We have collected and put the best Aristotle quotes in many categories. Enjoy reading these insights and feel free to share this page on your social media to inspire others.
May these Aristotle quotes on many subjects inspire you to never give up and keep working towards your goals. Who knows—success could be just around the corner.
Please DO page find from your browser for your subject SEARCH.
Aristotle (Ἀριστοτέλης Aristotelēs; 384 BC – 322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and a scientist. He was the founder of the Lyceum and the Peripatetic school of philosophy and Aristotelian tradition. Along with his teacher Plato, he has been called the “Father of Western Philosophy”. His writings cover many subjects – including physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, aesthetics, poetry, theatre, music, rhetoric, psychology, linguistics, economics, politics and government. Aristotle provided a complex synthesis of the various philosophies existing prior to him, and it was above all from his teachings that the West inherited its intellectual lexicon, as well as problems and methods of inquiry. As a result, his philosophy has exerted a unique influence on almost every form of knowledge in the West and it continues to be a subject of contemporary philosophical discussion.
“I was not alone when I was in Goofy hell” – Aristotle
1 is not prime, by definition. 2 is an unnatural prime, 4 is an unnatural prime, and 6 is an unnatural prime. All other natural primes cannot be unnatural primes. – Aristotle
95% of everything you do is the result of habit. – Aristotle
A bad man can do a million times more harm than a beast. – Aristotle
A beautiful object, whether it be a picture of a living organism or any whole composed of parts, must not only have an orderly arrangement of parts, but most also be of a certain magnitude; for beauty depends on magnitude and order. – Aristotle
A beginning is that which does not itself follow anything by causal necessity, but after which something naturally is or comes to be. – Aristotle
A body in motion can maintain this motion only if it remains in contact with a mover. – Aristotle
A brave man is clear in his discourse, and keeps close to truth. – Aristotle
A change in the shape of the body creates a change in the state of the soul. – Aristotle
A citizen is a constituent part of a whole or system, which invests him with powers and qualifies him for functions, for which, in his individual capacity, he is totally unfit; and independently of which system, he might subsist indeed as a solitary savage, but could never attain that improved and happy state to which his progressive nature invariably tends. – Aristotle
A city is composed of different kinds of men; similar people cannot bring a city into existence. – Aristotle
A common danger unites even the bitterest enemies. – Aristotle
A constitution is the arrangement of magistracies in a state, especially of the highest of all. The government is everywhere sovereign in the state, and the constitution is in fact the government. – Aristotle
A constitution is the arrangement of magistracies in a state. – Aristotle
A courageous person is one who faces fearful things as he ought and as reason directs for the sake of what is noble. – Aristotle
A democracy exists whenever those who are free and are not well-off, being in the majority, are in sovereign control of government, an oligarchy when control lies with the rich and better-born, these being few. – Aristotle
A democracy is a government in the hands of men of low birth, no property, and vulgar employments. – Aristotle
A democracy when put to the strain grows weak, and is supplanted by Oligarchy. – Aristotle
A family, to be complete, must consist of freemen and slaves; and as every complex object naturally resolves itself into simple elements, we must consider the elements of a family–the master and servant, the husband and wife, the father and children; what all of these are in themselves, and what are the relations which they naturally and properly bear to each other. – Aristotle
A flatterer is a friend who is your inferior, or pretends to be so. – Aristotle
A fool contributes nothing worth hearing and takes offense at everything. – Aristotle
A gentleman is not disturbed by anything – Aristotle
A goal gets us motivated,while a good habit keeps us stay motivated. – Aristotle
A government which is composed of the middle class more nearly approximates to democracy than to oligarchy, and is the safest of the imperfect forms of government. – Aristotle
A great city is not to be confounded with a populous one. – Aristotle
A human being is a naturally political [animal]. – Aristotle
A king ruleth as he ought, a tyrant as he lists, a king to the profit of all, a tyrant only to please a few. – Aristotle
A life of wealth and many belongings is only a means to happiness. Honor, power, and success cannot be happiness because they depend on the whims of others, and happiness should be self-contained, complete in itself. – Aristotle
A likely impossibility is always preferable to an unconvincing possibility. – Aristotle
A line is not made up of points. … In the same way, time is not made up parts considered as indivisible ‘nows.’ Part of ‘s reply to Zeno’s paradox concerning continuity. – Aristotle
A man becomes a friend whenever being loved he loves in return. – Aristotle
A man can make up his mind quickly when he has only a little to make up. – Aristotle
A man is his own best friend; therefore he ought to love himself best. – Aristotle
A man is the origin of his action. – Aristotle
A man who examines each subject from a philosophical standpoint cannot neglect them: he has to omit nothing, and state the truth about each topic. – Aristotle
A man’s happiness consists in the free exercise of his highest faculties. – Aristotle
A participation in rights and advantages forms the bond of political society; an institution prior, in the intention of nature, to the families and individuals from whom it is constituted. – Aristotle
A period may be defined as a portion of speech that has in itself a beginning and an end, being at the same time not too big to be taken in at a glance. – Aristotle
A person’s life persuades better than his word. – Aristotle
A poet’s object is not to tell what actually happened but what could or would happen either probably or inevitably…. For this reason poetry is something more scientific and serious than history, because poetry tends to give general truths while history gives particular facts. – Aristotle
A promise made must be a promise kept. – Aristotle
A proper wife should be as obedient as a slave… The female is a female by virtue of a certain lack of qualities – a natural defectiveness. – Aristotle
A right election can only be made by those who have knowledge. – Aristotle
A science must deal with a subject and its properties. – Aristotle
A speaker who is attempting to move people to thought or action must concern himself with Pathos. – Aristotle
A state is an association of similar persons whose aim is the best life possible. What is best is happiness, and to be happy is an active exercise of virtue and a complete employment of it. – Aristotle
A state is not a mere society, having a common place, established for the prevention of mutual crime and for the sake of exchange…. Political society exists for the sake of noble actions, and not of mere companionship. – Aristotle
A statement is persuasive and credible either because it is directly self-evident or because it appears to be proved from other statements that are so. – Aristotle
A statement is persuasive and credible either because it is directly self-evident or because it appears to be proved from other statements that are so. In either case it is persuasive because there is somebody whom it persuades. – Aristotle
A thing chosen always as an end and never as a means we call absolutely final. Now happiness above all else appears to be absolutely final in this sense, since we always choose it for its own sake and never as a means to something else. – Aristotle
A tragedy is a representation of an action that is whole and complete and of a certain magnitude. A whole is what has a beginning and middle and end. – Aristotle
A tragedy is that moment where the hero comes face to face with his true identity. – Aristotle
A tragedy is the imitation of an action that is serious, and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself . . . with incidents arousing pity and terror, with which to accomplish its purgation of these emotions. – Aristotle
A true disciple shows his appreciation by reaching further than his teacher. – Aristotle
A true friend is one soul divided into two people. – Aristotle
A true friend is one soul in two bodies. – Aristotle
A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side. – Aristotle
A very populous city can rarely, if ever, be well governed. – Aristotle
A vivid image compels the whole body to follow. – Aristotle
A whole is that which has a beginning, a middle, and an end. – Aristotle
A young man is not a proper hearer of lectures on political science; for he is inexperienced in the actions that occur in life, but its discussions start from these and are about these; and, further, since he tends to follow his passions, his study will be vain and unprofitable, because the end that is aimed at is not knowledge but action. And it makes no difference whether he is young in years or youthful in character. – Aristotle
Abstract accuracy is no more to be expected in all philosophic treatises than in all products of art, and noble and just acts with which the art political is concerned admit of such great variation and of so many differences that they have been held to depend upon conventional rather than upon real distinctions. – Aristotle
Accordingly, the poet should prefer probable impossibilities to improbable possibilities. The tragic plot must not be composed of irrational parts. – Aristotle
Actions determine what kind of characteristics are developed. – Aristotle
Actual knowledge is identical with its object: in the individual, potential knowledge is in time prior to actual knowledge, but in the universe as a whole it is not prior even in time. Mind is not at one time knowing and at another not. When mind is set free from its present conditions it appears as just what it is and nothing more: this alone is immortal and eternal (we do not, however, remember its former activity because, while mind in this sense is impassible, mind as passive is destructible), and without it nothing thinks. – Aristotle
Adoration is made out of a solitary soul occupying two bodies. – Aristotle
Adventure is worthwhile. – Aristotle
Again, it is possible to fail in many ways (for evil belongs to the class of the unlimited … and good to that of the limited), while to succeed is possible only in one way (for which reason also one is easy and the other difficult—to miss the mark easy, to hit it difficult); for these reasons also, then, excess and defect are characteristic of vice, and the mean of virtue; For men are good in but one way, but bad in many. – Aristotle
Again, the male is by nature superior, and the female inferior; and the one rules, and the other is ruled; this principle, of necessity, extends to all mankind. – Aristotle
All are agreed that the various moral qualities are in a sense bestowed by nature: we are just, and capable of temperance, and brave, and possessed of the other virtues from the moment of our birth. But nevertheless we expect to find that true goodness is something different, and that the virtues in the true sense come to belong to us in another way. For even children and wild animals possess the natural dispositions, yet without Intelligence these may manifestly be harmful. – Aristotle
All art is concerned with coming into being. – Aristotle
All art is concerned with coming into being; for it is concerned neither with things that are, or come into being by necessity, nor with things that do so in accordance with nature. – Aristotle
All art, all education, can be merely a supplement to nature. – Aristotle
All communication must lead to change. – Aristotle
All Earthquakes and Disasters are warnings; there’s too much corruption in the world – Aristotle
All flatterers are mercenary, and all low-minded men are flatterers. – Aristotle
All food must be capable of being digested, and that what produces digestion is warmth; that is why everything that has soul in it possesses warmth. – Aristotle
All friendly feelings toward others come from the friendly feelings a person has for himself. – Aristotle
all he would have needed to do to verify or refute this theory was to ask a number of men and women to open their mouths so he could count their teeth. – Aristotle
All human actions have one or more of these seven causes : chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reason, passion, desire. – Aristotle
All human happiness and misery take the form of action. – Aristotle
All learning is derived from things previously known. – Aristotle
All men are alike when asleep. – Aristotle
All men by nature desire to know. – Aristotle
All men by nature desire to know. An indication of this is the delight we take in our senses; for even apart from their usefulness they are loved for themselves… – Aristotle
All men by nature desire to know. An indication of this is the delight we take in our senses; for even apart from their usefulness they are loved for themselves; and above all others the sense of sight. For not only with a view to action, but even when we are not going to do anything, we prefer sight to almost everything else. The reason is that this, most of all the senses, makes us know and brings to light many differences between things. – Aristotle
All men naturally desire knowledge. An indication of this is our esteem for the senses; for apart from their use we esteem them for their own sake, and most of all the sense of sight. Not only with a view to action, but even when no action is contemplated, we prefer sight, generally speaking, to all the other senses. The reason of this is that of all the senses sight best helps us to know things, and reveals many distinctions. – Aristotle
All men seek one goal : success or happiness. The only way to achieve true success is to express yourself completely in service to society. First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end. – Aristotle
All men seek one goal: success or happiness. – Aristotle
All men, or most men, wish what is noble but choose what is profitable; and while it is noble to render a service not with an eye to receiving one in return, it is profitable to receive one. One ought therefore, if one can, to return the equivalent of services received, and to do so willingly; for one ought not to make a man one’s friend if one is unwilling to return his favors. – Aristotle
All nations believe the gods to be governed by a king; for men, who have made the gods after their own image, are ever hasty in ascribing to these celestial beings, human manners and human institutions. – Aristotle
All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind. – Aristotle
All people by nature desire to know. An example of this is the delight we take in our senses; for even apart from their usefulness they are loved for themselves. – Aristotle
All persons ought to endeavor to follow what is right, and not what is established. – Aristotle
All proofs rest on premises. – Aristotle
All teaching and all intellectual learning come about from already existing knowledge. – Aristotle
All that one gains by falsehood is, not to be believed when he speaks the truth. – Aristotle
All that we do is done with an eye to something else. – Aristotle
All things are full of gods. – Aristotle
All three states – the Lacedaemonian, the Cretan, and the Carthaginian – nearly resemble one another, and are very different from any others. Many of the Carthaginian institutions are excellent. The superiority of their constitution is proved by the fact that the common people remains loyal to the constitution; the Carthaginians have never had any rebellion worth speaking of, and have never been under the rule of a tyrant. – Aristotle
All virtue is summed up in dealing justly. – Aristotle
All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth. – Aristotle
Also our fellow competitors, who are indeed the people just mentioned – we do not compete with men who lived a hundred centuries ago, or those yet not born, or the dead, or those who dwell near the Pillars of Hercules, or those whom, in our opinion or that of others, we take to be far below us or far above us. So too we compete with those who follow the same ends as ourselves; we compete with our rivals in sport or in love, and generally with those who are after the same things; and it is therefore these whom we are bound to envy beyond all others. – Aristotle
Also, that which is desirable in itself is more desirable than what is desirable per accidents. – Aristotle
Although it may be difficult in theory to know what is just and equal, the practical difficulty of inducing those to forbear who can, if they like, encroach, is far greater, for the weaker are always asking for equality and justice, but the stronger care for none of these things. – Aristotle
Always prefer the probable impossible to the improbable possible. – Aristotle
Anaximenes and Anaxagoras and Democritus say that its [the earth’s] flatness is responsible for it staying still: for it does not cut the air beneath but covers it like a lid, which flat bodies evidently do: for they are hard to move even for the winds, on account of their resistance. – Aristotle
Ancient laws remain in force long after the people have the power to change them. – Aristotle
And happiness is thought to depend on leisure; for we are busy that we may have leisure, and make war that we may live in peace. – Aristotle
And inasmuch as the great-souled man deserves most, he must be the best of men; for the better a man is the more he deserves, and he that is best deserves most. Therefore the truly great-souled man must be a good man. Indeed greatness in each of the virtues would seem to go with greatness of soul. – Aristotle
And it is characteristic of man that he alone has any sense of good and evil, of just and unjust, and the like, and the association of living beings who have this sense makes family and a state. – Aristotle
And of course, the brain is not responsible for any of the sensations at all. The correct view is that the seat and source of sensation is the region of the heart. – Aristotle
And so long as they were at war, their power was preserved, but when they had attained empire they fell, for of the arts of peace they knew nothing, and had never engaged in any employment higher than war. – Aristotle
And this activity alone would seem to be loved for its own sake; for nothing arises from it apart from the contemplating, while from practical activities we gain more or less apart from the action. And happiness is thought to depend on leisure; for we are busy that we may have leisure, and make war that we may live in peace. – Aristotle
And this lies in the nature of things: What people are potentially is revealed in actuality by what they produce. – Aristotle
And what has come to prevail in democracies is the very reverse of beneficial, in those, that is, which are regarded as the most democratically run. The reason for this lies in the failure properly to define liberty. For there are two marks by which democracy is thought to be defined: “sovereignty of the majority” and “liberty.” “Just” is equated with what is equal, and the decision of the majority as to what is equal is regarded as sovereign; and liberty is seen in terms of doing what one wants. – Aristotle
And yet the true creator is necessity, which is the mother of invention. – Aristotle
And, speaking generally, passion seems not to be amenable to reason, but only to force. – Aristotle
Anger is always concerned with individuals, … whereas hatred is directed also against classes: we all hate any thief and any informer. Moreover, anger can be cured by time; but hatred cannot. The one aims at giving pain to its object, the other at doing him harm; the angry man wants his victim to feel; the hater does not mind whether they feel or not. – Aristotle
Any change of government which has to be introduced should be one which men, starting from their existing constitutions, will be both willing and able to adopt, since there is quite as much trouble in the reformation of an old constitution as in the establishment of a new one, just as to unlearn is as hard as to learn. – Aristotle
Anybody can get hit over the head. – Aristotle
Anyone can become angry – that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way; this is not easy. – Aristotle
Anyone can become angry. That is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way – that is not easy. – Aristotle
Anyone who has no need of anybody but himself is either a beast or a God. – Aristotle
Anyone, without any great penetration, may distinguish the dispositions consequent on wealth; for its possessors are insolent and overbearing, from being tainted in a certain way by the getting of their wealth. For they are affected as though they possessed every good; since wealth is a sort of standard of the worth of other things; whence every thing seems to be purchasable by it. – Aristotle
Anything that we have to learn to do we learn by the actual doing of it; People become builders by building and instrumentalists by playing instruments. Similarily, we become just by performing just acts, temperate by performing temperate ones, brave by performing brave ones. – Aristotle
Anything whose presence or absence makes no discernible difference is no essential part of the whole. – Aristotle
Aristocracy is that form of government in which education and discipline are qualifications for suffrage and office holding. – Aristotle
Aristotle said: “Evil brings men together.” – Aristotle
Aristotle suggests that the rotating Earth was a generally accepted tenet of Pythagorism: “While most of those who hold that the whole heaven is finite say that the earth lies at the center, the philosophers of Italy, the so-called Pythagoreans, assert the contrary. They say that in the middle there is fire, and that the earth is one of the stars, and by its circular motion round the center produces night and day.” – Aristotle
Art completes what nature cannot bring to finish. The artist gives us knowledge of nature’s unrealized ends. – Aristotle
Art is a higher type of knowledge than experience. – Aristotle
Art is identical with a state of capacity to make, involving a true course of reasoning. – Aristotle
Art not only imitates nature, but also completes its deficiencies. – Aristotle
As a drop of honey is dissipated and lost in a pail of water, so the sweet affection of love would totally vanish through too extensive a diffusion. – Aristotle
As for the story, whether the poet takes it ready made or constructs it for himself, he should first sketch its general outline, and then fill in the episodes and amplify in detail. – Aristotle
As often as we do good, we offer sacrifices to God. – Aristotle
As our acts vary, our habits will follow in their course. – Aristotle
