Peripatetic School

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Peripatetic School


(from Greek peripateo, “I walk about”), the philosophical school of Aristotle. The name arose from Aristotle’s habit of walking about with his students in the Lyceum while lecturing.

In its initial period (fourth to first centuries B.C.), the Peripatetic school was headed first by Theophrastus and then by Strato of Lampsacus. Members of the school included Eudemus of Rhodes, Aristoxenus of Tarentum, and Dicaearchus of Messana.

The Peripatetics of this period were interested predominantly in individual studies, such as logic and botany (Theophrastus) and musical theory (Aristoxenus). Some of Aristotle’s students became naturalists, historians, geographers, and literary theorists and historians.

Andronicus of Rhodes was a distinguished representative of the school’s second period (first century B.C.). In both this period and the one following (first to third centuries A.D.), Aristotle’s works were published, edited, and annotated.

The Peripatetic school influenced the Platonists, Pythagoreans, Stoics, and Neoplatonists.


Wehrli, F. Die Schule des Aristoteles, vols. 1–10. Basel-Stuttgart, 1944–59.


Istoriia filosofii, vol. 1. Moscow, 1940. Pages 258–68.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
While under the direction of Theophrastus and Strato of Lampsacus, the Peripatetic school, founded by Aristotle, remained faithful to the ideal of a polymathic knowledge solidly anchored in philosophy.
A certain degree of polymathy was permitted, but the Stoic school's insistence on prior adhesion to the fundamental dogmas of the doctrine made it much more restrictive than the Peripatetic school. Such constraints no doubt led to a less empirical and experimental scientific approach than that inspired by the Peripatetic school.