What Were Aristotle’s Major Contributions to Science?

Aristotle’s major contributions to science include the development of Scientific Method and founding a school in Athens that provided the world’s first comprehensive study of human knowledge from the perspective of natural philosophy. Aristotle also proved that the Earth was a sphere.

Aristotle introduced the concept of Scientific Method by proposing that the principles of nature could be found within nature and could be discovered using careful observation and inductive reasoning. This also included a classification of about 500 species of birds, mammals and fishes. Many of the elements used in his system of classification are still used today.

Aristotle established the Peripatetic School, known as the Lyceum, in 335 BC. In his philosophy and teachings, Aristotle focused on the fundamental truths of the world around him. His views on physical science profoundly shaped medieval scholarship and beyond, including that of Galileo and Einstein.

Aristotle was the first to prove that the Earth is spherical. By observing the behavior of shadows during an eclipse, directional variations and the effects of gravity, Aristotle deduced that the Earth was spherical. This observation would go onto influence ideas about the erosion of mountains and surface tension. It also explained why planets and stars are also spherical.