Aristotle And Meteorology Essay

1674 Words 7 Pages
Thesis: How accurate or inaccurate were Aristotle’s writings on meteorology?

Introduction: Aristotle wrote about many subjects that can be grouped into five general divisions: logic, physical works, psychological works, natural history works, and philosophical works. One of the little known physical works concerned meteorology. Aristotle’s views on meteorology are fascinating, but many of the views were not accurate. This paper compares only a few of his views to actual meteorological facts.

I. Biography

     A. Birth and growth

     B. Influence on writings

II. Basis of Aristotle’s meteorology

     A. Elements and theory
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He found the Platonic school flourishing under Xenocrates, and Platonism the dominant philosophy of Athens (Encyclopedia 5). Aristotle thus set up his own school at a place called the Lyceum. When teaching at the Lyceum, Aristotle had a habit of walking about as he discoursed. It was because of this that his followers became known in later years as the peripatetics, meaning, "to walk about” (Shakian 126). For the next thirteen years, he devoted his energies to his teaching and composing his philosophical treatises. His institution integrated extensive equipment, including maps and the largest library collection in Europe. He is said to have given two kinds of lectures: the more detailed discussions in the morning for an inner circle of advanced students, and the popular discourses in the evening for the general body of lovers of knowledge.

At the sudden death of Alexander in 323 BC, the pro-Macedonian government in Athens was overthrown, and a general reaction occurred against anything Macedonian. A charge of impiety was trumped up against Aristotle. To escape prosecution he fled to Chalcis in Euboea so that (Aristotle says) "The Athenians might not have another opportunity of sinning against philosophy as they had already done in the person of Socrates” (Encyclopedia 5). In the first year of his residence at Chalcis he complained of a stomach illness and died in 322 BC (Encyclopedia 7).

One of Aristotle’s writings is about meteorology. His
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