Aristotle’s methods in biology reveal a great deal about his general methods in philosophy. He was the son of a doctor, and his work shows a particular aptitude for biology. We might contrast this fact with Plato’s aptitude for mathematics. Throughout Plato’s work, we see a continual reference to the forms of reasoning involved in mathematics as the paradigmatic example of what reasoning ought to be. By contrast, we find Aristotle applying the lessons he draws from his biological studies to philosophical questions far removed from biology. Two pertinent examples are Aristotle’s emphases on teleology and classification. Aristotle finds it useful when studying living organisms always to ask what function an organ or a process serves, and from this practical method he infers in general that all things serve a purpose and that we can best understand the workings of things by asking what ends they serve. Similarly, Aristotle develops an ingenious system of classifying the various kinds of living organisms according to species and genus, among other things, and proceeds to find systems for classifying everything from the forms of poetry to the categories of being. Most important, perhaps, is that Aristotle draws from his biological research a keen eye for detail and an emphasis on observation as the key to knowledge.