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 Definition (384-322 BCE) Ancient Greek philosopher and scientist, and one of the most influential figures in the western world between 350 BCE and the sixteenth century. [d] [e]
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This is extensively ex WP; I've trimmed out some sections and edited others, but anything should be deleted without hesitation as far as I'm concerned. It seemed likely that to me that the historical background and the bibliography and links at least would be useful to keep.Gareth Leng 10:19, 15 August 2007 (CDT)

Rahmat Muhammad and I are doing an extensive work here completely from scratch.--Thomas Simmons 00:11, 1 January 2008 (CST)


After someone pointed out by e-mail, this link

is egregious, and I don't trust the rest of it. Let's start over, perhaps using pieces of this Wikipedia-sourced article in at a time (perhaps not). --Larry Sanger 05:37, 17 October 2007 (CDT)

compare the two introductions

Wikipedia's article about Aristotle (which I have not read, and am not going to read) begins by telling us who he is:

Something along these lines, although better worded, I think, should be used here.Hayford Peirce 21:46, 28 December 2007 (CST)

There is good evidence that he was not in fact a teacher of Alexander. Probably chatted at court from time to time though. He actually established many fields--again we are dependent on the works passed down over 2300 years--but saying he wrote about this and that is to belittle his contribution. We have time to work on the inro till then.--Thomas Simmons 04:38, 29 December 2007 (CST)

The rewrite of the introduction for the rationale

"(Introduction is uncritical and does not reflect diversity of opinions. I have tried to do this!)"

Not getting how this has been accomplished. 50 words in favour of A. as an important part of human history etc and 200 (as of 18/11/08) to say he was at the root of a great deal that was/is wrong. Diversity of opinion has not really been reflected here, Timon, Theocritus, Tyndall and Popper against, and who has a kind word to say for the man? Not really balanced in my opinion.Thomas Simmons 02:30, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

I still think that the first couple of paragraphs here are *terrible*. They simply don't tell the general reader who the devil Aristotle was. What's wrong with putting some substantive info in these paragraphs, a la WP? As people keep saying (or at least from time to time), "Just because George Bush says it, it doesn't mean it's *always* wrong." Hayford Peirce 04:02, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Striking a balance over Aristotle (the golden mean?)

This stuff about 50 words in favour and 200 words against is a bit disingenuous - the whole article is an uncritical account which really should be rewritten to reflect all the criticisms of Aristotle - his science, his logic, his ethics.

Though much of Aristotle’s thought is historically interesting, it is also fascinating because it is a comprehensive picture of the world that differs, in some ways dramatically, from that of modern people. The works of Aristotle, however, can be daunting to the uninitated.

However! To do that would take some time and doubltess would be very controversial. Easier then to add the fact that there are 'different opinions' of his greatness/ contribution to knowledge etc somethere. Now, IMO the BEST place is right up there, in the intro - if Aristotle-traditionalists can't bear to see it there, well, maybe we need a new section: Critical views of Arstotle. In this case, the intro can simply 'point' to the new section, and the new section can really go into what's wrong with him/ why his contribution has been hotly debated (to use a silly phrase) over the centuries.

But I think anyone wanting to give a nice introduction to Aristotle ought really to also start off the counter-balancing critique section. Aristotle is very influential, so it is really worth a bit of extra toing- and froing over this one, isn't it?

Here's what I think we need at minimum':

brief exposition followed by a critical assessment (+/-)

of his logic, of his science, and of his ethics.

Martin Cohen 13:46, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Medieval rediscovery

I miss the rediscovery of Aristotle in the 13th century and acceptance of his ideas by the Church (Thomas of Aquino, Albertus Magnus, etc.). Is this in the pen?--Paul Wormer 04:25, 29 December 2007 (CST)

Might be. Lot of rewriting to do till then--Thomas Simmons 04:35, 29 December 2007 (CST)

Questia links

Can we, please, remove the links to Questia in the bibliography? I am also concerned that items were added to the bibliography just because they appear in Questia. That's not a good reason to include an item. The Questia links don't belong because (1) most people don't subscribe to Questia, and (2) this favors only one such service, when others might be available. It would be better, instead, to include the Questia links via the ISBN mechanism. --Larry Sanger 12:00, 3 January 2008 (CST)

Questia provides unique FREE services that no one else has. It does NOT sell books like Amazon. It gets copyright permission to use books, unlike google, which ignores copyright. I check every book that goes in my bibliographies. They are there because I think they are good quality and relevant. Richard Jensen 16:37, 3 January 2008 (CST)