As the pleasures of the body are the ones which we most often meet with, and as all men are capable of these, these have usurped the family title; and some men think these are the only pleasures that exist, because they are the only ones which they know. – Aristotle
As to adultery, let it be held disgraceful, in general, for any man or woman to be found in any way unfaithful when they are married, and called husband and wife. If during the time of bearing children anything of the sort occur, let the guilty person be punished with a loss of privileges in proportion to the offense. – Aristotle
At first he who invented any art that went beyond the common perceptions of man was naturally admired by men, not only because there was something useful in the inventions, but because he was thought wise and superior to the rest. But as more arts were invented, and some were directed to the necessities of life, others to its recreation, the inventors of the latter were always regarded as wiser than the inventors of the former, because their branches of knowledge did not aim at utility. – Aristotle
At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst. – Aristotle
At the intersection where your gifts, talents, and abilities meet a human need; therein you will discover your purpose. – Aristotle
Authority is no source for Truth. – Aristotle
Bad men are full of repentance. – Aristotle
Bad people…are in conflict with themselves; they desire one thing and will another, like the incontinent who choose harmful pleasures instead of what they themselves believe to be good. – Aristotle
Bashfulness is an ornament to youth, but a reproach to old age. – Aristotle
Be a free thinker and don’t accept everything you hear as truth. Be critical and evaluate what you believe in. – Aristotle
Be studious to preserve your reputation; if that be once lost, you are like a cancelled writing, of no value, and at best you do but survive your own funeral. – Aristotle
Beauty depends on size as well as symmetry. No very small animal can be beautiful, for looking at it takes so small a portion of time that the impression of it will be confused. Nor can any very large one, for a whole view of it cannot be had at once, and so there will be no unity and completeness. – Aristotle
Beauty is a gift of God. – Aristotle
Beauty is the gift of God – Aristotle
Because the rich are generally few in number, while the poor are many, they appear to be antagonistic, and as the one or the other prevails they form the government. Hence arises the common opinion that there are two kinds of government – democracy and oligarchy. – Aristotle
Before you heal the body you must first heal the mind. – Aristotle
Being a father is the most rewarding thing a man whose career has plateaued can do. – Aristotle
Between friends there is no need of justice. – Aristotle
Between husband and wife friendship seems to exist by nature, for man is naturally disposed to pairing. – Aristotle
Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms. – Aristotle
Both Self-restraint and Unrestraint are a matter of extremes as compared with the character of the mass of mankind; the restrained man shows more and the unrestrained man less steadfastness than most men are capable of. – Aristotle
Boundaries don’t protect rivers, people do. – Aristotle
Bravery is a mean state concerned with things that inspire confidence and with things fearful … and leading us to choose danger and to face it, either because to do so is noble, or because not to do so is base. But to court death as an escape from poverty, or from love, or from some grievous pain, is no proof of bravery, but rather of cowardice. – Aristotle
Bring your desires down to your present means. Increase them only when your increased means permit. – Aristotle
Business or toil is merely utilitarian. It is necessary but does not enrich or ennoble a human life. – Aristotle
But also philosophy is not about perceptible substances they, you see, are prone to destruction. – Aristotle
But if nothing but soul, or in soul mind, is qualified to count, it is impossible for there to be time unless there is soul, but only that of which time is an attribute, i.e. if change can exist without soul. – Aristotle
But if safety be their common concern, the good of the governors must correspond with the good of the governed, and the interest of the servant must coincide with the interest of the master. – Aristotle
But is it just then that the few and the wealthy should be the rulers? And what if they, in like manner, rob and plunder the people, – is this just? – Aristotle
But it is not at all certain that this superiority of the many over the sound few is possible in the case of every people and every large number. There are some whom it would be impossible: otherwise the theory would apply to wild animals- and yet some men are hardly any better than wild animals. – Aristotle
But most important of all is the structure of the incidents. For Tragedy is an imitation, not of men, but of an action and of life, and life consists in action. – Aristotle
But nature flies from the infinite; for the infinite is imperfect, and nature always seeks an end. – Aristotle
But nothing is yet clear on the subject of the intellect and the contemplative faculty. However, it seems to be another kind of soul, and this alone admits of being separated, as that which is eternal from that which is perishable, while it is clear from these remarks that the other parts of the soul are not separable, as some assert them to be, though it is obvious that they are conceptually distinct. – Aristotle
But obviously a state which becomes progressively more and more of a unity will cease to be a state at all. Plurality of numbers is natural in a state; and the farther it moves away from plurality towards unity, the less of a state it becomes and the more a household, and the household in turn an individual. – Aristotle
But since there is but one aim for the entire state, it follows that education must be one and the same for all, and that the responsibility for it must be a public one, not the private affair which it now is, each man looking after his own children and teaching them privately whatever private curriculum he thinks they ought to study. – Aristotle
But the merchant, if faithful to his principles, always employs his money reluctantly for any other purpose than that of augmenting itself. – Aristotle
But the virtues we get by first exercising them, as also happens in the case of the arts as well. For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them, e.g. men become builders by building and lyre players by playing the lyre; so too we become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts. – Aristotle
But the whole vital process of the earth takes place so gradually and in periods of time which are so immense compared with the length of our life, that these changes are not observed, and before their course can be recorded from beginning to end whole nations perish and are destroyed. – Aristotle
But then in what way are things called good? They do not seem to be like the things that only chance to have the same name. Are goods one then by being derived from one good or by all contributing to one good, or are they rather one by analogy? Certainly as sight is in the body, so is reason in the soul, and so on in other cases. – Aristotle
But what is happiness? If we consider what the function of man is, we find that happiness is a virtuous activity of the soul. – Aristotle
By ‘life,’ we mean a thing that can nourish itself and grow and decay. – Aristotle
By myth I mean the arrangement of the incidents – Aristotle
By plot, I here mean the arrangement of the incidents. – Aristotle
Change in all things is sweet. – Aristotle
Character gives us qualities, but it is in our actions — what we do — that we are happy or the reverse. – Aristotle
Character is determined by choice, not opinion. – Aristotle
Character is made by many acts; it may be lost by a single one. – Aristotle
Character is revealed through action. – Aristotle
Character is that which reveals moral purpose, exposing the class of things a man chooses and avoids. – Aristotle
Character is that which reveals moral purpose, exposing the class of things a man chooses or avoids. – Aristotle
Character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion. – Aristotle
Children … are unripe and imperfect; their virtues, therefore, are to be considered not merely as relative to their actual state, but principally in reference to that maturity and perfection to which nature has destined them. – Aristotle
Choice not chance determines your destiny [my family motto…credited to ] – Aristotle
Choice not chance determines your destiny [my family motto…credited to Aristotle] – Aristotle
Civil confusions often spring from trifles but decide great issues. – Aristotle
Comedy aims at representing men as worse, Tragedy as better than in actual life. – Aristotle
Comedy has had no history, because it was not at first treated seriously. – Aristotle
Comedy is, as we have said, an imitation of characters of a lower type–not, however, in the full sense of the word bad, the ludicrous being merely a subdivision of the ugly. – Aristotle
Communities could not subsist without foresight to discern, as well as exertion to effectuate the measures requisite for their safety. Men capable of discerning those measures, are made for authority; and men merely capable of effectuating them by bodily labor, are made for obedience. – Aristotle
Concerning the generation of animals akin to them, as hornets and wasps, the facts in all cases are similar to a certain extent, but are devoid of the extraordinary features which characterize bees; this we should expect, for they have nothing divine about them as the bees have. – Aristotle
Confidence is the mark of a hopeful disposition. – Aristotle
Conscientious and careful physicians allocate causes of disease to natural laws, while the ablest scientists go back to medicine for their first principles. – Aristotle
Consider pleasures as they depart, not as they come. – Aristotle
Courage is a mean with regard to fear and confidence. – Aristotle
Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others. – Aristotle
Courage is the first virtue that makes all other virtues possible. – Aristotle
Courage is the mother of all virtues because without it, you cannot consistently perform the others. – Aristotle
Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing. – Aristotle
Criticism is something we can avoid easily
by saying nothing, doing nothing,
and being nothing. – Aristotle
Cruel is the strife of brothers. – Aristotle
Dancing imitates character, emotion, and action, by rhythmical movement. – Aristotle
Definition of tragedy: A hero destroyed by the excess of his virtues – Aristotle
Demonstration is also something necessary, because a demonstration cannot go otherwise than it does, … And the cause of this lies with the primary premises/principles. – Aristotle
Different men seek … happiness in different ways and by different means. – Aristotle
Different men seek after happiness in different ways and by different means, and so make for themselves different modes of life and forms of government. – Aristotle
Different men seek after happiness in different ways and by different means, and so make for themselves different modes of life. – Aristotle
Dignity consists not in possessing honors, but in the consciousness that we deserve them. – Aristotle
Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them. – Aristotle
Discontents arise not merely from the inequality of possessions, but from the equality of honors. The multitude complain that property is unjustly, because unequally, distributed; men of superior merit or superior pretentions complain that honors are unjustly, if equally, distributed. – Aristotle
Dissimilarity of habit tends more than anything to destroy affection. – Aristotle
Distance does not break off the friendship absolutely, but only the activity of it. – Aristotle
Dramatic action, therefore, is not with a view to the representation of character: character comes in as subsidiary to the actions. – Aristotle
Dramatic action, therefore, is not with a view to the representation of character: character comes in as subsidiary to the actions. Hence the incidents and the plot are the end of a tragedy; and the end is the chief thing of all. – Aristotle
Each human being is bred with a unique set of potentials that yearn to be fulfilled as surely as the acorn yearns to become the oak within it. – Aristotle
Each man speaks and acts and lives according to his character. Falsehood is mean and culpable and truth is noble and worthy of praise. The man who is truthful where nothing is at stake will be still more truthful where something is at stake. – Aristotle
Earthworms are the intenstines of the soil. – Aristotle
Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all. – Aristotle
Education and morals make the good man, the good statesman, the good ruler. – Aristotle
Education and morals will be found almost the whole that goes to make a good man. – Aristotle
Education begins at the level of the learner. – Aristotle
Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity. – Aristotle
Education is the best provision for old age. – Aristotle
Education is the best provision for the journey to old age. – Aristotle
Emotions of any kind are produced by melody and rhythm; therefore by music a man becomes accustomed to feeling the right emotions; music has thus the power to form character, and the various kinds of music based on various modes may be distinguished by their effects on character. – Aristotle
Emotions of any kind can be evoked by melody and rhythm; therefore music has the power to form character. – Aristotle
Error is multiform (for evil is a form of the unlimited, as in the old Pythagorean imagery, and good of the limited), whereas success is possible in one way only (which is why it is easy to fail and difficult to succeed – easy to miss the target and difficult to hit it); so this is another reason why excess and deficiency are a mark of vice, and observance of the mean a mark of virtue: Goodness is simple, badness is manifold. – Aristotle
Even if you must have regard to wealth, in order to secure leisure, yet it is surely a bad thing that the greatest offices, such as those of kings and generals, should be bought. The law which allows this abuse makes wealth of more account than virtue, and the whole state becomes avaricious. – Aristotle
Even that some people try deceived me many times … I will not fail to believe that somewhere, someone deserves my trust. – Aristotle
Even the best of men in authority are liable to be corrupted by passion. We may conclude then that the law is reason without passion, and it is therefore preferable to any individual.
Even when laws have been written down, they ought not always to remain unaltered. As in other sciences, so in politics, it is impossible that all things should be precisely set down in writing; for enactments must be universal, but actions are concerned with particulars. Hence we infer that sometimes and in certain cases laws may be changed. – Aristotle
Even when laws have been written down, they ought not always to remain unaltered. – Aristotle
Every action must be due to one or other of seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reasoning, anger, or appetite. – Aristotle
Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim. – Aristotle
Every commonwealth being, as we have said, a partnership, it follows, that in every commonwealth men must be partners in some things or in all. Some things they must possess in common, since the community could not otherwise subsist. – Aristotle
Every community is an association of some kind and every community is established with a view to some good; for everyone always acts in order to obtain that which they think good. But, if all communities aim at some good, the state or political community, which is the highest of all, and which embraces all the rest, aims at good in a greater degree than any other, and at the highest good. – Aristotle
Every effort therefore must be made to perpetuate prosperity. And, since that is to the advantage of the rich as well as the poor, all that accrues from the revenues should be collected into a single fund and distributed in block grants to those in need, if possible in lump sums large enough for the acquisition of a small piece of land, but if not, enough to start a business, or work in agriculture. And if that cannot be done for all, the distribution might be by tribes or some other division each in turn. – Aristotle
Every formed disposition of the soul realizes its full nature in relation to and dealing with that class of objects by which it is its nature to be corrupted or improved. – Aristotle
Every great genius has an admixture of madness. – Aristotle
Every man should be responsible to others, nor should any one be allowed to do just as he pleases; for where absolute freedom is allowed, there is nothing to restrain the evil which is inherent in every man. – Aristotle
Every man should be responsible to others, nor should anyone be allowed to do just as he pleases; for where absolute freedom is allowed there is nothing to restrain the evil which is inherent in every man. But the principle of responsibility secures that which is the greatest good in states; the right persons rule and are prevented from doing wrong, and the people have their due. It is evident that this is the best kind of democracy, and why? because the people are drawn from a certain class. – Aristotle
Every political society forms, it is plain, a sort of community or partnership, instituted for the benefit of the partners. Utility is the end and aim of every such institution; and the greatest and most extensive utility is the aim of that great association, comprehending all the rest, and known by the name of a commonwealth. – Aristotle
Every rascal is not a thief, but every thief is a rascal. – Aristotle
Every realm of nature is marvelous. – Aristotle
Every science and every inquiry, and similarly every activity and pursuit, is thought to aim at some good. – Aristotle
Every Tragedy, therefore, must have six parts, which parts determine its quality–namely, Plot, Character, Diction, Thought, Spectacle, Song. – Aristotle
Every virtue is a mean between two extremes, each of which is a vice. – Aristotle
Every wicked man is in ignorance as to what he ought to do, and from what to abstain, and it is because of error such as this that men become unjust and, in a word, wicked. – Aristotle
Everybody loves a thing more if it has cost him trouble: for instance those who have made money love money more than those who have inherited it. – Aristotle
Everyone honors the wise. – Aristotle
Everything done by reason of ignorance is involuntary. The man who has acted in ignorance has not acted voluntarily since he did not know what he was doing. Not every wicked man is ignorant of what he ought to do and what he ought to abstain from; by such errors, men become unjust and bad. – Aristotle
Everything necessarily is or is not, and will be or will not be; but one cannot divide and say that one or the other is necessary.I mean, for example: it is necessary for there to be or not to be a sea-battle tomorrow; but it is not necessary for a sea-battle to take place tomorrow, or for one not to take place–though it is necessary for one to take place or not to take place. – Aristotle
Everything that depends on the action of nature is by nature as good as it can be, and similarly everything that depends on art or any rational cause, and especially if it depends on the best of all causes. – Aristotle
Everything that depends on the action of nature is by nature as good as it can be. – Aristotle
Evidence from torture may be considered completely untrustworthy – Aristotle
Evil brings men together. – Aristotle
Excellence is an art won by training and habitation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather we have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit. – Aristotle
Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. – Aristotle
Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. – Aristotle
Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny. – Aristotle
Excellence is not an art. It is the habit of practice. – Aristotle
Excellence or virtue in a man will be the disposition which renders him a good man and also which will cause him to perform his function well. – Aristotle
Excellence or virtue is a settled disposition of the mind that determines our choice of actions and emotions and consists essentially in observing the mean relative to us … a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect. – Aristotle
Excellence, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean, relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. – Aristotle
Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle
Experience has shown that it is difficult, if not impossible, for a populous state to be run by good laws. – Aristotle
Fate of empires depends on the education of youth. – Aristotle
Female cats are very Lascivious, and make advances to the male. – Aristotle
Finally, if nothing can be truly asserted, even the following claim would be false, the claim that there is no true assertion. – Aristotle
Find the good. Seek the Unity. Ignore the divisions among us. – Aristotle
Fine friendship requires duration rather than fitful intensity. – Aristotle
First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end. – Aristotle
For all men do their acts with a view to achieving something which is, in their view, a good. – Aristotle
For any two portions of fire, small or great, will exhibit the same ratio of solid to void; but the upward movement of the greater is quicker than that of the less, just as the downward movement of a mass of gold or lead, or of any other body endowed with weight, is quicker in proportion to its size. – Aristotle
For as the eyes of bats are to the blaze of day, so is the reason in our soul to the things which are by nature most evident of all. – Aristotle
For as the interposition of a rivulet, however small, will occasion the line of the phalanx to fluctuate, so any trifling disagreement will be the cause of seditions; but they will not so soon flow from anything else as from the disagreement between virtue and vice, and next to that between poverty and riches. – Aristotle
For both excessive and insufficient exercise destroy one’s strength, and both eating and drinking too much or too little destroy health, whereas the right quantity produces, increases and preserves it. So it is the same with temperance, courage and the other virtues. This much then, is clear: in all our conduct it is the mean that is to be commended. – Aristotle
For desire is like a wild beast, and anger perverts rulers and the very best of men. Hence law is intelligence without appetition. – Aristotle
For even they who compose treatises of medicine or natural philosophy in verse are denominated Poets: yet Homer and Empedocles have nothing in common except their metre; the former, therefore, justly merits the name of the Poet; while the other should rather be called a Physiologist than a Poet. – Aristotle
For example, justice is considered to mean equality, It does mean equality- but equality for those who are equal, and not for all.
