On the Soul is also known by its Latin title De Anima or its Greek title Peri Psuchês What does it mean to be a natural living thing? Are plants and animals alive simply because of an arrangement of material parts, or does life spring from something else? In this timeless and profound inquiry, Aristotle presents a view of the psyche that avoids the simplifications both of the materialists and those who believe in the soul as something quite distinct from body. On the Soul also includes Aristotle's idiosyncratic and influential account of light and colors. On Memory and Recollection continues the investigation of some of the topics introduced in On the Soul.
Aristotle was born at Stageira, in the dominion of the kings of Macedonia, in 384 BC. For twenty years he studied at Athens in the Academy of Plato, on whose death in 347 he left, and, some time later, became tutor of the young Alexander the Great. When Alexander succeeded to the throne of Macedonia in 335, Aristotle returned to Athens and established his school and research institute, the Lyceum, to which his great erudition attracted a large number of scholars.
After Alexander's death in 323, anti-Macedonian feeling drove Aristotle out of Athens, and he fled to Chalcis in Euboea, where he died in 322. His writings, which were of extraordinary range, profoundly affected the whole course of ancient and medieval philosophy, and they are still eagerly studied and debated by philosophers today. Very many of them have survived and among the most famous are the Ethics and the Politics.