Who is the Father of Biology? | Father of Biology – Aristotle ( 384 – 322 BCE )


Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and scientist who lived from 384 BCE to 322 BCE. He is credited with making significant contributions to a number of disciplines of study, including biology, zoology, physics, ethics, and politics. As a result of his ground-breaking contributions to the study of biology, he is often referred to as the “Father of Biology.”

His naturalistic philosophy, which placed an emphasis on observation and empirical data as the foundation for gaining a knowledge of the natural world, formed the framework for Aristotle’s methodical approach to the study of biology. He carried out considerable study on animals and plants, which included dissecting them, and then he categorized them according to their traits and habits. His work was crucial in laying the groundwork for the present biological categorization and taxonomy that we use today.

Father Of Biology - Aristotle

The writings “Historia Animalium,” “De Partibus Animalium,” and “De Generatione Animalium” by Aristotle are considered to be some of the most important biological works ever written. These books had a significant impact on the growth of biology as a field of study. He was of the opinion that all living things has a soul and that every species in the natural world served a unique and important purpose or role.

Not only did Aristotle make important contributions to the field of biology, but his views on logic and metaphysics had a significant role in the evolution of Western philosophical thought as well. His writings were read and taught by a significant number of people all across the ancient world, and his impact persisted all the way through the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance.

In the current day, the legacy of Aristotle continues to motivate and direct modern scientific study, in particular within the disciplines of biology and philosophy.

life of Aristotle – Father of Biology

Aristotle was a prominent figure in the history of not just philosophy and science but also education. He made important contributions to a broad variety of subjects, including biology. He was the son of a physician and was born in the year 384 BC in the little village of Stagira, which is located in northern Greece. It is not known a great deal about his early life, but it is thought that he had a well-rounded education both from his father and from other intellectuals who lived in his town.

Aristotle moved to Athens to attend Plato’s Academy when he was seventeen years old. He had previously been educated at Stagira. He remained a student at the Academy for close to twenty years, during which time he became proficient in a variety of fields, such as mathematics, physics, and metaphysics. On the other hand, he had a special fascination with biology, and he devoted a lot of his time to learning about the behaviour of different kinds of animals. In recognition of his contributions to the field, he is sometimes referred to as the “father of biology.” He was of the opinion that comprehending the natural world required an education in biology.

Aristotle spent a number of years travelling and engaging in research after he finished his studies at the Academy. He produced a great deal of writing on a diverse variety of topics, including biology, ethics, and metaphysics, among others. His publications on biology are especially notable, since they are some of the oldest and most in-depth analyses of the natural world. This makes them a significant part of his legacy.

Observation and categorization formed the foundation of Aristotle’s method for studying biology. He was of the opinion that all living things might be arranged in a hierarchical structure based on the qualities and behaviours that differentiated them from one another. In addition to this, he was of the opinion that every species existed for a certain reason or role, which he referred to as its “ultimate cause.” He was able to build a categorization system that is still in use today by observing and documenting the behaviour of a broad variety of species, such as insects, fish, birds, and mammals. He utilised this knowledge to create the system.

Aristotle made substantial contributions to a number of other academic fields in addition to the field of biology, including philosophy, logic, ethics, and politics. He wrote extensively on these topics, and his writings have been credited with having a significant impact on the development of Western philosophical thinking. His thoughts on ethics, for instance, served as the foundation for a great deal of contemporary ethical thought, notably the theory of virtue ethics. His political theory has had a tremendous effect, and his views on democracy, citizenship, and the role of the state are being disputed and discussed to this day. His thoughts on democracy, citizenship, and the role of the state.

Aristotle passed away in the year 322 BC at the city of Chalcis, which is located on the island of Euboea. His legacy was carried on by his students and by those students’ pupils, and his ideas continued to have a significant impact on Western thinking for generations to come. It is generally agreed that he was one of the most significant intellectuals in the history of the Western world. His impact can be seen in a variety of fields, including science, philosophy, and politics.

Aristotle on philosophy

The study of the connections that exist between different basic ideas or terms is the focus of the subfield of logic known as term logic. Aristotle, who lived in ancient Greece, is credited with being the creator of this reasoning, which is why it is also known as Aristotelian logic.