For good is simple, evil manifold. – Aristotle
For imagining lies within our power whenever we wish . . . but in forming opinions we are not free . . . – Aristotle
For imitation is natural to man from his infancy. Man differs from other animals particularly in this, that he is imitative, and acquires his rudiments of knowledge in this way; besides, the delight in it is universal. – Aristotle
For in man, and in man alone, owing to is erect attitude, the upper part of the body is turned toward the upper part of the universe; while in other animals it is turned neither to this nor to the lower aspects, but in a direction midway between the two. – Aristotle
For it is not true, as some treatise-mongers lay down in their systems, of the probity of the speaker, that it contributes nothing to persuasion; but moral character nearly, I may say, carries with it the most sovereign efficacy in making credible. – Aristotle
For it is owing to their wonder that men both now begin and at first began to philosophize… They were pursuing science in order to know, and not for any utilitarian end. – Aristotle
For it is owing to their wonder that men both now begin and at first began to philosophize…. And a man who is puzzled and wonders thinks himself ignorant …; therefore since they philosophized in order to escape from ignorance, evidently they were pursuing science in order to know, and not for any utilitarian end. – Aristotle
For just as for a flute-player, a sculptor, or an artist, and, in general, for all things that have a function or activity, the good and the well is thought to reside in the function, so would it seem to be for man, if he has a function. – Aristotle
For knowing is spoken of in three ways: it may be either universal knowledge or knowledge proper to the matter in hand or actualising such knowledge; consequently three kinds of error also are possible. – Aristotle
For legislators make the citizens good by forming habits in them, and this is the wish of every legislator, and those who do not effect it miss their mark, and it is in this that a good constitution differs from a bad one. – Aristotle
For man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but, when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all; since armed injustice is the more dangerous, and he is equipped at birth with the arms of intelligence and with moral qualities which he may use for the worst ends. Wherefore, if he have not virtue, he is the most unholy and the most savage of animals, and the most full of lust and gluttony. But justice is the bond of men in states, and the administration of justice, which is the determination of what is just, is the principle of order in political society. – Aristotle
For nature by the same cause, provided it remain in the same condition, always produces the same effect, so that either coming-to-be or passing-away will always result. – Aristotle
For often, when one is asleep, there is something in consciousness which declares that what then presents itself is but a dream. – Aristotle
For one swallow does not make a summer, nor does one day; and so too one day, or a short time, does not make a man blessed and happy. – Aristotle
For pleasure is a state of soul, and to each man that which he is said to be a lover of is pleasant. – Aristotle
For suppose that every tool we had could perform its task, either at our bidding or itself perceiving the need, and if-like the statues made by Dædalus or the tripods of Hephæstus, of which the poet says that “self-moved they enter the assembly of the gods” – shuttles in a loom could fly to and fro and a plectrum play a lyre all self-moved, then master-craftsmen would have no need of servants nor masters of slaves. – Aristotle
For that which has become habitual, becomes as it were natural. – Aristotle
for the hardest victory is over self. – Aristotle
For the lesser evil is reckoned a good in comparison with the greater evil, since the lesser evil is rather to be chosen than the greater. – Aristotle
For the medium being the same, and the objects the same, the poet may imitate by narration–in which case he can either take another personality as Homer does, or speak in his own person, unchanged–or he may represent all his characters as living and moving before us. – Aristotle
For the more limited, if adequate, is always preferable. – Aristotle
For the purposes of poetry a convincing impossibility is preferable to an unconvincing possibility. – Aristotle
For the real difference between humans and other animals is that humans alone have perception of good and evil, just and unjust, etc. It is the sharing of a common view in these matters that makes a household and a state. – Aristotle
For the roots of plants are analogous to what is called the mouth in an animal, being the organ by which food is admitted. – Aristotle
For this reason poetry is something more philosophical and more worthy of serious attention than history. – Aristotle
For those who possess and can wield arms are in a position to decide whether the constitution is to continue or not. – Aristotle
For though we love both the truth and our friends, piety requires us to honor the truth first. – Aristotle
For through wondering human beings now and in the beginning have been led to philosophizing. – Aristotle
for we are inquiring not in order to know what virtue is, but in order to become good, since otherwise our inquiry would have been of no use. – Aristotle
For we do not think that we know a thing until we are acquainted with its primary conditions or first principles, and have carried our analysis as far as its simplest elements. – Aristotle
For well-being and health, again, the homestead should be airy in summer, and sunny in winter. A homestead possessing these qualities would be longer than it is deep; and its main front would face the south. – Aristotle
For what is the best choice, for each individual is the highest it is possible for him to achieve. – Aristotle
For what one has to learn to do, we learn by doing. – Aristotle
Fortune favours the bold. – Aristotle
Freedom is obedience to self-formulated rules. – Aristotle
Generally, about all perception, we can say that a sense is what has the power of receiving into itself the sensible forms of things without the matter, in the way in which a piece of wax takes on the impress of a signet ring without the iron or gold. – Aristotle
Gentleness is the ability to bear reproaches and slights with moderation, and not to embark on revenge quickly, and not to be easily provoked to anger, but be free from bitterness and contentiousness, having tranquility and stability in the spirit. – Aristotle
Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Give a man a poisoned fish, you feed him for the rest of his life. – Aristotle
Great and frequent reverses can crush and mar our bliss both by the pain they cause and by the hindrance they offer to many activities. Yet nevertheless even in adversity nobility shines through, when a man endures repeated and severe misfortune with patience, not owing to insensibility but from generosity and greatness of soul. – Aristotle
Great is the good fortune of a state in which the citizens have a moderate and sufficient property. – Aristotle
Great men are always of a nature originally melancholy. – Aristotle
Have a definite, clear, practical ideal – a goal, an objective. – Aristotle
He is courageous who endures and fears the right thing, for the right motive, in the right way and at the right times. – Aristotle
He is his own best friend and takes delight in privacy whereas the man of no virtue or ability is his own worst enemy and is afraid of solitude. – Aristotle
He must be open in his hate and in his love, for to conceal one’s feelings is to care less for truth than for what people think and that is the coward’s part. He must speak and act openly because it is his to speak the truth. – Aristotle
He overcomes a stout enemy who overcomes his own anger. – Aristotle
He then alone will strictly be called brave who is fearless of a noble death, and of all such chances as come upon us with sudden death in their train. – Aristotle
He who can be, and therefore is, another’s, and he who participates in reason enough to apprehend, but not to have, is a slave by nature. – Aristotle
He who cannot see the truth for himself, nor, hearing it from others, store it away in his mind, that man is utterly worthless. – Aristotle
He who confers a benefit on anyone loves him better than he is beloved. – Aristotle
He who has conferred a benefit on anyone from motives of love or honor will feel pain, if he sees that the benefit is received without gratitude. – Aristotle
He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander. – Aristotle
He who hath many friends hath none. – Aristotle
He who is by nature not his own but another’s man is by nature a slave. – Aristotle
He who is to be a good ruler must have first been ruled. – Aristotle
He who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god. – Aristotle
He who sees things grow from the beginning will have the best view of them. – Aristotle
He who takes his fill of every pleasure … becomes depraved; while he who avoids all pleasures alike … becomes insensible. – Aristotle
He who thus considers things in their first growth and origin … will obtain the clearest view of them. – Aristotle
He, therefore, who first collected societies, was the greatest benefactor of mankind. – Aristotle
Health is a matter of choice, not a mystery of chance – Aristotle
Hence both women and children must be educated with an eye to the constitution, if indeed it makes any difference to the virtue of a city-state that its children be virtuous, and its women too. And it must make a difference, since half the free population are women, and from children come those who participate in the constitution. – Aristotle
Hence intellect[ual perception] is both a beginning and an end, for the demonstrations arise from these, and concern them. As a result, one ought to pay attention to the undemonstrated assertions and opinions of experienced and older people, or of the prudent, no less than to demonstrations, for, because the have an experienced eye, they see correctly. – Aristotle
Hence poetry is something more philosophic and of graver import than history, since its statements are rather of the nature of universals, whereas those of history are singulars. – Aristotle
Here and elsewhere we shall not obtain the best insight into things until we actually see them growing from the beginning. – Aristotle
Hippocrates is an excellent geometer but a complete fool in everyday affairs. – Aristotle
Hippodamus, son of Euryphon, a native of Miletus, invented the art of planning and laid out the street plan of Piraeus. – Aristotle
Homer has taught all other poets the art of telling lies skillfully. – Aristotle
Honors and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action. – Aristotle
Hope is a waking dream. – Aristotle
Hope is the dream of a waking man. – Aristotle
How many a dispute could have been deflated into a single paragraph if the disputants had dared to define their terms. – Aristotle
How strange it is that Socrates, after having made the children common, should hinder lovers from carnal intercourse only, but should permit love and familiarities between father and son or between brother and brother, than which nothing can be more unseemly, since even without them love of this sort is improper. How strange, too, to forbid intercourse for no other reason than the violence of the pleasure, as though the relationship of father and son or of brothers with one another made no difference. – Aristotle
Human beings are curious by nature. – Aristotle
Human good turns out to be activity of soul exhibiting excellence, and if there is more than one sort of excellence, in accordance with the best and most complete. For one swallow does not make a summer, nor does one day; and so too one day, or a short time, does not make a man blessed and happy. – Aristotle
Humility is a flower which does not grow in everyone’s garden. – Aristotle
Humor is the only test of gravity, and gravity of humor; for a subject which will not bear raillery is suspicious, and a jest which will not bear serious examination is false wit. – Aristotle
I call that law universal, which is conformable merely to dictates of nature; for there does exist naturally an universal sense of right and wrong, which, in a certain degree, all intuitively divine, even should no intercourse with each other, nor any compact have existed. – Aristotle
I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; the hardest victory is the victory over self. – Aristotle
I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who overcomes his enemies. – Aristotle
I have gained this by philosophy; that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law. – Aristotle
I have gained this from philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law. – Aristotle
I say that habit’s but a long practice, friend, and this becomes men’s nature in the end. – Aristotle
I seek to bring forth what you almost already know. – Aristotle
I will not allow the Athenians to sin twice against philosophy. – Aristotle
If a man of good natural disposition acquires Intelligence [as a whole], then he excels in conduct, and the disposition which previously only resembled Virtue, will now be Virtue in the true sense. Hence just as with the faculty of forming opinions [the calculative faculty] there are two qualities, Cleverness and Prudence, so also in the moral part of the soul there are two qualities, natural virtue and true Virtue; and true Virtue cannot exist without Prudence. – Aristotle
If ‘bounded by a surface’ is the definition of body there cannot be an infinite body either intelligible or sensible. – Aristotle
If every tool, when ordered, or even of its own accord, could do the work that befits it… then there would be no need either of apprentices for the master workers or of slaves for the lords. – Aristotle
If everything when it occupies an equal space is at rest, and if that which is in locomotion is always occupying such a space at any moment, the flying arrow is therefore motionless. – Aristotle
If happiness is activity in accordance with excellence, it is reasonable that it should be in accordance with the highest excellence. – Aristotle
If happiness, then, is activity expressing virtue, it is reasonable for it to express the supreme virtue, which will be the virtue of the best thing. – Aristotle
If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost. – Aristotle
If men are given food, but no chastisement nor any work, they become insolent. – Aristotle
If one way be better than another, that you may be sure is nature’s way. – Aristotle
If purpose, then, is inherent in art, so is it in Nature also. The best illustration is the case of a man being his own physician, for Nature is like that – agent and patient at once. – Aristotle
If some animals are good at hunting and others are suitable for hunting, then the Gods must clearly smile on hunting. – Aristotle
If something’s bound to happen, it will happen.. Right time, right person, and for the best reason. – Aristotle
If something’s bound to happen, it will
happen.. Right time, right person, and for
the best reason. – Aristotle
If the art of ship-building were in the wood, ships would exist by nature. – Aristotle
If the consequences are the same it is always better to assume the more limited antecedent, since in things of nature the limited, as being better, is sure to be found, wherever possible, rather than the unlimited. – Aristotle
If the hammer and the shuttle could move themselves, slavery would be unnecessary. – Aristotle
If the poor, for example, because they are more in number, divide among themselves the property of the rich,- is not this unjust? . . this law of confiscation clearly cannot be just. – Aristotle
If the state cannot be entirely composed of good men, and yet each citizen is expected to do his own business well, and must therefore have virtue, still inasmuch as all the citizens cannot be alike, the virtue of the citizen and of the good man cannot coincide. All must have the virtue of the good citizen – thus, and thus only, can the state be perfect; but they will not have the virtue of a good man, unless we assume that in the good state all the citizens must be good. – Aristotle
If then it be possible that one contrary should exist, or be called into existence, the other contrary will also appear to be possible. – Aristotle
If then nature makes nothing without some end in view, nothing to no purpose, it must be that nature has made all of them for the sake of man. – Aristotle
If then, as we say, good craftsmen look to the mean as they work, and if virtue, like nature, is more accurate and better than any form of art, it will follow that virtue has the quality of hitting the mean. I refer to moral virtue [not intellectual], for this is concerned with emotions and actions, in which one can have excess or deficiency or a due mean. – Aristotle
If there is any kind of animal which is female and has no male separate from it, it is possible that this may generate a young one from itself. No instance of this worthy of any credit has been observed up to the present at any rate, but one case in the class of fishes makes us hesitate. No male of the so-called erythrinus has ever yet been seen, but females, and specimens full of roe, have been seen. Of this, however, we have as yet no proof worthy of credit. – Aristotle
If there is some end of the things we do, which we desire for its own sake, clearly this must be the good. Will not knowledge of it, then, have a great influence on life? Shall we not, like archers who have a mark to aim at, be more likely to hit upon what we should? If so, we must try, in outline at least, to determine what it is. – Aristotle
If they do not share equally enjoyments and toils, those who labor much and get little will necessarily complain of those who labor little and receive or consume much. But indeed there is always a difficulty in men living together and having all human relations in common, but especially in their having common property. – Aristotle
If things do not turn out as we wish, we should wish for them as they turn out. – Aristotle
If thinking is like perceiving, it must be either a process in which the soul is acted upon by what is capable of being thought, or a process different from but analogous to that. The thinking part of the soul must therefore be, while impassable, capable of receiving the form of an object; that is, must be potentially identical in character with its object without being the object. Mind must be related to what is thinkable, as sense is to what is sensible. – Aristotle
If we state the function of man to be a certain kind of life, and this to be an activity or actions of the soul implying a rational principle, and the function of a good man to be the good and noble performance of these, and if any action is well performed when it is performed in accordance with the appropriate excellence human good turns out to be activity of the soul in accordance with virtue, and if there are more than one virtue, in accordance with the best and most complete. – Aristotle
If women are by barbarians reduced to the level of slaves, it is because barbarians themselves have never yet risen to the rank of men. – Aristotle
If you prove the cause, you at once prove the effect; and conversely nothing can exist without its cause. – Aristotle
If you see a man approaching with the obvious intent of doing you good, run for your life. – Aristotle
If you see a man approaching with the obvious intent of doing you good, run for your life. Consider pleasures as they depart, not as they come. – Aristotle
If you string together a set of speeches expressive of character, and well finished in point and diction and thought, you will not produce the essential tragic effect nearly so well as with a play which, however deficient in these respects, yet has a plot and artistically constructed incidents. – Aristotle
If you would understand anything, observe its beginning and its development. – Aristotle
If, then, God is always in that good state in which we sometimes are, this compels our wonder; and if in a better this compels it yet more. And God is in a better state. And life also belongs to God; for the actuality of thought is life, and God is that actuality; and God’s self-dependent actuality is life most good and eternal. – Aristotle
If, then, there is some end of the things we do, which we desire for its own sake (everything else being desired for the sake of this), and if we do not choose everything for the sake of something else (for at that rate the process would go on to infinity, so that our desire would be empty and vain), clearly this must be the good and the chief good. – Aristotle
If, therefore, there is any one superior in virtue and in the power of performing the best actions, him we ought to follow and obey, but he must have the capacity for action as well as virtue. – Aristotle
Imagination is a sort of faint perception. – Aristotle
In [the soul] one part naturally rules, and the other is subject, and the virtue of the ruler we maintain to be different from that of the subject; the one being the virtue of the rational, and the other of the irrational part. Now, it is obvious that the same principle applies generally, and therefore almost all things rule and are ruled according to nature. – Aristotle
In a democracy the poor will have more power than the rich, because there are more of them, and the will of the majority is supreme. – Aristotle
In a polity, each citizen is to possess his own arms, which are not supplied or owned by the state. – Aristotle
In a race, the quickest runner can never overtake the slowest, since the pursuer must first reach the point whence the pursued started, so that the slower must always hold a lead. – Aristotle
In a word, acts of any kind produce habits or characters of the same kind. Hence we ought to make sure that our acts are of a certain kind; for the resulting character varies as they vary. It makes no small difference, therefore, whether a man be trained in his youth up in this way or that, but a great difference, or rather all the difference. – Aristotle
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous. – Aristotle
In all things which have a plurality of parts, and which are not a total aggregate but a whole of some sort distinct from the parts, there is some cause. – Aristotle
In all well-attempered governments there is nothing which should be more jealously maintained than the spirit of obedience to law, more especially in small matters; for transgression creeps in unperceived and at last ruins the state, just as the constant recurrence of small expenses in time eats up a fortune. – Aristotle
In bad or corrupted natures the body will often appear to rule over the soul, because they are in an evil and unnatural condition. At all events we may firstly observe in living creatures both a despotical and a constitutional rule; for the soul rules the body with a despotical rule, whereas the intellect rules the appetites with a constitutional and royal rule. And it is clear that the rule of the soul over the body, and of the mind and the rational element over the passionate, is natural and expedient; whereas the equality of the two or the rule of the inferior is always hurtful. – Aristotle
In cases of this sort, let us say adultery, rightness and wrongness do not depend on committing it with the right woman at the right time and in the right manner, but the mere fact of committing such action at all is to do wrong. – Aristotle
In constructing the plot and working it out with the proper diction, the poet should place the scene, as far as possible, before his eyes. In this way, seeing everything with the utmost vividness, as if he were a spectator of the action, he will discover what is in keeping with it, and be most unlikely to overlook inconsistencies. – Aristotle
In educating the young we steer them by the rudders of pleasure and pain. – Aristotle
In everything, it is no easy task to find the middle. – Aristotle
In general, what is written must be easy to read and easy to speak; which is the same. – Aristotle
In inventing a model we may assume what we wish, but should avoid impossibilities. – Aristotle
In justice is all virtues found in sum. – Aristotle
In making a speech one must study three points: first, the means of producing persuasion; second, the language; third the proper arrangement of the various parts of the speech. – Aristotle
In most constitutional states the citizens rule and are ruled by turns, for the idea of a constitutional state implies that the natures of the citizens are equal, and do not differ at all. – Aristotle
In order to be effective you need not only virtue but also mental strength. – Aristotle
In painting, the most brilliant colors, spread at random and without design, will give far less pleasure than the simplest outline of a figure. – Aristotle
In part, art completes what nature cannot elaborate; and in part it imitates nature. – Aristotle
In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge. – Aristotle
In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge. The young they keep out of mischief; to the old they are a comfort and aid in their weakness, and those in the prime of life they incite to noble deeds. – Aristotle
In practical matters the end is not mere speculative knowledge of what is to be done, but rather the doing of it. It is not enough to know about Virtue, then, but we must endeavor to possess it, and to use it, or to take any other steps that may make. – Aristotle
In proportion as labor is divided, arts are perfected. – Aristotle
In revolutions the occasions may be trifling but great interest are at stake. – Aristotle
In seeking for justice men seek for the mean or neutral, for the law is the mean. Again, customary laws have more weight, and relate to more important matters, than written laws, and a man may be a safer ruler than the written law, but not safer than the customary law. – Aristotle
In the arena of human life the honors and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action. – Aristotle
In the case of some people, not even if we had the most accurate scientific knowledge, would it be easy to persuade them were we to address them through the medium of that knowledge; for a scientific discourse, it is the privilege of education to appreciate, and it is impossible that this should extend to the multitude. – Aristotle
In the first place, then, men should guard against the beginning of change, and in the second place they should not rely upon the political devices of which I have already spoken invented only to deceive the people, for they are proved by experience to be useless. – Aristotle
In the human constitution, therefore, mind governs matter absolutely and despotically; but reason governs appetite with a far more limited sway. – Aristotle
In the human species at all events there is a great diversity of pleasures. The same things delight some men and annoy others, and things painful and disgusting to some are pleasant and attractive to others. – Aristotle
In the Laws it is maintained that the best constitution is made up of democracy and tyranny, which are either not constitutions at all, or are the worst of all. But they are nearer the truth who combine many forms; for the constitution is better which is made up of more numerous elements. The constitution proposed in the Laws has no element of monarchy at all; it is nothing but oligarchy and democracy, leaning rather to oligarchy. – Aristotle
In the many forms of government which have sprung up there has always been an acknowledgement of justice and proportionate equality, although mankind fail in attaining them, as indeed I have already explained. Democracy, for example, arises out of the notion that those who are equal in any respect are equal in all respects; because men are equally free, they claim to be absolutely equal. – Aristotle
In the perfect state the good man is absolutely the same as the good citizen; whereas in other states the good citizen is only good relatively to his own form of government. – Aristotle
In the serious style, Homer is pre-eminent among poets, for he alone combined dramatic form with excellence of imitation. – Aristotle
In the work of government, reason is the architect; it is the part of reason to command, and the duty of weakness and of passion to obey. – Aristotle
In the works of Nature, purpose, not accident, is the main thing. – Aristotle
In this way the structure of the universe- I mean, of the heavens and the earth and the whole world- was arranged by one harmony through the blending of the most opposite principles. – Aristotle
Inasmuch as every family is a part of a state, and these relationships are the parts of a family, and the virtue of the part must have regard to the virtue of the whole, women and children must be trained by education with an eye to the constitution, if the virtues of either of them are supposed to make any difference in the virtues of the state. And they must make a difference: for the children grow up to be citizens, and half the free persons in a state are women. – Aristotle
Indeed, we may go further and assert that anyone who does not delight in fine actions is not even a good man. – Aristotle
Inferiors revolt in order that they may be equal, and equals that they may be superior. Such is the state of mind which creates revolutions. – Aristotle
Inferiors revolt in order that they may be equal, and equals that they may be superior. – Aristotle
Irrational passions would seem to be as much a part of human nature as is reason. – Aristotle
It belongs to small-mindedness to be unable to bear either honor or dishonor, either good fortune or bad, but to be filled with conceit when honored and puffed up by trifling good fortune, and to be unable to bear even the smallest dishonor and to deem any chance failure a great misfortune, and to be distressed and annonyed at everything. Moreover the small-minded man is the sort of person to call all slights an insult and dishonor, even those that are due to ignorance or forgetfulness. Small-mindedness is accompanied by pettiness, querulousness, pessimism and self-abasement. – Aristotle
It concerns us to know the purposes we seek in life, for then, like archers aiming at a definite mark, we shall be more likely to attain what we want. – Aristotle
It has been handed down in mythical form from earliest times to posterity, that there are gods, and that the divine (Deity) compasses all nature. All beside this has been added, after the mythical style, for the purpose of persuading the multitude, and for the interests of the laws, and the advantage of the state. – Aristotle
It has been well said that ‘he who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander.’ The two are not the same, but the good citizen ought to be capable of both; he should know how to govern like a freeman, and how to obey like a freeman – these are the virtues of a citizen. – Aristotle
It is a part of probability that many improbable things will happen. – Aristotle
It is absurd to hold that a man ought to be ashamed of being unable to defend himself with his limbs, but not of being unable to defend himself with speech and reason, when the use of rational speech is more distinctive of a human being than the use of his limbs. – Aristotle
It is absurd to hold that a man should be ashamed of an inability to defend himself with his limbs, but not ashamed of an inability to defend himself with speech and reason; for the use of rational speech is more distinctive of a human being than the use of his limbs. – Aristotle
It is absurd to make external circumstances responsible and not oneself, and to make oneself responsible for noble acts and pleasant objects responsible for base ones. – Aristotle
It is also in the interests of the tyrant to make his subjects poor… the people are so occupied with their daily tasks that they have no time for plotting. – Aristotle
It is best to rise from life as from a banquet, neither thirsty nor drunken. – Aristotle
It is better for a city to be governed by a good man than by good laws. – Aristotle
It is better to rise from life as from a banquet — neither thirsty nor drunken. – Aristotle
It is clear that the earth does not move, and that it does not lie elsewhere than at the center. – Aristotle
It is clear that there is some difference between ends: some ends are energeia [energy], while others are products which are additional to the energeia. – Aristotle
It is clear that those constitutions which aim at the common good are right, as being in accord with absolute justice; while those which aim only at the good of the rulers are wrong. – Aristotle
It is clear, then, that the earth must be at the centre and immovable, not only for the reasons already given, but also because heavy bodies forcibly thrown quite straight upward return to the point from which they started, even if they are thrown to an infinite distance. From these considerations then it is clear that the earth does not move and does not lie elsewhere than at the centre. – Aristotle
It is clear, then, that wisdom is knowledge having to do with certain principles and causes. But now, since it is this knowledge that we are seeking, we must consider the following point: of what kind of principles and of what kind of causes is wisdom the knowledge? – Aristotle
It is clearly better that property should be private, but the use of it common; and the special business of the legislator is to create in men this benevolent disposition. – Aristotle
It is easier to get one or a few of good sense, and of ability to legislate and adjudge, than to get many. – Aristotle
It is easy to fly into a passion – anybody can do that – but to be angry with the right person to the right extent and at the right time with the right object and in the right way – that is not easy, and it is not everyone who can do it – Aristotle
It is easy to fly into a passion… anybody can do that, but to be angry with the right person to the right extent and at the right time and in the right way that is not easy. – Aristotle
It is easy to perform a good action, but not easy to acquire a settled habit of performing such actions. – Aristotle
It is evident that the state is a creation of nature, and that man is by nature a political animal. – Aristotle
It is evident, then, that there is a sort of education in which parents should train their sons, not as being useful or necessary, but because it is liberal or noble. – Aristotle
It is evidently equally foolish to accept probable reasoning from a mathematician and to demand from a rhetorician demonstrative proofs. – Aristotle
It is found by experience, that those instruments are the most perfect, which are each of them contrived for its specific use. – Aristotle
It is Homer who has chiefly taught other poets the art of telling lies skillfully. – Aristotle
It is impossible, or not easy, to alter by argument what has long been absorbed by habit – Aristotle
It is in justice that the ordering of society is centered. – Aristotle
It is just that we should be grateful, not only to those with whose views we may agree, but also to those who have expressed more superficial views; for these also contributed something, by developing before us the powers of thought. – Aristotle
It is likely that unlikely things should happen. – Aristotle
It is more difficult to organize a peace than to win a war; but the fruits of victory will be lost if the peace is not organized. – Aristotle
It is no easy task to be good. – Aristotle
It is no part of a physician’s business to use either persuasion or compulsion upon the patients. – Aristotle
It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen. – Aristotle
It is not easy for a person to do any great harm when his tenure of office is short, whereas long possession begets tyranny. – Aristotle
It is not easy to determine the nature of music, or why any one should have a knowledge of it. – Aristotle
It is not enough to win a war; it is more important to organize the peace. – Aristotle
It is not once nor twice but times without number that the same ideas make their appearance in the world. – Aristotle
It is not sufficient to know what one ought to say, but one must also know how to say it. – Aristotle
It is not the possessions but the desires of mankind which require to be equalized. – Aristotle
It is not to avoid cold or hunger that tyrants cover themselves with blood; and states decree the most illustrious rewards, not to him who catches a thief, but to him who kills an usurper. – Aristotle
It is of itself that the divine thought thinks (since it is the most excellent of things), and its thinking is a thinking on thinking. – Aristotle
It is our actions and the soul’s active exercise of its functions that we posit (as being Happiness). – Aristotle
It is our choice of good or evil that determines our character, not our opinion about good or evil. – Aristotle
It is possible to fail in many ways . . . while to succeed is possible only in one way (for which reason also one is easy and the other difficult – to miss the mark easy, to hit it difficult). – Aristotle
It is possible to fail in many ways…while to succeed is possible only in one way. – Aristotle
It is rather the case that we desire something because we believe it to be good than that we believe a thing to be good because we desire it. It is the thought that starts things off. – Aristotle
It is simplicity that makes the uneducated more effective than the educated when addressing popular audiences. – Aristotle
It is the active exercise of our faculties in conformity with virtue that causes happiness, and the opposite activities its opposite. – Aristotle
It is the activity of the intellect that constitutes complete human happiness – provided it be granted a complete span of life, for nothing that belongs to happiness can be incomplete. – Aristotle
It is the characteristic of the magnanimous man to ask no favor but to be ready to do kindness to others. – Aristotle
It is the mark of an educated man to look for precision in each class of thing in so far as its nature admits. – Aristotle
It is the mark of an educated man to look for precision in each class of things just so far as the nature of the subject admits. – Aristotle
It is the mark of an educated man to look for precision in each class of things just so far as the nature of the subject admits; it is evidently equally foolish to accept probable reasoning from a mathematician and to demand from a rhetorician scientific proofs. – Aristotle
It is the mark of an educated mind to expect that amount of exactness which the nature of the particular subject admits. It is equally unreasonable to accept merely probable conclusions from a mathematician and to demand strict demonstration from an orator. – Aristotle
It is the mark of an educated mind to rest satisfied with the degree of precision which the nature of the subject admits and not to seek exactness where only an approximation is possible. – Aristotle
It is the mark of an instructed mind to rest satisfied with the degree of precision to which the nature of the subject admits and not to seek exactness when only an approximation of the truth is possible.
