The Garden Guide


Born - Died : 384 BC - 322 BC

A Greek philosopher and logician, Aristotle laid the basis for many aspects of western civilization. He was born in Macedonia, the son of a doctor, and went to study at Plato's Academy, or Grove, in Athens. After leaving Athens, Aristotle set up academies at Assus and Mytilene. He moved around and his Lyceum became known as the Peripatetic School. Aristotle was tutor to the young Alexander the Great. The Aristotelian approach to criticism, as set forth in the Poetics is empirical and descriptive. If focuses on the work itself and the relationship of the constituent parts to the whole. This is contrary to Plato's ethical approach, which encouraged the use of ideal values in judging a work. Aristotle was a systematizer inspired by common sense. He wrote on metaphysics, ethics, politics, criticism, logic, physics, biology and astronomy. Neither Plato nor Aristotle wrote on garden design. Had they done so, one can speculate that Plato would have been interested in the relationship of the garden to the world and Aristotle in the relationship of the constituent parts of the garden to each other (or one could say that Plato would have been more concerned with the design and Aristotle with its components).