Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637| Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Aristotle (384–322 Bce)
William B. Ewald
Aristotle was, with Plato (428–347 BCE), one of the two towering philosophers of the ancient world. He was both the pupil of Plato and the teacher of Alexander the Great; his writings range over almost the entire span of human knowledge, embracing logic, metaphysics, theology, politics, ethics, aesthetics, biology, and physics. To the Middle Ages (which he influenced profoundly) he was simply known as the Philosopher. Aristotle's political and legal theory can be thought of as fighting a war on two fronts: on the one hand, against the transcendental metaphysics of Plato; on the other, against the relativism and skepticism of the Sophists. In the Republic , Plato sought to ground law and politics on transcendental metaphysics, and in ...