It is the nature of desire not to be satisfied, and most men live only for the gratification of it. – Aristotle
It is the repeated performance of just and temperate actions that produces virtue. – Aristotle
It is their character indeed that makes people who they are. But it is by reason of their actions that they are happy or the reverse. – Aristotle
It is through wonder that men now begin and originally began to philosophize; wondering in the first place at obvious perplexities, and then by gradual progression raising questions about the greater matters too. – Aristotle
It is true, indeed, that the account Plato gives in ‘Timaeus’ is different from what he says in his so-called ‘unwritten teachings.’ – Aristotle
It is unbecoming for young men to utter maxims. – Aristotle
It is well said, then, that it is by doing just acts that the just man is produced, and by doing temperate acts the temperate man; without doing these no one would have even a prospect of becoming good. But most people do not do these, but take refuge in theory and think they are being philosophers and will become good in this way, behaving somewhat like patients who listen attentively to their doctors, but do none of the things they are ordered to do. – Aristotle
It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom. – Aristotle
It may be argued that peoples for whom philosophers legislate are always prosperous. – Aristotle
It must not be supposed that happiness will demand many or great possessions; for self-sufficiency does not depend on excessive abundance, nor does moral conduct, and it is possible to perform noble deeds even without being ruler of land and sea: one can do virtuous acts with quite moderate resources. This may be clearly observed in experience: private citizens do not seem to be less but more given to doing virtuous actions than princes and potentates. It is sufficient then if moderate resources are forthcoming; for a life of virtuous activity will be essentially a happy life. – Aristotle
It seems that ambition makes most people wish to be loved rather than to love others. – Aristotle
It was through the feeling of wonder that men now and at first began to philosophize. – Aristotle
It will contribute towards one’s object, who wishes to acquire a facility in the gaining of knowledge, to doubt judiciously. – Aristotle
It would be wrong to put friendship before the truth. – Aristotle
It would then be most admirably adapted to the purposes of justice, if laws properly enacted were, as far as circumstances admitted, of themselves to mark out all cases, and to abandon as few as possible to the discretion of the judge. – Aristotle
It’s best to rise from life like a banquet, neither thirsty or drunken. – Aristotle
It’s the fastest who gets paid, and it’s the fastest who gets laid. – Aristotle
Jealousy is both reasonable and belongs to reasonable men, while envy is base and belongs to the base, for the one makes himself get good things by jealousy, while the other does not allow his neighbour to have them through envy. – Aristotle
Just as a royal rule, if not a mere name, must exist by virtue of some great personal superiority in the king, so tyranny, which is the worst of governments, is necessarily the farthest removed from a well-constituted form; oligarchy is little better, for it is a long way from aristocracy, and democracy is the most tolerable of the three. – Aristotle
Just as at the Olympic games it is not the handsomest or strongest men who are crowned with victory but the successful competitors, so in life it is those who act rightly who carry off all the prizes and rewards. – Aristotle
Justice is Equality…but equality of what? – Aristotle
Justice is that virtue of the soul which is distributive according to desert. – Aristotle
Justice is the fundamental virtue of political society, since the order of society cannot be maintained without law, and laws are instituted to declare what is just. – Aristotle
Justice is the loveliest and health is the best. but the sweetest to obtain is the heart’s desire. – Aristotle
Justice therefore demands that no one should do more ruling than being ruled, but that all should have their turn. – Aristotle
Kings ought to differ from their subjects, not in kind, but in perfection. – Aristotle
Laughter is a bodily exercise, precious to Health – Aristotle
Law is mind without reason. – Aristotle
Law is order, and good law is good order. – Aristotle
Laws, when good, should be supreme; and that the magistrate or magistrates should regulate those matters only on which the laws are unable to speak with precision owing to the difficulty of any general principle embracing all particulars. – Aristotle
Learning is an ornament in prosperity, a refuge in adversity, and a provision in old age. – Aristotle
Legislative enactments proceed from men carrying their views a long time back; while judicial decisions are made off hand. – Aristotle
Leisure of itself gives pleasure and happiness and enjoyment of life, which are experienced, not by the busy man, but by those who have leisure. – Aristotle
Let us be well persuaded that everyone of us possesses happiness in proportion to his virtue and wisdom, and according as he acts in obedience to their suggestion. – Aristotle
Let us first understand the facts and then we may seek the cause. – Aristotle
Let us then enunciate the functions of a state and we shall easily elicit what we want: First there must be food; secondly, arts, for life requires many instruments; thirdly, there must be arms, for the members of a community have need of them, and in their own hands, too, in order to maintain authority both against disobedient subjects and against external assailants. – Aristotle
Liars when they speak the truth are not believed. – Aristotle
Long-lived persons have one or two lines which extend through the whole hand; short-lived persons have two lines not extending through the whole hand. – Aristotle
Madness is badness of spirit, when one seeks profit from all – Aristotle
Madness is badness of spirit, when one seeks profit from all sources. – Aristotle
Magistrates rule by an established rotation; kings reign for life. – Aristotle
Man by nature wants to know. – Aristotle
Man delights in society far more than do bees or herds. – Aristotle
Man first begins to philosophize when the necessities of life are supplied. – Aristotle
Man is a goal-seeking animal. His life only has meaning if he is reaching out and striving for his goals. – Aristotle
Man is armed with craft and courage, which, untamed by justice, he will most wickedly pervert, and become at once the most impious and the fiercest of monsters. – Aristotle
Man is by nature a civic animal. – Aristotle
Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god. – Aristotle
Man is the metre of all things, the hand is the instrument of instruments, and the mind is the form of forms. – Aristotle
Man is the only animal capable of reasoning, though many others possess the faculty of memory and instruction in common with him. – Aristotle
Man perfected by society is the best of all animals; he is the most terrible of all when he lives without law, and without justice. – Aristotle
Man perfected by society is the best of all animals; he is the most terrible of all when he lives without law and without justice. If he finds himself an individual who cannot live in society, or who pretends he has need of only his own resources do not consider him as a member of humanity; he is a savage beast or a god. – Aristotle
Man perfected by society is the best of all animals; he is the most terrible of all when he lives without law, and without justice. – Aristotle
Man, as an originator of action, is a union of desire and intellect. – Aristotle
Man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all. – Aristotle
Man’s best friend is one who wishes well to the object of his wish for his sake, even if no one is to know of it. – Aristotle
Maybe crying is a means of cleaning yourself out emotionally. Or maybe it’s your last resort; the only way to express yourself when words fail, the same as when you were a baby and had no words. – Aristotle
Meanness is incurable; it cannot be cured by old age, or by anything else. – Aristotle
Meanness is more ingrained in man’s nature than Prodigality; the mass of mankind are avaricious rather than open-handed. – Aristotle
Melancholy men are of all others the most witty. – Aristotle
Melancholy men of all others are most witty, which causeth many times a divine ravishment, and a kinde of Enthusiasmus, which stirreth them up to bee excellent Philosophers, Poets, Prophets, etc. – Aristotle
Melancholy men, of all others, are the most witty. – Aristotle
Memory is the scribe of the soul. – Aristotle
Memory is therefore, neither Perception nor Conception, but a state or affection of one of these, conditioned by lapse of time. As already observed, there is no such thing as memory of the present while present, for the present is object only of perception, and the future, of expectation, but the object of memory is the past. All memory, therefore, implies a time elapsed; consequently only those animals which perceive time remember, and the organ whereby they perceive time is also that whereby they remember. – Aristotle
Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a particular way… you become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions. – Aristotle
Men are divided between those who are as thrifty as if they would live forever, and those who are as extravagant as if they were going to die the next day. – Aristotle
Men are good in but one way, but bad in many. – Aristotle
Men are marked from the moment of birth to rule or be ruled. – Aristotle
Men are swayed more by fear than by reverence. – Aristotle
Men become richer not only by increasing their existing wealth but also by decreasing their expenditure. – Aristotle
Men cling to life even at the cost of enduring great misfortune. – Aristotle
Men come together in cities in order to live: they remain together in order to live the good life – Aristotle
Men create the gods after their own images. – Aristotle
Men fancy that because doing wrong is in their own power, therefore to be just is easy. But it is not so: to lie with one’s neighbour’s wife, and to strike some one near, and the giving with the hand the bribe … are easy acts, and in men’s own power; but to do these things with the particular disposition is neither easy nor in their power. – Aristotle
Men in general desire the good and not merely what their fathers had. – Aristotle
Men must be able to engage in business and go to war, but leisure and peace are better; they must do what is necessary and indeed what is useful, but what is honorable is better. On such principles children and persons of every age which requires education should be trained. – Aristotle
Men pay most attention to what is their own: they care less for what is common; or, at any rate, they care for it only to the extent to which each is individually concerned. – Aristotle
Men regard it as their right to return evil for evil and, if they cannot, feel they have lost their liberty. – Aristotle
Metaphor is halfway between the unintelligible and the commonplace. – Aristotle
Metaphysics involves intuitive knowledge of unprovable starting-points concepts and truth and demonstrative knowledge of what follows from them. – Aristotle
Metaphysics is universal and is exclusively concerned with primary substance. … And here we will have the science to study that which is, both in its essence and in the properties which it has. – Aristotle
Most men appear to think that the art of despotic government is statesmanship, and what men affirm to be unjust and inexpedient in their own case they are not ashamed of practicing towards others; they demand just rule for themselves, but where other men are concerned they care nothing about it. Such behavior is irrational; unless the one party is, and the other is not, born to serve, in which case men have a right to command, not indeed all their fellows, but only those who are intended to be subjects; just as we ought not to hunt mankind, whether for food or sacrifice . . – Aristotle
Most people would rather give than get affection. – Aristotle
Most persons think that a state in order to be happy ought to be large; but even if they are right, they have no idea of what is a large and what a small state…. To the size of states there is a limit, as there is to other things, plants, animals, implements; for none of these retain their natural power when they are too large or too small, but they either wholly lose their nature, or are spoiled. – Aristotle
Mothers are fonder than fathers of their children because they are more certain they are their own. – Aristotle
Music directly imitates the passions or states of the soul…when one listens to music that imitates a certain passion, he becomes imbued with the same passion; and if over a long time he habitually listens to music that rouses ignoble passions, his whole character will be shaped to an ignoble form. – Aristotle
Music directly represents the passions of the soul. If one listens to the wrong kind of music, he will become the wrong kind of person. – Aristotle
Music has a power of forming the character, and should therefore be introduced into the education of the young. – Aristotle
Music has the power of producing a certain effect on the moral character of the soul, and if it has the power to do this, it is clear that the young must be directed to music and must be educated in it. – Aristotle
Music imitates (represents) the passions or states of the soul, such as gentleness, anger, courage, temperance, and their opposites. – Aristotle
My best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake. – Aristotle
My lectures are published and not published; they will be intelligible to those who heard them, and to none beside. – Aristotle
Nature creates nothing without a purpose. – Aristotle
Nature does nothing in vain. – Aristotle
Nature does nothing in vain. Therefore, it is imperative for persons to act in accordance with their nature and develop their latent talents, in order to be content and complete. – Aristotle
Nature does nothing uselessly. – Aristotle
Nature does nothing without a purpose. In children may be observed the traces and seeds of what will one day be settled psychological habits, though psychologically a child hardly differs for the time being from an animal. – Aristotle
Nature herself, as has been often said, requires that we should be able, not only to work well, but to use leisure well; for, as I must repeat once again, the first principle of all action is leisure. Both are required, but leisure is better than occupation and is its end. – Aristotle
Nature makes nothing incomplete, and nothing in vain. – Aristotle
Nature of man is not what he was born as, but what he is born for. – Aristotle
Nature operates in the shortest way possible. – Aristotle
Nature, as we say, does nothing without some purpose; and for the purpose of making man a political animal she has endowed him alone among the animals with the power of reasoned speech. – Aristotle
Nature, we see, has variously moulded the human frame: some men are strongly built, and firmly compacted; others erect and graceful, unfit for toil and drudgery, but capable of sustaining honourably the offices of war and peace. This, however, holds not universally; for a servile mind is often lodged in a graceful person; and we have often found bodies formed for servitude, animated by the souls of freemen. – Aristotle
Neglect of an effective birth control policy is a never-failing source of poverty which, in turn, is the parent of revolution and crime. – Aristotle
Neither by nature, then, nor contrary to nature do the virtues arise in us; rather we are adapted by nature to receive them, and are made perfect by habit. – Aristotle
Neither old people nor sour people seem to make friends easily; for there is little that is pleasant in them. – Aristotle
Neither should men study war with a view to the enslavement of those who do not deserve to be enslaved; but first of all they should provide against their own enslavement, and in the second place obtain empire for the good of the governed, and not for the sake of exercising a general despotism, and in the third place they should seek to be masters only over those who deserve to be slaves. – Aristotle
Neither should we forget the mean, which at the present day is lost sight of in perverted forms of government; for many practices which appear to be democratical are the ruin of democracies, . . Those who think that all virtue is to be found in their own party principles push matters to extremes; they do not consider that disproportion destroys a state. – Aristotle
No democracy can exist unless each of its citizens is as capable of outrage at injustice to another as he is of outrage at unjustice to himself. – Aristotle
No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness. – Aristotle
No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness. – Aristotle
No great genius is without an admixture of madness. – Aristotle
No man of high and generous spirit is ever willing to indulge in flattery; the good may feel affection for others, but will not flatter them. – Aristotle
No notice is taken of a little evil, but when it increases it strikes the eye. – Aristotle
No one chooses what does not rest with himself, but only what he thinks can be attained by his own act. – Aristotle
No one finds fault with defects which are the result of nature. – Aristotle
No one loves the man whom he fears. – Aristotle
No one praises happiness as one praises justice, but we call it a ‘blessing,’ deeming it something higher and more divine than things we praise. – Aristotle
No one who desires to become good will become good unless he does good things. – Aristotle
No one will dare maintain that it is better to do injustice than to bear it. – Aristotle
No one would choose a friendless existence on condition of having all the other things in the world. – Aristotle
No science ever defends its first principles. – Aristotle
Nobility and worth are to be found only among the few, but their opposite among the many; for there is not one man of merit and high spirit in a hundred, while there are many destitute of both to be found everywhere. – Aristotle
Nor need it cause surprise that things disagreeable to the good man should seem pleasant to some men; for mankind is liable to many corruptions and diseases, and the things in question are not really pleasant, but only pleasant to these particular persons, who are in a condition to think them so. – Aristotle
Nor was civil society founded merely to preserve the lives of its members; but that they might live well: for otherwise a state might be composed of slaves, or the animal creation… nor is it an alliance mutually to defend each other from injuries, or for a commercial intercourse. But whosoever endeavors to establish wholesome laws in a state, attends to the virtues and vices of each individual who composes it; from whence it is evident, that the first care of him who would found a city, truly deserving that name, and not nominally so, must be to have his citizens virtuous. – Aristotle
Not every action or emotion however admits of the observance of a due mean. Indeed the very names of some directly imply evil, for instance malice, shamelessness, envy, and, of actions, adultery, theft, murder. All these and similar actions and feelings are blamed as being bad in themselves; it is not the excess or deficiency of them that we blame. It is impossible therefore ever to go right in regard to them – one must always be wrong. – Aristotle
Not to get what you have set your heart on is almost as bad as getting nothing at all. – Aristotle
Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education. – Aristotle
Nothing can be truly just which is inconsistent with humanity. – Aristotle
Nothing is what rocks dream about. – Aristotle
Novices in the art attain to finish of diction and precision of portraiture before they can construct the plot. – Aristotle
Now all orators effect their demonstrative proofs by allegation either of enthymems or examples, and, besides these, in no other way whatever. – Aristotle
Now if there is any gift of the gods to men, it is reasonable that happiness should be god-given, and most surely god-given of all human things inasmuch as it is the best. But this question would perhaps be more appropriate to another inquiry; happiness seems, however, even if it is not god-sent but comes as a result of virtue and some process of learning and training, to be among the most god-like things; for that which is the prize and end of virtue seems to be the best thing in the world, and something god-like and blessed. – Aristotle
Now it is evident that the form of government is best in which every man, whoever he is, can act best and live happily. – Aristotle
Now property is part of a household, and the acquisition of property part of household-management; for neither life itself nor the good life is possible without a certain minimum supply of the necessities. – Aristotle
Now since shame is a mental picture of disgrace, in which we shrink from the disgrace itself and not from its consequences, and we only care what opinion is held of us because of the people who form that opinion, it follows that the people before whom we feel shame are those whose opinion of us matters to us. – Aristotle
Now that practical skills have developed enough to provide adequately for material needs, one of these sciences which are not devoted to utilitarian ends [mathematics] has been able to arise in Egypt, the priestly caste there having the leisure necessary for disinterested research. – Aristotle
Now the goodness that we have to consider is clearly human goodness, since the good or happiness which we set out to seek was human good and human happiness. But human goodness means in our view excellence of soul, not excellence of body. – Aristotle
Now the greatest external good we should assume to be the thing which we offer as a tribute to the gods, and which is most coveted by men of high station, and is the prize awarded for the noblest deeds; and such a thing is honor, for honor is clearly the greatest of external goods. – Aristotle
Now the soul of man is divided into two parts, one of which has a rational principle in itself, and the other, not having a rational principle in itself, is able to obey such a principle. And we call a man in any way good because he has the virtues of these two parts. – Aristotle
Now there are two ways in which fire outside the body can, as we see, come to an end, namely, exhaustion and extinction. By exhaustion we mean that termination which is produced by the fire itself; by extinction, that which is produced by the contraries of fire. – Aristotle
Now what is just and right is to be interpreted in the sense of ‘what is equal’; and that which is right in the sense of being equal is to be considered with reference to the advantage of the state, and the common good of the citizens. And a citizen is one who shares in governing and being governed. He differs under different forms of government, but in the best state he is one who is able and willing to be governed and to govern with a view to the life of virtue. – Aristotle
Now, of the various parts or faculties of the soul–whichever may be the proper term by which to designate them–the only ones with which we need now concern ourselves are those which belong to all such living things as possess not only life but animality. For, though an animal must necessarily be a living thing, living things are by no means of necessity animals; for plants live, and yet are without sensation, which is the distinctive characteristic of an animal. And the part in which is lodged that faculty of the soul in virtue of which a thing lives must also be the part in which is lodged that faculty in virtue of which we call it an animal. – Aristotle
Now, the causes being four, it is the business of the student of nature to know about them all, and if he refers his problems back to all of them, he will assign the “why” in the way proper to his science-the matter, the form, the mover, that for the sake of which. – Aristotle
Nowadays, for the sake of the advantage which is to be gained from the public revenues and from office, men want to be always in office. – Aristotle