In the field of term logic, a term is a word or phrase that is used to describe a basic notion or concept. According to the function that they play in a proposition, terms may be categorised as either the subject or the predicate. A statement that makes an assertion regarding the connection between two different concepts is referred to as a proposition. Syllogisms are a kind of logical reasoning that consist of three premises and may either be positive or negative. Propositions can be joined to make syllogisms, and syllogisms can be either affirmative or negative.

The emphasis placed on categorical propositions is one of the defining characteristics of term logic. A statement that makes an assertion regarding the nature of the connection that exists between two categories or classes is known as a categorical proposition. The following are the four fundamental propositions of categorization:

  • All S is P. (universal affirmative)
  • No S is P. (universal negative)
  • Some  S is P (particular affirmative)
  • Some S is not P. (particular negative)

Term logic encompasses categorical statements as well as modal propositions, which convey the link between a proposition and the possibility or necessity of that proposition. Categorical propositions are the most common kind of proposition in term logic. Modal propositions may be either required or feasible, and they can be paired with categorical propositions to produce syllogisms of a higher level of complexity.

There is a school of thought that believes term logic is flawed because of its constrained use and inability to deal with more intricate logical connections. Despite this, it continues to be an important area of logic and has been a factor in the creation of a variety of other logical systems, such as predicate logic and modal logic.

Aristotle on metaphysics

The study of the nature of reality and the basic laws that govern it is the focus of the field of study known as metaphysics, which is a subfield of philosophy. One of the most important ideas in metaphysics is that of “substance,” which may be understood as “the fundamental character or essence of a thing that gives it its identity and makes it what it is.”

According to Aristotle, who is widely regarded as one of the most prominent figures in the field of metaphysics, the most basic idea in metaphysics is that of substance. According to his definition, a substance is a specific sort of entity that may be conceived of as the ultimate subject of predication since it exists apart from other things and has its own existence. To put it another way, anything is said to have substance if it has traits and qualities but is not itself a property or quality of anything else.

Aristotle also makes a distinction between two different kinds of substance, which he calls basic substance and secondary substance. The term “primary substance” refers to specific, unique items that are capable of existing on their own, such as a tree or a dog. On the other hand, the term “secondary substance” refers to generic categories or classes of objects that are dependent on specific substances. Some examples of secondary substances are “animal” and “tree.”

During the course of philosophical history, the idea of substance has been the subject of much discussion and examination. As a result, its nature and importance have been interpreted in a variety of different ways. Although there are many who believe that the concept of substance is nothing more than a mental construct or a language convention, there are other philosophers who maintain that it is an aspect of the external universe.

In contemporary metaphysics, the idea of substance has been subject to a variety of revisions and extensions, each of which has the potential to shed new light on the subject. Some philosophers, for instance, have investigated the notion of non-physical substances, such as the mind or awareness, while others have questioned whether the concept of substance can ever be relevant or helpful at all. In spite of these arguments, the idea of substance continues to be a fundamental and significant part of the study of metaphysics.

Aristotle on organon

The collection of works on logic published by Aristotle was given the term Organon, which comes from the Greek word organon, which may be translated as “tool” or “instrument.” Upon Aristotle’s death, his disciples most likely assembled and revised the six separate treatises that make up the Organon. The following are the six treatises:

1. Categories: In this book, Aristotle describes his theory of categories, which includes the categorization of things into various types or groups depending on their qualities. Aristotle’s theory of categories entails classifying things into distinct kinds or groups.

2. About Interpretation: The topic of this work is the connection between language and the external world, as well as the use of language to draw conclusions about the external world.

3. Previous Analytical Work: The focus of this piece is on the nature of deductive reasoning, and it is here that the idea of the syllogism is presented. A syllogism is a kind of logical argument that consists of two premises and a conclusion.

4. Posterior Analytics: This piece of work investigates the nature of scientific knowledge as well as the process of logical reasoning. It expands on the concepts that were presented in the Prior Analytics section of the book. Aristotle covers the tactics and procedures of reasoning and debate in this book, with a special emphasis on the use of common themes or general ideas.

5. Sophistical Refutations: This work deals with the detection and rebuttal of fallacious arguments, and it gives a framework for detecting and reacting to frequent logical fallacies. Also, it deals with the detection and refutation of fallacious arguments.

Even though it was studied extensively and had a significant impact on the ancient world, the Organon is still examined by logicians and philosophers in modern times. Its methodologies and procedures continue to be essential components in the research of logic and critical thinking because of the enormous influence its ideas have had on the evolution of Western philosophy.

