Aristotle began his own education at the Academy in Athens when he first arrived from Macedonia. When he first arrived the Academy had already been open for twenty years. Aristotle would spend twenty more years as a pupil and also as a teacher. The Academy was founded by Plato, but during a great deal of Aristotle's stay Plato was away in Sicily. Math and science were taught as well as philosophical dialect. The school functioned primarily to examine thought itself and explore its power. It was thought at this time that philosophers were capable of solving the problems of mankind. They were the great thinkers who would guide their fellow men.
In 347 BC Aristotle left Athens, partly because he was growing dissatisfied with the Academy but mainly because of the anti-Macedonian atmosphere emerging there as a result of the political unrest in that country. Aristotle set out for the court of Hermias, ruler of Assos in Asia Minor. In the years that Aristotle spent away from Athens there were many political changes in Macedonia. Shortly after his arrival Hermias would be killed (as a part of his court Aristotle was forced to flee to Lesbos) and Philip would make peace with Athens and unite all of Macedonia. Aristotle returned to a very different Macedonia, where he would give lectures to Alexander the Great.
In 335 BC Aristotle returned to Athens where he founded the Peripatetic school. This new school was highly successful and came to outshine the Academy, despite the fact that the philosophy taught there was based on Plato's work. Only later and gradually would Aristotle's school develop its new philosophy. For now, it had a sort of improved Platonic philosophy, one that would appeal to the younger men in the Greek world. One large difference is the library Aristotle installed at the school. It was to be the largest collection of books in history, and was the model for the famous State libraries of Alexandria and Pergamum.
Differences in the fundamental attitudes of the schools were that while early philosophers such as Plato had directed their thinking to figuring out how you could improve human society, the Peripatetic school was focused more on observation rather than speculation and research rather than intuition.
In 323 BC Aristotle's work would come to an end.
Alexander's rule was over and this meant Athens was liberated
and again anti-Macedonian attitudes were present. Much of these
negative feeling towards Macedonia were focused on Aristotle.
He was charged with sacrilege and he and his family fled to the
island of Euboea where he died only a year later.