Objects which in themselves we view with pain, we delight to contemplate when reproduced with minute fidelity: such as the forms of the most ignoble animals and of dead bodies. – Aristotle
Obstinate people can be divided into the opinionated, the ignorant, and the boorish. – Aristotle
Of actions some aim at what is necessary and useful, and some at what is honorable. And the preference given to one or the other class of actions must necessarily be like the preference given to one or other part of the soul and its actions over the other; there must be war for the sake of peace, business for the sake of leisure, things useful and necessary for the sake of things honorable. – Aristotle
Of all the varieties of virtues, liberalism is the most beloved. – Aristotle
Of cases where a man is truthful both in speech and conduct when no considerations of honesty come in, from an habitual sincerity of disposition. Such sincerity may be esteemed a moral excellence; for the lover of truth, who is truthful even when nothing depends on it, will a fortiori be truthful when some interest is at stake, since having all along avoided falsehood for its own sake, he will assuredly avoid it when it is morally base; and this is a disposition that we praise. – Aristotle
Of governments there are said to be only two forms – democracy and oligarchy. For aristocracy is considered to be a kind of oligarchy, as being the rule of a few, and the so-called constitutional government to be really a democracy. – Aristotle
Of ill-temper there are three kinds: irascibility, bitterness, sullenness. It belongs to the ill-tempered man to be unable to bear either small slights or defeats but to be given to retaliation and revenge, and easily moved to anger by any chance deed or word. Ill-temper is accompanied by excitability of character, instability, bitter speech, and liability to take offence at trifles and to feel these feelings quickly and on slight occasions. – Aristotle
Of mankind in general, the parts are greater than the whole. – Aristotle
Of means of persuading by speaking there are three species: some consist in the character of the speaker; others in the disposing the hearer a certain way; others in the thing itself which is said, by reason of its proving, or appearing to prove the point. – Aristotle
Of old, the demagogue was also a general, and then democracies changed into tyrannies. Most of the ancient tyrants were originally demagogues. They are not so now, but they were then; and the reason is that they were generals and not orators, for oratory had not yet come into fashion. – Aristotle
Of the irrational part of the soul again one division appears to be common to all living things, and of a vegetative nature. – Aristotle
Of the modes of persuasion furnished by the spoken word there are three kinds. The first kind depends on the personal character of the speaker; the second on putting the audience into a certain frame of mind; the third on the proof, provided by the words of the speech itself. – Aristotle
Of the tyrant, spies and informers are the principal instruments. War is his favorite occupation, for the sake of engrossing the attention of the people, and making himself necessary to them as their leader. – Aristotle
On a similar principle they consider that to know right and wrong is nothing clever, because what the laws speak about it cannot be hard to understand. But this is not justice, except incidentally: it is when actions are done or awards are made in a certain way that they become just. – Aristotle
Once dialogue had come in, Nature herself discovered the appropriate measure. For the iambic is, of all measures, the most colloquial. – Aristotle
Once more: there are three offices according to whose directions the highest magistrates are chosen in certain states – guardians of the law, probuli, councilors – of these, the guardians of the law are an aristocratical, the probuli an oligarchical, the council a democratical institution. – Aristotle
One can aim at honor both as one ought, and more than one ought, and less than one ought. He whose craving for honor is excessive is said to be ambitious, and he who is deficient in this respect unambitious; while he who observes the mean has no peculiar name. – Aristotle
One cannot say of something that it is and that it is not in the same respect at the same time. – Aristotle
One citizen differs from another, but the salvation of the community is the common business of them all. This community is the constitution; the virtue of the citizen must therefore be relative to the constitution of which he is a member. – Aristotle
One Greek city state had a fundamental law: anyone proposing revisions to the constitution did so with a noose around his neck. If his proposal lost he was instantly hanged. – Aristotle
One has no friend who has many friends. – Aristotle
One kind of justice is that which is manifested in distributions of honour or money or the other things that fall to be divided among those who have a share in the constitution … and another kind is that which plays a rectifying part in transactions. – Aristotle
One may go wrong in many different ways, but right only in one, which is why it is easy to fail and difficult to succeed. – Aristotle
One must learn by doing the thing, for though you think you know it, you have no certainty until you try. – Aristotle
One swallow does not make a spring, nor does one fine day. – Aristotle
One swallow does not make a summer, nor does one day; and so too one day, or a short time, does not make a man blessed and happy. – Aristotle
One who faces and who fears the right things and from the right motive, in the right way and at the right time, posseses character worthy of our trust and admiration. – Aristotle
One would have thought that it was even more necessary to limit population than property; and that the limit should be fixed by calculating the chances of mortality in the children, and of sterility in married persons. The neglect of this subject, which in existing states is so common, is a never-failing cause of poverty among the citizens; and poverty is the parent of revolution and crime. – Aristotle
Only an armed people can be truly free. Only an unarmed people can ever be enslaved. – Aristotle
Only you can take you to Funkytown. – Aristotle
Opinion involves belief (for without belief in what we opine we cannot have an opinion), and in the brutes though we often find imagination we never find belief. – Aristotle
Our account does not rob the mathematicians of their science… In point of fact they do not need the infinite and do not use it. – Aristotle
Our actions determine our dispositions.. – Aristotle
Our characters are the result of our conduct. – Aristotle
Our feelings towards our friends reflect our feelings towards ourselves. – Aristotle
Our judgments when we are pleased and friendly are not the same as when we are pained and hostile. – Aristotle
Our problem is not that we aim too high and miss, but that we aim too low and hit. – Aristotle
Our youth should also be educated with music and physical education. – Aristotle
Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet. – Aristotle
Patience is so like fortitude that she seems either her sister or her daughter. – Aristotle
Pay attention to the young, and make them just as good as possible. – Aristotle
Peace is more difficult than war. – Aristotle
People become house builders through building houses, harp players through playing the harp. We grow to be just by doing things which are just. – Aristotle
People do not naturally become morally excellent or practically wise. They become so, if at all, only as the result of lifelong personal and community effort. – Aristotle
People generally despise where they flatter. – Aristotle
People never know each other until they have eaten a certain amount of salt together. – Aristotle
People of superior refinement and of active disposition identify happiness with honour; for this is roughly speaking, the end of political life. – Aristotle
Perception starts with the eye. – Aristotle
Perfect friendship is the friendship of men who are good, and alike in excellence; for these wish well alike to each other qua good, and they are good in themselves. – Aristotle
Perfected by the offices and duties of social life, man is the best, but, rude and undisciplined, he is the very worst of animals. – Aristotle
Perhaps here we have a clue to the reason why royal rule used to exist formerly, namely the difficulty of finding enough men of outstanding virtue. – Aristotle
Perhaps there is some element of good even in the simple act of living, so long as the evils of existence do not preponderate too heavily. – Aristotle
Personal beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of introduction – Aristotle
Personal beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of reference. – Aristotle
Personal beauty requires that one should be tall; little people may have charm and elegance, but beauty-no. – Aristotle
Persuasion is achieved by the speaker’s personal character when the speech is so spoken as to make us think him credible. We believe good men more fully and more readily than others: this is true generally whatever the question is, and absolutely true where exact certainty is impossible and opinions are divided. – Aristotle
Persuasion is clearly a sort of demonstration, since we are most fully persuaded when we consider a thing to have been demonstrated. – Aristotle
Persuasion is effected through the medium of the hearers, when they shall have been brought to a state of excitement under the influence of speech; for we do not, when influenced by pain or joy, or partiality or dislike, award our decisions in the same way; about which means of persuasion alone, I declare that the system-mongers of the present day busy themselves. – Aristotle
Philosophy begins with wonder. – Aristotle
Philosophy can make people sick. – Aristotle
Philosophy is the science which considers truth. – Aristotle
Phronimos, possessing practical wisdom . But the only virtue special to a ruler is practical wisdom; all the others must be possessed, so it seems, both by rulers and ruled. The virtue of a person being ruled is not practical wisdom but correct opinion; he is rather like a person who makes the pipes, while the ruler is the one who can play them. – Aristotle
Plants, again, inasmuch as they are without locomotion, present no great variety in their heterogeneous pacts. For, when the functions are but few, few also are the organs required to effect them. … Animals, however, that not only live but perceive, present a great multiformity of pacts, and this diversity is greater in some animals than in others, being most varied in those to whose share has fallen not mere life but life of high degree. Now such an animal is man. – Aristotle
Plato is dear to me, but dearer still is truth. – Aristotle
Plato is my friend, but truth is a better friend. – Aristotle
Pleasure causes us to do base actions and pain causes us to abstain from doing noble actions. – Aristotle
Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work. – Aristotle
PLOT is CHARACTER revealed by ACTION. – Aristotle
Polygnotus depicted men as nobler than they are, Pauson as less noble, Dionysius drew them true to life. – Aristotle
Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime. – Aristotle
Praise invariably implies a reference to a higher standard. – Aristotle
Prayers and sacrifices are of no avail. – Aristotle
Probable impossibilities are always to be preferred to improbable possibilities. – Aristotle
Probable impossibilities are to be preferred to improbable possibilities. – Aristotle
Property should be in a certain sense common, but, as a general rule, private; for, when every one has a distinct interest, men will not complain of one another, and they will make more progress, because every one will be attending to his own business. – Aristotle
Property should be in a general sense common, but as a general rule private… In well-ordered states, although every man has his own property, some things he will place at the disposal of his friends, while of others he shares the use of them. – Aristotle
Prosperity makes friends and adversity tries them. A true friend is one soul in two bodies. – Aristotle
Prudence as well as Moral Virtue determines the complete performance of a man’s proper function: Virtue ensures the rightness of the end we aim at, Prudence ensures the rightness of the means we adopt to gain that end. – Aristotle
Prudence is the virtue of that part of the intellect [the calculative] to which it belongs; and . . . our choice of actions will not be right without Prudence any more than without Moral Virtue, since, while Moral Virtue enables us to achieve the end, Prudence makes us adopt the right means to the end. – Aristotle
Purpose … is held to be most closely connected with virtue, and to be a better token of our character than are even our acts. – Aristotle
Purpose is a desire for something in our own power, coupled with an investigation into its means. – Aristotle
Quid quid movetur ab alio movetur”(nothing moves without having been moved). – Aristotle
Quite often good things have hurtful consequences. There are instances of men who have been ruined by their money or killed by their courage. – Aristotle
Quitting smoking is rather a marathon than a sprint. It is not a one-time attempt, but a longer effort. – Aristotle
Reason … governs like a just and lawful prince, and the little community of man is thus held together and sustained. – Aristotle
Reason is a light that God has kindled in the soul. – Aristotle
Remember that time slurs over everything, let all deeds fade, blurs all writings and kills all memories. Exempt are only those which dig into the hearts of men by love. – Aristotle
Rhetoric is the counterpart of logic; since both are conversant with subjects of such a nature as it is the business of all to have a certain knowledge of, and which belong to no distinct science. Wherefore all men in some way participate of both; since all, to a certain extent, attempt, as well to sift, as to maintain an argument; as well to defend themselves, as to impeach. – Aristotle
Rhetoric is useful because the true and the just are naturally superior to their opposites, so that, if decisions are improperly made, they must owe their defeat to their own advocates; which is reprehensible. Further, in dealing with certain persons, even if we possessed the most accurate scientific knowledge, we should not find it easy to persuade them by the employment of such knowledge. For scientific discourse is concerned with instruction, but in the case of such persons instruction is impossible. – Aristotle
Rhetoric is useful because things that are true and things that are just have a natural tendency to prevail over their opposites, so that if the decisions of judges are not what they ought to be, the defeat must be due to the speakers themselves, and they must be blamed accordingly. – Aristotle
Rhetoric is useful because truth and justice are in their nature stronger than their opposites; so that if decisions be made, not in conformity to the rule of propriety, it must have been that they have been got the better of through fault of the advocates themselves: and this is deserving reprehension. – Aristotle
Rhetoric may be defined as the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion. – Aristotle
Rhetoric may be defined as the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion. This is not a function of any other art. – Aristotle
Rising before daylight is also to be commended; it is a healthy habit, and gives more time for the management of the household as well as for liberal studies. – Aristotle
Salt water when it turns into vapour becomes sweet, and the vapour does not form salt water when it condenses again. This I know by experiment. The same thing is true in every case of the kind: wine and all fluids that evaporate and condense back into a liquid state become water. They all are water modified by a certain admixture, the nature of which determines their flavour. – Aristotle
Saying the words that come from knowledge is no sign of having it. – Aristotle
Self-sufficiency is both a good and an absolute good. – Aristotle
Shame is an ornament to the young; a disgrace to the old. – Aristotle
Shipping magnate of the 20th century If women didn’t exist, all the money in the world would have no meaning. – Aristotle
Since music has so much to do with the molding of character, it is necessary that we teach it to our children. – Aristotle
Since the branch of philosophy on which we are at present engaged differs from the others in not being a subject of merely intellectual interest — I mean we are not concerned to know what goodness essentially is, but how we are to become good men, for this alone gives the study its practical value — we must apply our minds to the solution of the problems of conduct. – Aristotle
Since the objects of imitation are men in action, and these men must be either of a higher or a lower type (for moral character mainly answers to these divisions, goodness and badness being the distinguishing marks of moral differences), it follows that we must represent men either as better than in real life, or as worse, or as they are. – Aristotle
Since the things we do determine the character of life, no blessed person can become unhappy. For he will never do those things which are hateful and petty. – Aristotle
Since the whole city has one end, it is manifest that education should be one and the same for all, and that it should be public, and not private – not as at present, when every one looks after his own children separately, and gives them separate instruction of the sort which he thinks best; the training in things which are of common interest should be the same for all. Neither must we suppose that any one of the citizens belongs to himself, for they all belong to the state, and are each of them a part of the state, and the care of each part is inseparable from the care of the whole. – Aristotle
Since we think we understand when we know the explanation, and there are four types of explanation (one, what it is to be a thing; one, that if certain things hold it is necessary that this does; another, what initiated the change; and fourth, the aim), all these are proved through the middle term. – Aristotle
So it is clear that the search for what is just is a search for the mean; for the law is the mean. – Aristotle
So it is naturally with the male and the female; the one is superior, the other inferior; the one governs, the other is governed; and the same rule must necessarily hold good with respect to all mankind. – Aristotle
So the good has been well explained as that at which all things aim. – Aristotle
So we must lay it down that the association which is a state exists not for the purpose of living together but for the sake of noble actions. Those who contribute most to this kind of association are for that very reason entitled to a larger share in the state than those who, though they may be equal or even superior in free birth and in family, are inferior in the virtue that belongs to a citizen. Similarly they are entitled to a larger share than those who are superior in riches but inferior in virtue. – Aristotle
So we must lay it down that the association which is a state exists not for the purpose of living together but for the sake of noble actions. – Aristotle
So, if we must give a general formula applicable to all kinds of soul, we must describe it as the first actuality [entelechy] of a natural organized body. – Aristotle
Some animals are cunning and evil-disposed, as the fox; others, as the dog, are fierce, friendly, and fawning. Some are gentle and easily tamed, as the elephant; some are susceptible of shame, and watchful, as the goose. Some are jealous and fond of ornament, as the peacock. – Aristotle
Some animals utter a loud cry. Some are silent, and others have a voice, which in some cases may be expressed by a word; in others, it cannot. There are also noisy animals and silent animals, musical and unmusical kinds, but they are mostly noisy about the breeding season. – Aristotle
Some believe it to be just friends wanting, as if to be healthy enough to wish health. – Aristotle
Some identify happiness with virtue, some with practical wisdom, others with a kind of philosophical wisdom, others add or exclude pleasure and yet others include prosperity. We agree with those who identify happiness with virtue, for virtue belongs with virtuous behavior and virtue is only known by its acts. – Aristotle
Some kinds of animals burrow in the ground; others do not. Some animals are nocturnal, as the owl and the bat; others use the hours of daylight. There are tame animals and wild animals. Man and the mule are always tame; the leopard and the wolf are invariably wild, and others, as the elephant, are easily tamed. – Aristotle
Some men are just as sure of the truth of their opinions as are others of what they know. – Aristotle
Some men turn every quality or art into a means of making money; this they conceive to be the end, and to the promotion of the end all things must contribute. – Aristotle
Some persons hold that, while it is proper for the lawgiver to encourage and exhort men to virtue on moral grounds, in the expectation that those who have had a virtuous moral upbringing will respond, yet he is bound to impose chastisement and penalties on the disobedient and ill-conditioned, and to banish the incorrigible out of the state altogether. For (they argue) although the virtuous man, who guides his life by moral ideals, will be obedient to reason, the base, whose desires are fixed on pleasure, must be chastised by pain, like a beast of burden. – Aristotle
Some things the legislator must find ready to his hand in a state, others he must provide. And therefore we can only say: May our state be constituted in such a manner as to be blessed with the goods of which fortune disposes (for we acknowledge her power): whereas virtue and goodness in the state are not a matter of chance but the result of knowledge and purpose. A city can be virtuous only when the citizens who have a share in the government are virtuous, and in our state all the citizens share in the government. – Aristotle
Some vices miss what is right because they are deficient, others because they are excessive, in feelings or in actions, while virtue finds and chooses the mean. – Aristotle
Something is infinite if, taking it quantity by quantity, we can always take something outside. – Aristotle
Sophocles said he drew men as they ought to be, and Euripides as they were. – Aristotle
Soul and body, I suggest react sympathetically upon each other. A change in the state of the soul produces a change in the shape of the body and conversely, a change in the shape of the body produces a change in the state of the soul. – Aristotle
Special care should be taken of the health of the inhabitants, which will depend chiefly on the healthiness of the locality and of the quarter to which they are exposed, and secondly on the use of pure water; this latter point is by no means a secondary consideration. For the elements which we use the most and oftenest for the support of the body contribute most to health, and among those are water and air. Wherefore, in all wise states, if there is want of pure water, and the supply is not all equally good, the drinking water ought to be separated from that which is used for other purposes. – Aristotle
Speech is the representation of the mind, and writing is the representation of speech. – Aristotle
Speeches are like babies-easy to conceive but hard to deliver. – Aristotle
Such an event is probable in Agathon’s sense of the word: ‘it is probable,’ he says, ‘that many things should happen contrary to probability.’ – Aristotle
Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility but through greatness of mind. – Aristotle
Superiority in war … cannot surely be a proof of justice, since wars are often unjustly undertaken, and successfully, though wickedly, carried on and concluded. – Aristotle
Suppose, then, that all men were sick or deranged, save one or two of them who were healthy and of right mind. It would then be the latter two who would be thought to be sick and deranged and the former not! – Aristotle