As far as the books selected go--fine. But the books linked-to in the article are not free. Questia sells subscriptions ($20/month). There is absolutely no reason to give them this free advertisement in preference to other similar services. If you can't provide a more cogent reason to include these links, please remove them. --Larry Sanger 16:43, 3 January 2008 (CST)

I will get to them this weekend and match up the ISBNs. I do not know what the ISBN mechanism refers to here. Do we have a way to link that? --Thomas Simmons 16:50, 3 January 2008 (CST)

"similar services" -- which ones are those? I don't know of any in English.Richard Jensen 19:26, 3 January 2008 (CST)


This article needs some serious work. Is anyone besides me paying attention? Brian P. Long 00:00, 13 September 2008 (CDT)

Popper quotation

Martin, isn't it rather odd that you don't give a reference to Popper himself when you quote him?--Paul Wormer 12:04, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Not so much odd, as lazy! Would you be happy sourcing it to say, the Stanford E of P? Feel free to track it back further - but the quote is quite genuine. I read the Popper book some years ago and took notes for my own books. All the page details long lost now though. Maybe it can be tracked online?

The Greek 'critics' are also covered by the reference to my book, otherwisw we would need sources for every few words. Is that necessary? Clearly if I quote my book it can look like 'spam' but I would suggest that if it is clearly making a relevant and orignial point, then that is the 'proper' way to proceed.

CZ has a terrible dearth of content, I would like to 'raid' my exisitng work to try to put up substantial amounts - so as to act as a first 'draft' of the missing pages. Obviously, it will take about 100 times longer (no, literally!) if I have to re-research and source every few words.

But if others wish to track quotes back, that is in my view A VERY GOOD IDEA.

Martin Cohen 12:50, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Biased opening

The introductory section of this article was, to me, shockingly biased. I have moved most of the content of the section, which consisted mainly of a series of very harsh criticisms of Aristotle through the ages. This section (now at the bottom of the article) still needs balance and to be more than simply a list of quotations with little comment: a list of quotations does not make an encyclopedia article. More importantly, articles even about widely rejected and disrespected figures do and should not begin with such a catalog of criticisms. There really is not any excuse for this. What makes it even worse is that there is nothing about Aristotle's views or accomplishments in the introductory section, which is what the introduction should mainly consist of. --Larry Sanger 16:34, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

The content is historically descriptive and the context is that mentioned above on this talk page. Larry's edit left certain structural problems: notably a dangling last sentecne and a new 'split' between the complimentary view of Aristotle (in the opener) and the negative ones (in the conclusion). I think it made the assessment harsher rather than more neutral. Thus I have reverted it.
Now I can accept Larry's view - as fellow philosophy editor - that the present text may give an excessively negative view of Aristotle, given the general 'public' consensus, and indeed Aristotle's many admirers today, and thus criticism may be better located in its own paragraph, perhaps as Larry says at the end (but note the problem with THAT just mentioned.) However, there are different opinions on Aristotle, and reflecting this is the proper role of the introductory paragraph. So I am reluctant to accept his statement of the proper role of encyclopedias in this matter. Can we have some examples, please, Larry, of how controversial figures are properly summarised, if not by mentioning both sides? Or shoudl we AVOID value judgements int the opening paragraph and stick to neutral facts. That might do it.
As a matter of detail, Aristotle's views were NOT influential until well after 350 BCE and why is Aristotle's influence cut off in the C16 ? It looks rather odd - and this claim is unsourced. Can Larry offer a more precise span, indicating the reasons behind it, and sourcing? Martin Cohen 18:34, 5 January 2009 (UTC)


I respectfully disagree. You sadly underestimate the knowledge level of the general public. Also the raison d'etre for CZ. Is Plato an Archon of Athens? The guy who wrote the Illiad? A Roman general? Who knows, unless you tell them.

Rather than play the revert game, however, I will try to find another Editor who agrees with me. Hayford Peirce 16:23, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Where is the Catalog page referred to in the main article?

The main article states: "Please refer to this page’s catalog for a complete list of Aristotle’s works, and to the subpage on the spurious works of Aristotle." ... but I cannot find that catalog page. Milton Beychok 02:05, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

I don't think it was ever created, sadly. The 'spurious works of Aristotle' page is going to take someone who really knows their stuff-- it's certainly not a subject tyros like me can handle. (I looked at some of the discussion around the fourth book of the Meteorology). Something basic on the works of Aristotle shouldn't be too difficult to put together, though. The bigger problem is the mess the text of the main article is in... Brian P. Long 04:23, 26 August 2009 (UTC)