I've always had a problem with the way Aristotle’s thought is taught. At my uni in 1981 all his historical context, natural science and radical potential were removed. He was presented in the anachronistic guise of an Oxford Analytical Philosopher with a dash of Utilitarianism and a sprinkle of Philosophy of Mind.
I’m writing a book which argues that Aristotle did more to create the inner contours of all our minds than any other individual in history. Being intuitively convinced that life experiences and material environments affect intellectual theories, this week I went with our 17-year-old daughter Sarah Poynder and two Greek friends to visit all eight places in which we know Aristotle resided.
Stageira, his birthplace in 384 BCE, was a small, dazzlingly beautiful city-state in northern Greece where his father was a doctor. Stageira was trying—but failed—to remain independent of the expansionist Macedonian monster to its west.
|Camerawomen Christina and Sarah in Academy|
Aristotle spent twenty years at Plato’s Academy in Athens from the age of 17. His nicknames there were ‘The Mind’ and ‘The Reader’. His entire philosophical system fundamentally disagrees with Plato’s.
|Awesome: Assos Doric Temple of Athena + VIEW|
|With Sarah and Aristotle at Lake where he Studied Cuttlefish|
|Pella. As Impressive as Philip Wanted it to be|
|Aristotle's daily walking path in Mieza|
Plutarch says Philip built Aristotle a school to do this in at Mieza, a heartbreakingly lovely Macedonian glade, sacred to the nymphs.
But when Alexander died, anti-Macedonian feeling at Athens meant Aristotle had to pack his bags one more time. He died on his mother's family estate at Chalkis, beside (some said by drowning in) the churning waters caused by the mysterious Euripos tides.
|Admiral Constantinides explains Euripos Tides|
|Tidal waves of Chalkis where Aristotle is said to have drowned himself|
|Assos, Turkey: Leonidas, Sarah, Self and Murat|