Take the case of just actions; just punishments and chastisements do indeed spring from a good principle, but they are good only because we cannot do without them – it would be better that neither individuals nor states should need anything of the sort – but actions which aim at honor and advantage are absolutely the best. The conditional action is only the choice of a lesser evil; whereas these are the foundation and creation of good. A good man may make the best even of poverty and disease, and the other ills of life. – Aristotle
Talent is culture with insolence. – Aristotle
Teachers who educate children deserve more honor than parents who merely gave birth; for bare life is furnished by the one, the other ensures a good life. – Aristotle
Teachers, who educate children, deserve more honour than parents, who merely gave them birth; for the latter provided mere life, while the former ensure a good life. – Aristotle
Teaching is the highest form of understanding. – Aristotle
Teenagers these days are out of control. They eat like pigs, they are disrespectful of adults, they interrupt and contradict their parents, and they terrorize their teachers. – Aristotle
Temperance and bravery, then, are ruined by excess and deficiency, but preserved by the mean. – Aristotle
Temperance is a mean with regard to pleasures. – Aristotle
That body is heavier than another which, in an equal bulk, moves downward quicker. – Aristotle
That education should be regulated by law and should be an affair of state is not to be denied, but what should be the character of this public education, and how young persons should be educated, are questions which remain to be considered. As things are, there is disagreement about the subjects. For mankind are by no means agreed about the things to be taught, whether we look to virtue or the best life. Neither is it clear whether education is more concerned with intellectual or with moral virtue. – Aristotle
That in the soul which is called mind (by mind I mean that whereby the soul thinks and judges) is, before it thinks, not actually any real thing. For this reason it cannot reasonably be regarded as blended with the body. – Aristotle
That in the soul which is called the mind is, before it thinks, not actually any real thing. – Aristotle
that it is not, or of what is not that it is, is false, while to say of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not, is true. – Aristotle
That judges of important causes should hold office for life is a disputable thing, for the mind grows old as well as the body. – Aristotle
That rule is the better which is exercised over better subjects. – Aristotle
That the equalization of property exercises an influence on political society was clearly understood even by some of the old legislators. Laws were made by Solon and others prohibiting an individual from possessing as much land as he pleased. – Aristotle
That which is a common concern is very generally neglected. The energies of man are excited by that which depends on himself alone, and of which he only is to reap the whole profit or glory. – Aristotle
That which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it. Every one thinks chiefly of his own, hardly at all of the common interest; and only when he is himself concerned as an individual. For besides other considerations, everybody is more inclined to neglect the duty which he expects another to fulfill. – Aristotle
That which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it. – Aristotle
That which is excellent endures. – Aristotle
That which is impossible and probable is better than that which is possible and improbable. – Aristotle
That which is in locomotion must arrive at the half-way stage before it arrives at the goal. (Travel over any finite distance can neither be completed nor begun, and so all motion must be an illusion.) – Aristotle
That which most contributes to the permanence of constitutions is the adaptation of education to the form of government, and yet in our own day this principle is universally neglected. The best laws, though sanctioned by every citizen of the state, will be of no avail unless the young are trained by habit and education in the spirit of the constitution. – Aristotle
The activity of God, which is transcendent in blessedness, is the activity of contemplation; and therefore among human activities that which is most akin to the divine activity of contemplation will be the greatest source of happiness. – Aristotle
The activity of happiness must occupy an entire lifetime; for one swallow does not a summer make. – Aristotle
The advantageous situation of the capital and of the territory is necessarily a part of the common stock; and all men who inhabit the same city and country must breathe the same air, and enjoy the same climate. – Aristotle
The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance. – Aristotle
The aim of education is to make the pupil like and dislike what he ought….The little human animal will not at first have the right responses. It must be trained to feel pleasure, liking, disgust, and hatred at those things which really are pleasant, likable, disgusting, and hateful. – Aristotle
The aim of the wise is to not secure pleasure, but to avoid pain. – Aristotle
The angry man wishes the object of his anger to suffer in return; hatred wishes its object not to exist. – Aristotle
The antidote for fifty enemies is one friend. – Aristotle
The appropriate age for marriage is around eighteen and thirty-seven for man – Aristotle
The appropriate age for marriage is around eighteen for girls and thirty-seven for men. – Aristotle
The argument of Alcidamas: Everyone honours the wise. Thus the Parians have honoured Archilochus, in spite of his bitter tongue; the Chians Homer, though he was not their countryman; the Mytilenaeans Sappho, though she was a woman; the Lacedaemonians actually made Chilon a member of their senate, though they are the least literary of men; the inhabitants of Lampsacus gave public burial to Anaxagoras, though he was an alien, and honour him even to this day. – Aristotle
The arousing of prejudice, pity, anger, and similar emotions has nothing to do with the essential facts, but is merely a personal appeal to the man who is judging the case.
The art of wealth-getting which consists in household management, on the one hand, has a limit; the unlimited acquisition of wealth is not its business. And therefore, in one point of view, all riches must have a limit; nevertheless, as a matter of fact, we find the opposite to be the case; for all getters of wealth increase their hard coin without limit. – Aristotle
The attainment of truth is then the function of both the intellectual parts of the soul. Therefore their respective virtues are those dispositions which will best qualify them to attain truth. – Aristotle
The avarice of mankind is insatiable. – Aristotle
The avarice of mankind is insatiable; at one time two obols was pay enough; but now, when this sum has become customary, men always want more and more without end. – Aristotle
The bad man is continually at war with, and in opposition to, himself. – Aristotle
The basis of a democratic state is liberty. – Aristotle
The beautiful is that which is desirable in itself. – Aristotle
The beauty of the soul shines out when a man bears with composure one heavy mischance after another, not because he does not feel them, but because he is a man of high and heroic temper. – Aristotle
The beginning, as the proverb says, is half the whole. – Aristotle
The best friend is he that, when he wishes a person’s good, wishes it for that person’s own sake. – Aristotle
The best political community is formed by citizens of the middle class. – Aristotle
The best things are placed between extremes. – Aristotle
The best tragedies are conflicts between a hero and his destiny. – Aristotle
The best way to avoid envy is to deserve the success you get. – Aristotle
The best way to teach morality is to make it a habit with children. – Aristotle
The blood of a goat will shatter a diamond. – Aristotle
The body is at its best between the ages of thirty and thirty-five. – Aristotle
The body is most fully developed from thirty to thirty-five years of age, the mind at about forty-nine. – Aristotle
The brave man, if he be compared with the coward, seems foolhardy; and, if with the foolhardy man, seems a coward. – Aristotle
The business of every art is to bring something into existence, and the practice of an art involves the study of how to bring into existence something which is capable of having such an existence and has its efficient cause in the maker and not in itself. – Aristotle
The character which results from wealth is that of a prosperous fool. – Aristotle
The chief forms of beauty are order and symmetry and definiteness, which the mathematical sciences demonstrate in a special degree. – Aristotle
The citizens begin by giving up some part of the constitution, and so with greater ease the government change something else which is a little more important, until they have undermined the whole fabric of the state. – Aristotle
The complete man must work, study and wrestle. – Aristotle
The continuum is that which is divisible into indivisibles that are infinitely divisible. – Aristotle
The coward calls the brave man rash, the rash man calls him a coward. – Aristotle
The difference between a learned man and an ignorant one is the same as that between a living man and a corpse. – Aristotle
The duty of rhetoric is to deal with such matters as we deliberate upon without arts or systems to guide us, in the hearing of persons who cannot take in at a glance a complicated argument or follow a long chain of reasoning. – Aristotle
The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living differ from the dead. – Aristotle
The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living from the dead. – Aristotle
The End is included among goods of the soul, and not among external goods. – Aristotle
The end of labor is to gain leisure. – Aristotle
The ensouled is distinguished from the unsouled by its being alive. Now since being alive is spoken of in many ways, even if only one of these is present, we say that the thing is alive, if, for instance, there is intellect or perception or spatial movement and rest or indeed movement connected with nourishment and growth and decay. It is for this reason that all the plants are also held to be alive . . . – Aristotle
The entire preoccupation of the physicist is with things that contain within themselves a principle of movement and rest. – Aristotle
The equalization of fortunes may have some slight tendency to stifle animosity and to prevent dissension. But its effect is always inconsiderable, and often doubtful; since those who think themselves entitled to superiority will not patiently brook equality. – Aristotle
The error of Socrates must be attributed to the false notion of unity from which he starts. Unity there should be, both of the family and of the state, but in some respects only. For there is a point at which a state may attain such a degree of unity as to be no longer a state, or at which, without actually ceasing to exist, it will become an inferior state, like harmony passing into unison, or rhythm which has been reduced to a single foot. The state, as I was saying, is a plurality which should be united and made into a community by education. – Aristotle
The evil fortune of the living in no way affects the dead. – Aristotle
The excellence of a thing is related to its proper function. – Aristotle
The Eyes are the organs of temptation, and the Ears are the organs of instruction. – Aristotle
The eyes of some persons are large, others small, and others of a moderate size; the last-mentioned are the best. And some eyes are projecting, some deep-set, and some moderate, and those which are deep-set have the most acute vision in all animals; the middle position is a sign of the best disposition. – Aristotle
The family is the association established by nature for the supply of man’s everyday wants. – Aristotle
The final cause, then, produces motion through being loved. – Aristotle
The fire at Lipara, Xenophanes says, ceased once for sixteen years, and came back in the seventeenth. And he says that the lavastream from Aetna is neither of the nature of fire, nor is it continuous, but it appears at intervals of many years. – Aristotle
The first essential responsibility of the state is control of the market-place: there must be some official charged with the duty of seeing that honest dealing and good order prevail. For one of the well-nigh essential activities of all states is the buying and selling of goods to meet their mutual basic needs; this is the quickest way to self-sufficiency, which seems to be what moves men to combine under a single constitution. – Aristotle
The first principle of all action is leisure. – Aristotle
The fool tells me his reason; the wise man persuades me with my own. – Aristotle
The form of government is a democracy when the free, who are also poor and the majority, govern, and an oligarchy when the rich and the noble govern, they being at the same time few in number. – Aristotle
The generality of men are naturally apt to be swayed by fear rather than reverence, and to refrain from evil rather because of the punishment that it brings than because of its own foulness. – Aristotle
The good citizen need not of necessity possess the virtue which makes a good man. – Aristotle
The good lawgiver should inquire how states and races of men and communities may participate in a good life, and in the happiness which is attainable by them. – Aristotle
The good man is he for whom, because he is virtuous, the things that are absolutely good are good; it is also plain that his use of these goods must be virtuous and in the absolute sense good. – Aristotle
The Good of man is the active exercise of his souls faculties in conformity with excellence or virtue, or if there be several human excellences or virtues, in conformity with the best and most perfect among them. – Aristotle
The good of man is the active exercise of his soul’s faculties. This exercise must occupy a complete lifetime. One swallow does make a spring, nor does one fine day. Excellence is a habit, not an event. – Aristotle
The goodness or badness, justice or injustice, of laws varies of necessity with the constitution of states. This, however, is clear, that the laws must be adapted to the constitutions. But if so, true forms of government will of necessity have just laws, and perverted forms of government will have unjust laws. – Aristotle
The government of freemen is nobler and implies more virtue than despotic government. Neither is a city to be deemed happy or a legislator to be praised because he trains his citizens to conquer and obtain dominion over their neighbors, for there is great evil in this. – Aristotle
The greater the length, the more beautiful will the piece be by reason of its size, provided that the whole be perspicuous. – Aristotle
The greatest crimes are caused by surfeit, not by want. – Aristotle
The greatest crimes are committed … for obtaining or securing the objects of ill-regulated desires, and senseless, because insatiable, passions. – Aristotle
The greatest injustices proceed from those who pursue excess, not by those who are driven by necessity. – Aristotle
The greatest of all pleasures is the pleasure of learning. – Aristotle
The greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor. – Aristotle
The greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor; it is the one thing that cannot be learned from others; and it is also a sign of genius, since a good metaphor implies an intuitive perception of the similarity of the dissimilar. – Aristotle
The greatest thing by far is to have a command of metaphor. This alone cannot be imparted by another; it is the mark of genius, for to make good metaphors implies an eye for resemblances. – Aristotle
The greatest thing in style is to have a command of metaphor. – Aristotle
The greatest threat to the state is not faction but distraction – Aristotle
The greatest victory is over self. – Aristotle
The guest will judge better of a feast than the cook. – Aristotle
The habits we form from childhood make no small difference, but rather they make all the difference. – Aristotle
The hand is the tool of tools. – Aristotle
The hand or foot, when separated from the body, retains indeed its name, but totally changes its nature, because it is completely divested of its uses and of its powers. – Aristotle
The happy man . . . will be always or at least most often employed in doing and contemplating the things that are in conformity with virtue. And he will bear changes of fortunes most nobly, and with perfect propriety in every way. – Aristotle
The hardest victory is the victory over self. – Aristotle
The heart is the perfection of the whole organism. Therefore the principles of the power of perception and the souls ability to nourish itself must lie in the heart. – Aristotle
The high-minded man does not bear grudges, for it is not the mark of a great soul to remember injuries, but to forget them. – Aristotle
The high-minded man is fond of conferring benefits, but it shames him to receive them. – Aristotle
The honors and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action. – Aristotle
The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances. – Aristotle
The ideal man is his own best friend and takes delight in privacy. – Aristotle
The ideal man takes joy in doing favors for others. – Aristotle
The instinct of imitation is implanted in man from childhood, one difference between him and other animals being that he is the most imitative of creatures; and through imitation he learns his earliest lessons. – Aristotle
The intelligence consists not only in the knowledge but also in the skill to apply the knowledge into practice. – Aristotle
The intention makes the crime. – Aristotle
The investigation of the truth is in one way hard, in another easy. An indication of this is found in the fact that no one is able to attain the truth adequately, while, on the other hand, no one fails entirely, but everyone says something true about the nature of all things, and while individually they contribute little or nothing to the truth, by the union of all a considerable amount is amassed. – Aristotle
The knowledge of the soul admittedly contributes greatly to the advance of truth in general, and, above all, to our understanding of Nature, for the soul is in some sense the principle of animal life. – Aristotle
The law does not expressly permit suicide, and what it does not permit it forbids. – Aristotle
The law is reason unaffected by desire. – Aristotle
The law is reason, free from passion. – Aristotle
The law itself is accused of iniquity, and impeached, like the orators of Athens when they have persuaded the assembly to pass unjust decrees. – Aristotle
The laws are, and ought to be, relative to the constitution, and not the constitution to the laws. A constitution is the organization of offices in a state, and determines what is to be the governing body, and what is the end of each community. But laws are not to be confounded with the principles of the constitution; they are the rules according to which the magistrates should administer the state, and proceed against offenders. – Aristotle
The least deviation from truth will be multiplied later. – Aristotle
The legislator should direct his attention above all to the education of youth; for the neglect of education does harm to the constitution. The citizen should be molded to suit the form of government under which he lives. For each government has a peculiar character which originally formed and which continues to preserve it. The character of democracy creates democracy, and the character of oligarchy creates oligarchy. – Aristotle
The life of children, as much as that of intemperate men, is wholly governed by their desires. – Aristotle
The life of money-making is one undertaken under compulsion since wealth is not the good we are seeking and is merely useful for the sake of something else. – Aristotle
The life of money-making is one undertaken under compulsion, and wealth is evidently not the good we are seeking; for it is merely useful and for the sake of something else. – Aristotle
The Life of the intellect is the best and pleasantest for man, because the intellect more than anything else is the man. Thus it will be the happiest life as well. – Aristotle
The life of theoretical philosophy is the best and happiest a man can lead. Few men are capable of it and then only intermittently. For the rest there is a second-best way of life, that of moral virtue and practical wisdom. – Aristotle
The life which is best for men, both separately, as individuals, and in the mass, as states, is the life which has virtue sufficiently supported by material resources to facilitate participation in the actions that virtue calls for. – Aristotle
The light of the day is followed by night, as a shadow follows a body. – Aristotle
The line between lawful and unlawful abortion will be marked by the fact of having sensation and being alive. – Aristotle
The line has magnitude in one way, the plane in two ways, and the solid in three ways, and beyond these there is no other magnitude because the three are all. – Aristotle
The majority of mankind would seem to be beguiled into error by pleasure, which, not being really a good, yet seems to be so. So that they indiscriminately choose as good whatsoever gives them pleasure, while they avoid all pain alike as evil. – Aristotle
The male has more teeth than the female in mankind, and sheep and goats, and swine. This has not been observed in other animals. Those persons which have the greatest number of teeth are the longest lived; those which have them widely separated, smaller, and more scattered, are generally more short lived. – Aristotle
The man fit to command may be compared with the architect, who adjusts the plan and directs its execution. His skill must extend to every part of the work; that of his workmen is limited by their respective tasks. – Aristotle
The man is free, we say, who exists for his own sake and not for another’s. – Aristotle
The man who confers a favour would rather not be repaid in the same coin. – Aristotle
The man who gets angry at the right things and with the right people, and in the right way and at the right time and for the right length of time, is commended. – Aristotle
The man who is content to live alone is either a beast or a god. – Aristotle
The man who is truly good and wise will bear with dignity whatever fortune sends, and will always make the best of his circumstances. – Aristotle
The man with a host of friends who slaps on the back everybody he meets is regarded as the friend of nobody. – Aristotle
The many are more incorruptible than the few; they are like the greater quantity of water which is less easily corrupted than a little. – Aristotle
The mass of mankind are evidently slavish in their tastes, preferring a life suitable to beasts. – Aristotle
The mathematical sciences particularly exhibit order, symmetry, and limitation; and these are the greatest forms of the beautiful. – Aristotle
The misanthrope, as an essentially solitary man, is not a man at all: he must be a beast or a god. – Aristotle
The moral virtues, then, are produced in us neither by nature nor against nature. Nature, indeed, prepares in us the ground for their reception, but their complete formation is the product of habit. – Aristotle
The more you know, the more you know you don’t know. – Aristotle
The most beautiful colors laid on at random, give less pleasure than a black-and-white drawing. – Aristotle
The most beautiful colors, laid on confusedly, will not give as much pleasure as the chalk outline of a portrait. – Aristotle
The most perfect political community is one in which the middle class is in control, and outnumbers both of the other classes. – Aristotle
The most perfect political community must be amongst those who are in the middle rank, and those states are best instituted wherein these are a larger and more respectable part, if possible, than both the other; or, if that cannot be, at least than either of them separate. – Aristotle
The necessity of perpetuating the species, forms the combining principle between males and females; a principle independent of choice or design, and alike incident to animals and to plants, which are all naturally impelled to propagate their respective kinds. – Aristotle
