The term peripatetic derives from latin peripatetĭcus, in turn from the Greek peripatētikós (which can be translated as “That walks”). It’s about a adjective that allows to qualify who follow the thoughts of the Greek philosopher Aristotle.
The etymology of the concept is linked to the fact that Aristotle, while talking to his disciples, walked. The first peripatetics, therefore, were those who conversed, debated and walked with him.
The peripatetic school arose from the teachings of Aristotle, who lived between 384 and 322 BC and cultivated various fields, as was customary at that time, among which we can point out philosophy and science. He was born in the region northern of ancient Greece.
When talking about Aristotle Plato is often mentioned as well, since both are considered the fathers of Western philosophy. Even today the influence of his ideas can be appreciated, which have transcended more than two thousand years. Plato was one of his teachers throughout the two decades he spent at the Academy of Athens.
Aristotle inaugurated his first school (the Lyceum) around the temple of Lycian Apollo, with which there lie the origins of the peripatetic school. The thinker used to walk and reflect on the gardens of said temple. After his death, the peripatetic movement was oriented to scientific and naturalistic questions that transcended the philosophical.
The Lyceum is a Gym, and the walks along which the reflection sessions with the students of Aristotle took place were done in a covered porch. It is curious that over the years this term, Lyceum, has been transformed until it is accepted as a synonym for «educational center».
Andronicus of Rhodes, Aristoxene, Theophrastus, Satyr Y Lámpsaco Straton they were some of the most important members of the peripatetic school. According to specialists, this center philosophical and scientific was the most relevant of the Greco-Roman era.
With respect to Andronicus of Rhodes, we can say that he was the one who assumed the address from the school between 78 and 47 BC, after ten other students took over from their late teacher and mentor. He is especially known for having produced the first major publication of Aristotle’s original texts. He was assisted by Tiranión, a librarian and grammarian who meticulously selected the sources. The order of Andronicus’s work is very similar to what we know today.
Aristoxenus of Tarentum, also know as Aristogenes, he devoted himself to music and philosophy. His homeland was the current city of Taranto, in Italy, which at that time was called Taras village. His main education came from his father, who had studied with Socrates, and was complemented with Lampro of Eritras and Xenophilo, without forgetting Aristotle. As a curious fact, he did not know at all that he was not named successor of the direction after the death of Aristotle, but that this honor went to the peripatetic Theophrastus.
In recent years, many people became familiar with the notion of peripatetic thanks to “Merlí”. This Spanish TV series, which aired between 2015. Y 2018, revolves around the experiences of a teacher of philosophy that encourages the free thinking of his students, whom he calls “The peripatetics”. The script was in charge of Héctor Lozano, Mercè Sàrrias Y Laia Aguilar, and the direction took her Eduard Cortes.
As the episodes go by, these peripatetics –and the viewers– are learning various characteristics of the doctrines of Socrates, Friedrich Nietzsche, Rene Descartes, Karl Marx Y Thomas Hobbes, among others.