Aristotle was born in 384 B.C. in a small town called Stagira. His parents died when he was still young, and he was raised as an orphan. Though little is known about Aristotle's early years, the occupation of his father, Nicomachus, did have a significant influence on his development. Nicomachus was a physician, and this probably accounted for Aristotle's especially strong interest in biology, a science that had long been considered inferior to other disciplines.At the age of eighteen, Aristotle entered Plato's Academy and soon became the undisputed top student. He spent about twenty years there. Though Aristotle criticized many of Plato's theories, he was always careful to acknowledge his debt to his former master and stress the common ground that they shared. As much as he did depart from Plato's thought, the teacher's presence always bore some mark on the student's work.
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