Aristotle on motion

Aristotle is well-known for his work on motion and his theory of motion, both of which had a significant impact on the development of science and philosophy in the Western world. According to Aristotle, all things in the natural world had a natural position, also known as a “home,” to which they tended to travel, and he thought that the motion of things was driven by a force, also known as a “mover.” He differentiated between the following four kinds of motion:

Natural motion : It refers to the kind of motion that is inherent in an item’s nature and is not created by an external force. Natural motion may only occur when an object is not being acted upon by another force. For instance, it is in the nature of a rock to go downwards, so when it falls, it lands on the ground.

A violent motion :  This is the kind of motion that is brought about by the application of an outside force. As an example, the force with which a ball is kicked causes it to move since it is being acted upon by the kicker.

Rectilinear motion: Aristotle felt that motion that occurred in a straight line was the most natural kind of motion. This sort of motion is referred to as rectilinear motion.

Circular motion: Aristotle thought that the natural inclination of things to travel towards their “home” or natural position was the origin of circular motion, which is motion that occurs in a circle. Circular motion is motion that occurs in a circle.

The observations that Aristotle made of the natural world provided the foundation for his theory of motion. Aristotle was of the opinion that it was essential to investigate the motion of things in order to get an understanding of both their nature and behaviour. His views on motion had a significant impact on the growth of science and philosophy in the West, and to this day, academics are still debating and researching them. Despite this, many of Aristotle’s concepts concerning motion have been altered or replaced by new theories and models as a result of the growth of contemporary science, notably in the domains of physics and mechanics.


ELEMENTWet/DryHot/ColdModern states
of matter
Aether —–(divine substance)Vacuum

Aristotle, in his work titled “On Generation and Corruption,” established a connection between each of the four elements (earth, water, air, and fire) that had been postulated by Empedocles previously, and two of the four perceptible characteristics (hot, cold, wet, and dry). According to the Empedoclean theory, all substance was composed of the same four elements, but in varying quantities. The model proposed by Aristotle included the celestial aether, which is the divine material that makes up the heavenly spheres, stars, and planets.


In the field of astronomy, Aristotle refuted Democritus’ claim that the Milky Way was composed of “those stars which are shaded by the earth from the sun’s rays.” He did so by pointing out that if “the size of the sun is greater than that of the earth and the distance of the stars from the earth is many times greater than that of the sun, then… the sun shines on all of the stars and the earth screens none of them,” which is correct.

Geology and natural sciences

Aristotle observed that there was a shift in the elevation of the land in the Aeolian islands prior to volcanic eruptions.
One of the first persons to record any geological findings was Aristotle. He said that the changes in the geological landscape could not be detected in the lifespan of a single individual. The geologist Charles Lyell noted that Aristotle described such changes, including “lakes that had dried up” and “deserts that had become watered by river.”

He gave as examples the growth of the Nile delta since the time of Homer, as well as “the upheaving of one of the Aeolian islands, prior to a volcanic eruption.” Aristotle was also known for making several observations about the hydrologic cycle and meteorology (including his major writings “Meteorologica”).

For instance, he made some of the earliest observations regarding desalination: he observed early on – and correctly – that when seawater is heated, freshwater evaporates, and that the oceans are then replenished by the cycle of rainfall and river runoff (“I have proved by experiment that salt water evaporated forms fresh, and the vapour does not when it condenses condense into sea water again.


Aristotle made a number of significant contributions to the field of biology, including the following:

Classification of living organisms.

Aristotle divided all living things into two primary categories: those that had blood and those that did not have blood. The former were referred to as “animals,” whereas the latter were called “plants” in his speech. He next subdivided the species that fell into these two classes into subcategories based on the traits that distinguished them.

For instance, creatures were separated into two categories: those that had red blood, like mammals, and those that did not have red blood, such reptiles and amphibians (such as birds and fish). In addition, he categorised animals according to their natural environments, behaviour, and physical characteristics.

Later on, in the 18th century, Carolus Linnaeus devised the present method of biological categorization. This system, which is based on a hierarchical system of categories that reflect the evolutionary links among species, was named after him. The kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species are all components of Linnaeus’ classification system. This system is still in use today and because to ongoing research and technological breakthroughs in the fields of genetics and molecular biology, it has been improved.