The one exclusive sign of thorough knowledge is the power of teaching. – Aristotle
The only stable principle of government is equality according to proportion, and for every man to enjoy his own. – Aristotle
The only way to achieve true success is to express yourself completely in service to society. – Aristotle
The perversions are as follows: of royalty, tyranny; of aristocracy, oligarchy; of constitutional government, democracy. – Aristotle
The physician heals, Nature makes well. – Aristotle
The physician himself, if sick, actually calls in another physician, knowing that he cannot reason correctly if required to judge his own condition while suffering. – Aristotle
The Plot, then, is the first principle, and, as it were, the soul of a tragedy. – Aristotle
The precepts of the law may be comprehended under these three points: to live honestly, to hurt no man willfully, and to render every man his due carefully. – Aristotle
The principle aim of gymnastics is the education of all youth and not simply that minority of people highly favored by nature. – Aristotle
The probable is what usually happens. – Aristotle
The proof that the state is a creation of nature and prior to the individual is that the individual, when isolated, is not self-sufficing. – Aristotle
The proof that you know something is that you are able to teach it. – Aristotle
The purpose of art is to represent the meaning of things. This represents the true reality, not external aspects. – Aristotle
The purpose of the present study is not as it is in other inquiries, the attainment of knowledge, we are not conducting this inquiry in order to know what virtue is, but in order to become good, else there would be no advantage in studying it. For that reason, it becomes necessary to examine the problem of our actions and to ask how they are to be performed. For as we have said, the actions determine what kind of characteristics are developed. – Aristotle
The quality of a life is determined by its activities – Aristotle
The rattle is a toy suited to the infant mind, and education is a rattle or toy for children of larger growth. – Aristotle
The reason why men enjoy seeing a likeness is, that in contemplating it they find themselves learning or inferring, and saying perhaps, “Ah, that is he.” For if you happen not to have seen the original, the pleasure will be due not to the imitation as such, but to the execution, the coloring, or some such other cause. – Aristotle
The ridiculous is produced by any defect that is unattended by pain, or fatal consequences; thus, an ugly and deformed countenance does not fail to cause laughter, if it is not occasioned by pain. – Aristotle
The same ideas, one must believe, recur in men’s minds not once or twice but again and again. – Aristotle
The same thing may have all the kinds of causes, e.g. the moving cause of a house is the art or the builder, the final cause is the function it fulfils, the matter is earth and stones, and the form is the definitory formula. – Aristotle
The same things are best both for individuals and for states, and these are the things which the legislator ought to implant in the minds of his citizens. – Aristotle
The saying of Protagoras is like the views we have mentioned; he said that man is the measure of all things, meaning simply that that which seems to each man assuredly is. If this is so, it follows that the same thing both is and is not, and is bad and good, and that the contents of all other opposite statements are true, because often a particular thing appears beautiful to some and ugly to others, and that which appears to each man is the measure – Aristotle
The science that studies the supreme good for man is politics. – Aristotle
The science we are after is not about mathematicals either none of them, you see, is separable. – Aristotle
The search for truth is in one way hard and in another way easy, for it is evident that no one can master it fully or miss it wholly. But each adds a little to our knowledge of nature, and from all the facts assembled there arises a certain grandeur. – Aristotle
The seat of the soul and the control of voluntary movement – in fact, of nervous functions in general, – are to be sought in the heart. The brain is an organ of minor importance. – Aristotle
The secret to humor is surprise. – Aristotle
The self-indulgent man craves for all pleasant things… and is led by his appetite to choose these at the cost of everything else. – Aristotle
The senses are gateways to the intelligence. There is nothing in the intelligence which did not first pass through the senses. – Aristotle
The shape of the heaven is of necessity spherical; for that is the shape most appropriate to its substance and also by nature primary. – Aristotle
The so-called Pythagoreans, who were the first to take up mathematics, not only advanced this subject, but saturated with it, they fancied that the principles of mathematics were the principles of all things. – Aristotle
The society that loses its grip on the past is in danger, for it produces men who know nothing but the present, and who are not aware that life had been, and could be, different from what it is. – Aristotle
The soul becomes prudent by sitting and being quiet. – Aristotle
The soul consists of two parts, one irrational and the other capable of reason. (Whether these two parts are really distinct in the sense that the parts of the body or of any other divisible whole are distinct, or whether though distinguishable in thought as two they are inseparable in reality, like the convex and concave of a curve, is a question of no importance for the matter in hand.) – Aristotle
The soul has two parts, one rational and the other irrational. Let us now similarly divide the rational part, and let it be assumed that there are two rational faculties, one whereby we contemplate those things whose first principles are invariable, and one whereby we contemplate those things which admit of variation. – Aristotle
The soul is characterized by these capacities; self-nutrition, sensation, thinking, and movement. – Aristotle
The soul is the cause or source of the living body. The terms cause and source have many senses. But the soul is the cause of its body alike in all three senses which we explicitly recognize. It is (a) the source or origin of movement, it is (b) the end, it is (c) the essence of the whole living body. – Aristotle
The soul is the form of the body – Aristotle
The soul never thinks without a picture. – Aristotle
The soul of animals is characterized by two faculties, (a) the faculty of discrimination which is the work of thought and sense, and (b) the faculty of originating local movement. – Aristotle
The soul suffers when the body is diseased or traumatized, while the body suffers when the soul is ailing. – Aristotle
The souls ability to nourish itself lies in the heart. – Aristotle
The specific excellence of verbal expression in poetry is to be clear without being low. – Aristotle
The state comes into existence for the sake of life and continues to exist for the sake of good life. – Aristotle
The state or political community, which is the highest of all, and which embraces all the rest, aims at good in a greater degree than any other, and at the highest good. – Aristotle
The structural unity of the parts is such that, if any one of them is displaced or removed, the whole will be disjointed and disturbed. For a thing whose presence or absence makes no visible difference is not an organic part of the whole. – Aristotle
The student of politics therefore as well as the psychologist must study the nature of the soul. – Aristotle
The sun, moving as it does, sets up processes of change and becoming and decay, and by its agency the finest and sweetest water is every day carried up and is dissolved into vapour and rises to the upper region, where it is condensed again by the cold and so returns to the earth. This, as we have said before, is the regular course of nature. – Aristotle
The things best to know are first principles and causes, but these things are perhaps the most difficult for men to grasp, for they are farthest removed from the senses. – Aristotle
The trade of the petty usurer is hated with most reason: it makes a profit from currency itself, instead of making it from the process which currency was meant to serve. Their common characteristic is obviously their sordid avarice. – Aristotle
The tragedies of most of our modern poets fail in the rendering of character; and of poets in general this is often true. – Aristotle
The true and the approximately true are apprehended by the same faculty; it may also be noted that men have a sufficient natural instinct for what is true, and usually do arrive at the truth. Hence the man who makes a good guess at truth is likely to make a good guess at probabilities. – Aristotle
The true end of tragedy is to purify the passions. – Aristotle
The true nature of a thing is the highest it can become. – Aristotle
The true nature of anything is what it becomes at its highest. – Aristotle
The truly good and wise man will bear all kinds of fortune in a seemly way, and will always act in the noblest manner that the circumstances allow. – Aristotle
The two qualities which chiefly inspire regard and affection Are that a thing is your own and that it is your only one. – Aristotle
The ultimate end…is not knowledge, but action. To be half right on time may be more important than to obtain the whole truth too late. – Aristotle
The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival. – Aristotle
The unfortunate need people who will be kind to them; the prosperous need people to be kind to. – Aristotle
The vices respectively fall short of or exceed what is right in both passions and actions, while virtue both finds and chooses that which is intermediate. – Aristotle
The vigorous are no better than the lazy during one half of life, for all men are alike when asleep. – Aristotle
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. – Aristotle
The whole is more than the sum of its parts. – Aristotle
The wickedness of man is boundless; it seems at first as if a trifle would content him, but his passions invigorate by gratification; always indulged, always craving, and continually preying on him who feeds him. – Aristotle
The word is a sign or symbol of the impressions or affections of the soul. – Aristotle
The worst thing about slavery is that the slaves eventually get to like it. – Aristotle
The young are heated by Nature as drunken men by wine. – Aristotle
The young are permanently in a state resembling intoxication. – Aristotle
The young have exalted notions, because they have not been humbled by life or learned its necessary limitations; moreover, their hopeful disposition makes them think themselves equal to great things—and that means having exalted notions. They would always rather do noble deeds than useful ones: Their lives are regulated more by moral feeling than by reasoning…. All their mistakes are in the direction of doing things excessively and vehemently. They overdo everything; they love too much, hate too much, and the same with everything else. – Aristotle
There also appears to be another element in the soul, which, though irrational, yet in a manner participates in rational principle. – Aristotle
There are branches of learning and education which we must study merely with a view to leisure spent in intellectual activity, and these are to be valued for their own sake; whereas those kinds of knowledge which are useful in business are to be deemed necessary, and exist for the sake of other things. – Aristotle
There are no experienced young people. Time makes experience. – Aristotle
There are some jobs in which it is impossible for a man to be virtuous. – Aristotle
There are still two forms besides democracy and oligarchy; one of them is universally recognized and included among the four principal forms of government, which are said to be (1) monarchy, (2) oligarchy, (3) democracy, and (4) the so-called aristocracy or government of the best. But there is also a fifth, which retains the generic name of polity or constitutional government. – Aristotle
There are three qualifications required in those who have to fill the highest offices, – (1) first of all, loyalty to the established constitution; (2) the greatest administrative capacity; (3) virtue and justice of the kind proper to each form of government. – Aristotle
There are three things that are the motives of choice and three that are the motives of avoidance; namely, the noble, the expedient, and the pleasant, and their opposites, the base, the harmful, and the painful. Now in respect of all these the good man is likely to go right and the bad to go wrong, but especially in respect of pleasure; for pleasure is common to man with the lower animals, and also it is a concomitant of all the objects of choice, since both the noble and the expedient appear to us pleasant. – Aristotle
There are two distinctive peculiarities by reference to which we characterize the soul (1) local movement and (2) thinking, discriminating, and perceiving. Thinking both speculative and practical is regarded as akin to a form of perceiving; for in the one as well as the other the soul discriminates and is cognizant of something which is. – Aristotle
There are, then, these three means of effecting persuasion. The man who is to be in command of them must, it is clear, be able (1) to reason logically, (2) to understand human character and goodness in their various forms, and (3) to understand the emotions–that is, to name them and describe them, to know their causes and the way in which they are excited. – Aristotle
There are, then, three states of mind … two vices–that of excess, and that of defect; and one virtue–the mean; and all these are in a certain sense opposed to one another; for the extremes are not only opposed to the mean, but also to one another; and the mean is opposed to the extremes. – Aristotle
There is a cropping-time in the races of men, as in the fruits of the field; and sometimes, if the stock be good, there springs up for a time a succession of splendid men; and then comes a period of barrenness. – Aristotle
There is a foolish corner in the brain of the wisest man. – Aristotle
There is also a doubt as to what is to be the supreme power in the state: – Is it the multitude? Or the wealthy? Or the good? Or the one best man? Or a tyrant? – Aristotle
There is always something new coming out of Africa. – Aristotle
There is an error common to both oligarchies and to democracies: in the latter the demagogues, when the multitude are above the law, are always cutting the city in two by quarrels with the rich, whereas they should always profess to be maintaining their cause; just as in oligarchies the oligarchs should profess to maintain the cause of the people, – Aristotle .
There is an ideal of excellence for any particular craft or occupation; similarly there must be an excellent that we can achieve as human beings. That is, we can live our lives as a whole in such a way that they can be judged not just as excellent in this respect or in that occupation, but as excellent, period. Only when we develop our truly human capacities sufficiently to achieve this human excellent will we have lives blessed with happiness. – Aristotle
There is honor in being a dog. – Aristotle
There is more both of beauty and of raison d’etre in the works of nature- than in those of art. – Aristotle
There is more evidence to prove that saltness [of the sea] is due to the admixture of some substance, besides that which we have adduced. Make a vessel of wax and put it in the sea, fastening its mouth in such a way as to prevent any water getting in. Then the water that percolates through the wax sides of the vessel is sweet, the earthy stuff, the admixture of which makes the water salt, being separated off as it were by a filter. – Aristotle
There is no genius who hasn’t a touch of insanity. – Aristotle
There is no great genius without a mixture of madness. – Aristotle
There is no great genius without some touch of madness. – Aristotle
There is no such thing as committing adultery with the right woman, at the right time, and in the right way, for it is simply WRONG. – Aristotle
There is nothing grand or noble in having the use of a slave, in so far as he is a slave; or in issuing commands about necessary things. But it is an error to suppose that every sort of rule is despotic like that of a master over slaves, for there is as great a difference between the rule over freemen and the rule over slaves as there is between slavery by nature and freedom by nature. – Aristotle
There is nothing strange in the circle being the origin of any and every marvel. – Aristotle
There is only one condition in which we can imagine managers not needing subordinates, and masters not needing slaves. This condition would be that each (inanimate) instrument could do its own work. – Aristotle
There is only one good, that is knowledge; there is only one evil, that is ignorance. – Aristotle
There is simple ignorance, which is the source of lighter offenses, and double ignorance, which is accompanied by a conceit of wisdom. – Aristotle
There must then be a principle of such a kind that its substance is activity. – Aristotle
There was never a genius without a tincture of madness. – Aristotle
Therefore the good man ought to be a lover of self, since he will then both benefit himself by acting nobly and aid his fellows; but the bad man ought not to be a lover of self, since he will follow his base passions, and so injure both himself and his neighbors. With the bad man therefore, what he does is not in accord with what he ought to do, but the good man does what he ought, since intelligence always chooses for itself that which is best, and the good man obeys his intelligence. – Aristotle
Therefore, even the lover of myth is a philosopher; for myth is composed of wonder. – Aristotle
There’s many a slip between the cup and the lip. – Aristotle
These two rational faculties may be designated the Scientific Faculty and the Calculative Faculty respectively; since calculation is the same as deliberation, and deliberation is never exercised about things that are invariable, so that the Calculative Faculty is a separate part of the rational half of the soul. – Aristotle
These virtues are formed in man by his doing the actions … The good of man is a working of the soul in the way of excellence in a complete life. – Aristotle
These, then, are the four kinds of royalty. First the monarchy of the heroic ages; this was exercised over voluntary subjects, but limited to certain functions; the king was a general and a judge, and had the control of religion The second is that of the barbarians, which is a hereditary despotic government in accordance with law. A third is the power of the so-called Aesynmete or Dictator; this is an elective tyranny. The fourth is the Lacedaemonian, which is in fact a generalship, hereditary and perpetual. – Aristotle
They – Young People have exalted notions, because they have not been humbled by life or learned its necessary limitations; moreover, their hopeful disposition makes them think themselves equal to great things – and that means having exalted notions. They would always rather do noble deeds than useful ones: Their lives are regulated more by moral feeling than by reasoning – all their mistakes are in the direction of doing things excessively and vehemently. They overdo everything – they love too much, hate too much, and the same with everything else. – Aristotle
They should rule who are able to rule best. – Aristotle
They who are to be judges must also be performers. – Aristotle
They who have drunk beer, fall on their back, but there is a peculiarity in the effects of the drink made from barley, for they that get drunk on other intoxicating liquors fall on all parts of their body, they fall on the left side, on the right side, on their faces, and and on their backs. But it is only those who get drunk on beer that fall on their backs with their faces upward. – Aristotle
They Young People have exalted notions, because they have not been humbled by life or learned its necessary limitations; moreover, their hopeful disposition makes them think themselves equal to great things — and that means having exalted notions. They would always rather do noble deeds than useful ones: Their lives are regulated more by moral feeling than by reasoning — all their mistakes are in the direction of doing things excessively and vehemently. They overdo everything — they love too much, hate too much, and the same with everything else. – Aristotle
Think as the wise men think, but talk like the simple people do. – Aristotle
Think as wise men do, but speak as the common people do. – Aristotle
Thinking is different from perceiving and is held to be in part imagination, in part judgment. – Aristotle
This body is not a home, but an inn; and that only for a short time. Seneca Friendship is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies. – Aristotle
This communicating of a man’s self to his friend works two contrary effects; for it redoubleth joys, and cutteth griefs in half. – Aristotle
This element, the seat of the appetites and of desire in general, does in a sense participate in principle, as being amenable and obedient to it – Aristotle
This is the reason why mothers are more devoted to their children than fathers: it is that they suffer more in giving them birth and are more certain that they are their own. – Aristotle
This much then, is clear: in all our conduct it is the mean that is to be commended. – Aristotle
This world is inescapably linked to the motions of the worlds above. All power in this world is ruled by these options. – Aristotle
Those that deem politics beneath their dignity are doomed to be governed by those of lesser talents. – Aristotle
Those that know, do. Those that understand, teach. – Aristotle
Those who act receive the prizes. – Aristotle
Those who are not angry at the things they should be angry at are thought to be fools, and so are those who are not angry in the right way, at the right time, or with the right persons. – Aristotle
Those who assert that the mathematical sciences say nothing of the beautiful or the good are in error. For these sciences say and prove a great deal about them; if they do not expressly mention them, but prove attributes which are their results or definitions, it is not true that they tell us nothing about them. The chief forms of beauty are order and symmetry and definiteness, which the mathematical sciences demonstrate in a special degree. – Aristotle
Those who believe that all virtue is to be found in their own party principles push matters to extremes; they do not consider that disproportion destroys a state. – Aristotle
Those who cannot bravely face danger are the slaves of their attackers. – Aristotle
Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well. – Aristotle
Those who excel in virtue have the best right of all to rebel, but then they are of all men the least inclined to do so. – Aristotle
Those who have been eminent in philosophy, politics, poetry, and the arts have all had tendencies toward melancholia. – Aristotle
Those who have the command of the arms in a country are masters of the state, and have it in their power to make what revolutions they please. [Thus,] there is no end to observations on the difference between the measures likely to be pursued by a minister backed by a standing army, and those of a court awed by the fear of an armed people. – Aristotle
Those who merely possess the goods of fortune may be haughty and insolent; . . . they try to imitate the great-souled man without being really like him, and only copy him in what they can, reproducing his contempt for others but not his virtuous conduct. For the great-souled man is justified in despising other people – his estimates are correct; but most proud men have no good ground for their pride. – Aristotle
Those whose days are consumed in the low pursuits of avarice, or the gaudy frivolties of fashion, unobservant of nature’s loveliness of demarcation, nor on which side thereof an intermediate form should lie. – Aristotle
Thou wilt find rest from vain fancies if thou doest every act in life as though it were thy last. – Aristotle
