the theologic science."

Aristotle distinguished about 500 species of birds, mammals and fishes. According to Aristotle, memory is the ability to hold a perceived experience in your mind and to have the ability to distinguish between the internal "appearance" and an occurrence in the past