Why was Aristotle so important for science?
Well, Aristotle is a remarkable figure. Everyone knows him as the father of logic and philosophy, but people forget that he was the father of biology too. About a third of his surviving texts relate to biology and actually his thoughts on the subject inform his philosophy, his metaphysics and his ideas on a number of topics. In many ways he began it all, in effect developing an entire course on biology, including the classification of animals. Why have people forgotten Aristotle’s contribution? Up until the seventeenth century’s scientific revolution, when people spoke about biology they really spoke about Aristotle. His influence on early science was immense. It was so massive in fact that the science revolutionaries felt they had to destroy him during their attack on the old scientific system. Despite this the impact of Aristotle’s thought endures to this day. Even Darwin remarked: “Linnaeus and Cuvier have been my two gods, though in very different ways, but they were mere schoolboy