Observation and description of animals

Aristotle was an avid observer of the natural world and wrote extensively on the subject of animals, including their habits and the environments in which they lived. He watched animals in their natural habitats and took meticulous notes on the creatures’ physiological traits, behavioural patterns, and ecological connections.

Aristotle’s observations and descriptions of animals were among the first attempts to systematically document the natural world, and his work had a significant impact on the development of biology as a scientific discipline. In addition, Aristotle is widely credited with being the founder of the scientific discipline of zoology. He categorised the creatures based on their physical characteristics as well as the behaviours they exhibited, making note of the similarities and contrasts between the various species.

The observations made by Aristotle included descriptions of the anatomy and physiology of animals, as well as their reproductive habits, social structures, and interactions with the settings in which they lived. He wrote, for instance, on the hunting techniques used by predatory animals, the nesting activities of birds, and the tunnelling behaviours of rats.

Overall, Aristotle’s in-depth observations and descriptions of animals were crucial in the development of the foundations of contemporary biological science, and his work is still studied and cited by current researchers and scientists.

Study of embryology

One of the first people to research embryology, or the process of analysing how embryos grow, Aristotle was also one of the first scientists. He did a great deal of study on the embryonic development of a variety of creatures, such as birds, fish, and insects, among other things. He took meticulous notes on the process of organ and limb development as he examined fertilised eggs at various stages of development via the process of dissection.

The research that Aristotle did on embryology was innovative and offered important insights into the processes of growth and development. He made the discovery that embryos formed from a single cell and that their development followed preset patterns. He also found that these patterns were dictated by genetic makeup.

The idea that the development of an organism is a process of continuous, sequential growth from a simpler to a more complex state was one of the most important discoveries that Aristotle made in the field of embryology. This idea, which is referred to as the concept of epigenesis, was one of Aristotle’s key insights. This view ran counter to the widely accepted theory of preformation, which said that embryos were already completely formed at the time of conception and only unfolded themselves during the course of their development.

Overall, Aristotle’s work on embryology was crucial in laying the groundwork for contemporary developmental biology, and his insights into the processes of growth and development are still being researched and improved upon by scientists in the present period.

Theory of spontaneous generation

The concept that live beings might emerge from non-living stuff, such as rotting flesh, dirt, or plant matter that has decayed, was the foundation of Aristotle’s theory of spontaneous creation, which is often referred to as abiogenesis. This idea was founded on his observations of maggots emerging from decaying flesh as well as other events with comparable characteristics.

Aristotle held the belief that life sprang naturally from the correct circumstances in the environment, and that there was no need for there to be pre-existing living entities in order for there to be new life. This hypothesis was generally believed up until the 17th century, when the Italian physician Francesco Redi performed studies that revealed that maggots did not grow spontaneously from flesh but instead originated from the eggs produced by flies. Since then, this theory has been largely discredited.

Louis Pasteur conducted experiments in the later part of the 19th century that provided conclusive proof that microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, could only originate from pre-existing microorganisms and not from non-living matter. These experiments provided proof that microorganisms could not originate from non-living matter. This finding contributed to the overthrow of the notion of spontaneous generation and contributed to the establishment of the concept of biogenesis, which is the belief that all living beings originate from other live organisms that were already in existence.

Aristotle’s theory of spontaneous generation was an early attempt to explain the origins of life and the diversity of living organisms; despite the fact that it was ultimately disproven, it was an important contribution to the history of biology because it was an early attempt to explain these topics.

In the grand scheme of things, Aristotle’s contributions to biology were crucial in laying the groundwork for subsequent scientific discoveries and the investigation of the natural world.

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FAQ on Father of Biology

  1. Who is known as the father of biology?

    Aristotle is often referred to as the father of biology.

  2. Why is Aristotle called the father of biology?

    Aristotle is considered the father of biology because he was the first to organize and classify living things into groups based on their physical characteristics. He also studied the structure and function of organisms and made important contributions to the fields of anatomy, physiology, and embryology.

  3. What were Aristotle’s contributions to biology?

    Aristotle made significant contributions to the study of biology, including his work in comparative anatomy, behavioral studies, botanical studies, and embryology.

  4. How did Aristotle’s work in biology influence modern science?

    Aristotle’s work in biology laid the foundation for modern scientific inquiry, and his careful observation and experimentation helped to develop the scientific method that is still used today.

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