Thought is required wherever a statement is proved, or, it may be, a general truth enunciated. – Aristotle
Through discipline comes freedom. – Aristotle
Thus every action must be due to one or other of seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reasoning, anger, or appetite. – Aristotle
Thus it is thought that justice is equality; and so it is, but not for all persons, only for those that are equal. Inequality also is thought to be just; and so it is, but not for all, only for the unequal. We make bad mistakes if we neglect this for whom when we are deciding what is just. The reason is that we are making judgements about ourselves, and people are generally bad judges where their own interests are involved. – Aristotle
Thus then a single harmony orders the composition of the whole…by the mingling of the most contrary principles. – Aristotle
Thus, then … are the three differences which distinguish artistic imitation: the medium, the objects, and the manner. – Aristotle
To appreciate the beauty of a snow flake, it is necessary to stand out in the cold. – Aristotle
To attain any assured knowledge about the soul is one of the most difficult things in the world. – Aristotle
To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing. – Aristotle
To be always seeking after the useful does not become free and exalted souls. – Aristotle
To be angry is easy. But to be angry with the right man at the right time and in the right manner, that is not easy. – Aristotle
To be conscious that we are perceiving or thinking is to be conscious of our own existence. – Aristotle
To be ignorant of motion is to be ignorant of nature. – Aristotle
To become an able man in any profession, there are three things necessary — nature, study, and practice. – Aristotle
To die in order to avoid the pains of poverty, love, or anything that is disagreeable, is not the part of a brave man, but of a coward. – Aristotle
To die, and thus avoid poverty or love, or anything painful, is not the part of a brave man, but rather of a coward; for it is cowardice to avoid trouble, and the suicide does not undergo death because it is honorable, but in order to avoid evil. – Aristotle
To enjoy the things we ought and to hate the things we ought has the greatest bearing on excellence of character. – Aristotle
To give a satisfactory decision as to the truth it is necessary to be rather an arbitrator than a party to the dispute. – Aristotle
To give away money is an easy matter and in any man’s power. But to decide to whom to give it and how large and when, and for what purpose and how, is neither in every man’s power nor an easy matter. – Aristotle
To know what virtue is is not enough; we must endeavor to possess and to practice it, or in some other manner actually ourselves to become good. – Aristotle
To learn gives the liveliest pleasure, not only to philosophers but to men in general. – Aristotle
To learn is a natural pleasure, not confined to philosophers, but common to all men. – Aristotle
To leave the number of births unrestricted, as is done in most states, inevitably causes poverty among the citizens, and poverty produces crime and faction. – Aristotle
To let them share in the highest offices is to take a risk; inevitably, their unjust standards will cause them to commit injustice, and their lack of judgement will lead them into error. On the other hand there is a risk in not giving them a share, and in their non participation, for when there are many who have no property and no honours they inevitably constitute a huge hostile element in the state. But it can still remain open to them to participate in deliberating and judging. – Aristotle
To love someone is to identify with them. – Aristotle
To perceive is to suffer. – Aristotle
To run away from trouble is a form of cowardice and, while it is true that the suicide braves death, he does it not for some noble object but to escape some ill. – Aristotle
To some writers, nothing appears of so much consequence as the skillful regulation of property; because it is this much coveted object that gives birth to most disputes and most seditions. – Aristotle
To Thales the primary question was not what do we know, but how do we know it. – Aristotle
To the size of the state there is a limit, as there is to plants, animals and implements, for none of these retain their facility when they are too large. – Aristotle
To the sober person adventurous conduct often seems insanity. – Aristotle
To those who cite the disreputable sorts of pleasure one may fairly reply that these are not really pleasant. For we ought not, because they are pleasant to the wrongly disposed, to think they are generally pleasant, or to any but these; just as things that are wholesome or sweet or bitter to the sick, are not so to all, and as things are not really white that seem so to those suffering from opthalmia. – Aristotle
To Unlearn is as hard as to Learn. – Aristotle
To write well, express yourself like common people, but think like a wise man. Or, think as wise men do, but speak as the common people do. – Aristotle
To write well, express yourself like the common people, but think like a wise man. – Aristotle
Today you can start forming habits for overcoming all obstacles in life… even nicotine cravings – Aristotle
Today, see if you can stretch your heart and expand your love so that it touches not only those to whom you can give it easily, but also to those who need it so much. – Aristotle
Tolerance and apathy are the last virtues of a dying society. – Aristotle
Tools may be animate as well as inanimate; for instance, a ship’s captain uses a lifeless rudder, but a living man for watch; for a servant is, from the point of view of his craft, categorized as one of its tools. So any piece of property can be regarded as a tool enabling a man to live, and his property is an assemblage of such tools; a slave is a sort of living piece of property; and like any other servant is a tool in charge of other tools. – Aristotle
Tragedy advanced by slow degrees; each new element that showed itself was in turn developed. Having passed through many changes, it found its natural form, and there it stopped. – Aristotle
Tragedy is a representation of action that is worthy of serious attention, complete in itself and of some magnitude – bringing about by means of pity and fear the purging of such emotions. – Aristotle
Tragedy is an imitation not of men but of a life, an action – Aristotle
Tragedy is an imitation not only of a complete action, but of events inspiring fear and pity. Such an effect is best produced when the events come on us by surprise; and the effect is heightened when, at the same time, they follow as cause and effect. The tragic wonder will then be great than if they happened of themselves or by accident; for even coincidences are most striking when they have an air of design. – Aristotle
Tragedy is thus a representation of an action that is worth serious attention, complete in itself and of some amplitude… by means of pity and fear bringing about the purgation of such emotions. – Aristotle
Tragedy, then, is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament, the several kinds being found in separate parts of the play in the form of action, not of narrative; through pity and fear effecting the proper purgation of these emotions. – Aristotle
Tragedy–as also Comedy–was at first mere improvisation. – Aristotle
Truth is a remarkable thing. We cannot miss knowing some of it. But we cannot know it entirely. – Aristotle
Try is a noisy way of doing nothing. – Aristotle
Two characteristic marks have above all others been recognized as distinguishing that which has soul in it from that which has not – movement and sensation. – Aristotle
Tyrants preserve themselves by sowing fear and mistrust among the citizens by means of spies, by distracting them with foreign wars, by eliminating men of spirit who might lead a revolution, by humbling the people, and making them incapable of decisive action… – Aristotle
Victory is pleasant, not only to those who love to conquer, bot to all; for there is produced an idea of superiority, which all with more or less eagerness desire. – Aristotle
Victory is the end of generalship. – Aristotle
Walked right by an ex-girlfriend today. Not on purpose, I just didn’t recognize her with her mouth closed. – Aristotle
We acquire a particular quality by acting in a particular way. – Aristotle
We are all inclined to … direct our inquiry not by the matter itself, but by the views of our opponents; and, even when interrogating oneself, one pushes the inquiry only to the point at which one can no longer offer any opposition. Hence a good inquirer will be one who is ready in bringing forward the objections proper to the genus, and that he will be when he has gained an understanding of the differences. – Aristotle
We are better able to study our neighbours than ourselves, and their actions than our own. – Aristotle
We are masters of our actions from the beginning up to the very end. But, in the case of our habits, we are only masters of their commencement – each particular little increase being as imperceptible as in the case of bodily infirmities. But yet our habits are voluntary, in that it was once in our power to adopt or not to adopt such or such a course of conduct. – Aristotle
We are not angry with people we fear or respect, as long as we fear or respect them; you cannot be afraid of a person and also at the same time angry with him. – Aristotle
We are the sum of our actions, and therefore our habits make all the difference. – Aristotle
We are what we continually do. – Aristotle
We are what we do. – Aristotle
We are what we do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle
We are what we frequently do. – Aristotle
We are what we reblog. – Aristotle
We are what we repeatedly do. – Aristotle
We are what we repeatedly do… excellence, therefore, isn’t just an act, but a habit and life isn’t just a series of events, but an ongoing process of self-definition. – Aristotle
We assume therefore that moral virtue is the quality of acting in the best way in relation to pleasures and pains, and that vice is the opposite. – Aristotle
We become brave by doing brave acts. – Aristotle
We become just by performing just action, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave action. – Aristotle
We become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions. – Aristotle
We become just by the practice of just actions, self-controlled by exercising self-control, and courageous by performing acts of courage. – Aristotle
We become just by the practice of just actions. – Aristotle
We can do noble acts without ruling the earth and sea. – Aristotle
We cannot … prove geometrical truths by arithmetic. – Aristotle
We cannot learn without pain. – Aristotle
We can’t learn without pain. – Aristotle
We deliberate not about ends, but about means. – Aristotle
We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence. But they hesitate, waiting for the other fellow to make the first move-and he, in turn, waits for you. – Aristotle
We do not know a truth without knowing its cause. – Aristotle
We give up leisure in order that we may have leisure, just as we go to war in order that we may have peace. – Aristotle
We have divided the Virtues of the Soul into two groups, the Virtues of the Character and the Virtues of the Intellect. – Aristotle
We have next to consider the formal definition of virtue. – Aristotle
We have no evidence as yet about mind or the power to think; it seems to be a widely different kind of soul, differing as what is eternal from what is perishable; it alone is capable of existence in isolation from all other psychic powers. – Aristotle
We laugh at that which we cannot bear to face. – Aristotle
We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths; in feelings, not in figures on a dial. We should count time by heart throbs. He most lives who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best. – Aristotle
We make war that we may live in peace. – Aristotle
We may assume the superiority ceteris paribus of the demonstration which derives from fewer postulates or hypotheses – in short, from fewer premises. – Aristotle
We must as second best, as people say, take the least of the evils. – Aristotle
We must be neither cowardly nor rash but courageous. – Aristotle
We must become just be doing just acts. – Aristotle – Aristotle
We must no more ask whether the soul and body are one than ask whether the wax and the figure impressed on it are one.
We must not feel a childish disgust at the investigations of the meaner animals. For there is something marvelous in all natural things. – Aristotle
We must not listen to those who advise us ‘being men to think human thoughts, and being mortal to think mortal thoughts’ but must put on immortality as much as possible and strain every nerve to live according to that best part of us, which, being small in bulk, yet much more in its power and honour surpasses all else. – Aristotle
We must speak first about the division of land and about those who cultivate it: who should they be and what kind of person? We do not agree with those who have said that property should be communally owned, but we do believe that there should be a friendly arrangement for its common use, and that none of the citizens should be without means of support. – Aristotle
We ought not to listen to those who exhort us, because we are human, to think of human things….We ought rather to take on immortality as much as possible, and do all that we can to live in accordance with the highest element within us; for even if its bulk is small, in its power and value it far exceeds everything. – Aristotle
We ought to be able to persuade on opposite sides of a question; as also we ought in the case of arguing by syllogism: not that we should practice both, for it is not right to persuade to what is bad; but in order that the bearing of the case may not escape us, and that when another makes an unfair use of these reasonings, we may be able to solve them. – Aristotle
We ought, so far as it lies within our power, to aspire to immortality, and do all that we can to live in conformity with the highest that is within us; for even if it is small in quantity, in power and preciousness, it far excels all the rest. – Aristotle
We praise a man who feels angry on the right grounds and against the right persons and also in the right manner at the right moment and for the right length of time. – Aristotle
We punish a man for his ignorance if he is thought to be responsible for his ignorance. – Aristotle
We should aim rather at leveling down our desires than leveling up our means. – Aristotle
We should behave to our friends as we would wish our friends behave to us – Aristotle
We should behave to our friends as we would wish our friends to behave to us. – Aristotle
We should venture on the study of every kind of animal without distaste; for each and all will reveal to us something natural and something beautiful. – Aristotle
We work to earn our leisure. – Aristotle
We would have to say that hereditary succession is harmful. You may say the king, having sovereign power, will not in that case hand over to his children. But it is hard to believe that: it is a difficult achievement, which expects too much virtue of human nature. – Aristotle
We, on the other hand, must take for granted that the things that exist by nature are, either all or some of them, in motion. – Aristotle
Wealth is clearly not the absolute good of which we are in search, for it is a utility, and only desirable as a means. – Aristotle
Were part of the human race to be arrayed in that splendor of beauty which beams from the statues of gods, universal consent would acknowledge the rest of mankind naturally formed to be their slaves. – Aristotle
What has soul in it differs from what has not, in that the former displays life. Now this word has more than one sense, and provided any one alone of these is found in a thing we say that thing is living. Living, that is, may mean thinking or perception or local movement and rest, or movement in the sense of nutrition, decay and growth. Hence we think of plants also as living, for they are observed to possess in themselves an originative power through which they increase or decrease in all spatial directions. – Aristotle
What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies. – Aristotle
What is common to many is least taken care of, for all men have greater regard for what is their own than what they possess in common with others. – Aristotle
What is the highest of all goods achievable by action? …both the general run of man and people of superior refinement say that it is happiness …but with regard to what happiness is they differ. – Aristotle
What it lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not to do. – Aristotle
What lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not to do. – Aristotle
What soon grows old? Gratitude. – Aristotle
What the statesman is most anxious to produce is a certain moral character in his fellow citizens, namely a disposition to virtue and the performance of virtuous actions. – Aristotle
What we expect, that we find. – Aristotle
What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing. – Aristotle
What we know is not capable of being otherwise; of things capable of being otherwise we do not know, when they have passed outside our observation, whether they exist or not. Therefore the object of knowledge is of necessity. Therefore it is eternal; for things that are of necessity in the unqualified sense are all eternal; and things that are eternal are ungenerated and imperishable. – Aristotle
What you have to learn to do, you learn by doing. – Aristotle
Whatever we learn to do, we learn by actually doing it; men come to be builders, for instance, by building, and harp players by playing the harp. In the same way, by doing just acts we come to be just; by doing self-controlled acts, we come to be self-controlled ; and by doing brave acts, we become brave. – Aristotle
Whatsoever that be within us that feels, thinks, desires, and animates, is something celestial, divine, and, consequently, imperishable. – Aristotle
When a draco has eaten much fruit, it seeks the juice of the bitter lettuce; it has been seen to do this. – Aristotle
When couples have children in excess, let abortion be procured before sense and life have begun; what may or may not be lawfully done in these cases depends on the question of life and sensation. – Aristotle
When people are friends, they have no need of justice, but when they are just, they need friendship in addition. – Aristotle
When Pleasure is at the bar the jury is not impartial. – Aristotle
When quarrels and complaints arise, it is when people who are equal have not got equal shares, or vice-versa. – Aristotle
When several villages are united in a single complete community, large enough to be nearly or quite self-sufficing, the state comes into existence, originating in the bare needs of life, and continuing in existence for the sake of a good life. – Aristotle
When the citizens at large administer the state for the common interest, the government is called by the generic name – a constitution. – Aristotle
When the looms spin by themselves, we’ll have no need for slaves. – Aristotle
When the storytelling goes bad in a society, the result is decadence. – Aristotle
When their adventures do not succeed, however, they run away; but it was the mark of a brave man to face things that are, and seem, terrible for a man, because it is noble to do so and disgraceful not to do so. – Aristotle
When there is no middle class, and the poor greatly exceed in number, troubles arise, and the state soon comes to an end. – Aristotle
When we deliberate it is about means and not ends. – Aristotle
When we look at the matter from another point of view, great caution would seem to be required. For the habit of lightly changing the laws is an evil, and, when the advantage is small, some errors both of lawgivers and rulers had better be left; the citizen will not gain so much by making the change as he will lose by the habit of disobedience. – Aristotle
When you are lonely, when you feel yourself an alien in the world, play Chess. This will raise your spirits and be your counselor in war – Aristotle
When you ask a dumb question, you get a smart answer. – Aristotle
When you feel yourself lacking something, send your thoughts towards your Intimate and search for the Divinity that lives within you. – Aristotle
When you have thrown a stone, you cannot afterwards bring it back again, but nevertheless you are responsible for having taken up the stone and flung it, for the origin of the act was within you. Similarly the unjust and profligate might at the outset have avoided becoming so, and therefore they are so voluntarily, although when they have become unjust and profligate it is no longer open to them not to be so. – Aristotle
When…we, as individuals, obey laws that direct us to behave for the welfare of the community as a whole, we are indirectly helping to promote the pursuit of happiness by our fellow human beings. – Aristotle
Where it is in our power to act, it is also in our power to not act. – Aristotle
Where perception is, there also are pain and pleasure, and where these are, there, of necessity, is desire. – Aristotle
Where some people are very wealthy and others have nothing, the result will be either extreme democracy or absolute oligarchy, or despotism will come from either of those excesses. – Aristotle
Where the interests of truth are at actual stake, we ought, perhaps, to sacrifice even that which is our own–if, at least, we are to lay any claim to a philosophic spirit. – Aristotle
Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, therein lies your vocation. These two, your talents and the needs of the world, are the great wake up calls to your true vocation in life… to ignore this, is in some sense, is to lose your soul. – Aristotle
Where your talents and the needs of the world cross; there lies your vocation. – Aristotle
Whereas happiness is the highest good, being a realization and perfect practice of virtue, which some can attain, while others have little or none of it, the various qualities of men are clearly the reason why there are various kinds of states and many forms of government; for different men seek after happiness in different ways and by different means, and so make for themselves different modes of life and forms of government. – Aristotle
Whereas the law is passionless, passion must ever sway the heart of man. – Aristotle
Whereas young people become accomplished in geometry and mathematics, and wise within these limits, prudent young people do not seem to be found. The reason is that prudence is concerned with particulars as well as universals, and particulars become known from experience, but a young person lacks experience, since some length of time is needed to produce it. – Aristotle
Whether if soul did not exist time would exist or not, is a question that may fairly be asked; for if there cannot be someone to count there cannot be anything that can be counted, so that evidently there cannot be number; for number is either what has been, or what can be, counted. – Aristotle
Whether we call it sacrifice, or poetry, or adventure, it is always the same voice that calls. – Aristotle
Whether we will philosophize or we won’t philosophize, we must philosophize. – Aristotle
While fiction is often impossible, it should not be implausible. – Aristotle
While most of those who hold that the whole heaven is finite say that the earth lies at the center, the philosophers of Italy, the so-called Pythagoreans, assert the contrary. They say that in the middle there is fire, and that the earth is one of the stars, and by its circular motion round the center produces night and day. – Aristotle
While the faculty of sensation is dependent upon the body, mind is separable from it – Aristotle
While those whom devotion to abstract discussions has rendered unobservant of the facts are too ready to dogmatize on the basis of a few observations. – Aristotle
Whoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god. – Aristotle
Whoever, therefore, is unfit to live in a commonwealth, is above or below humanity. – Aristotle
Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god. – Aristotle
Why do men seek honour? Surely in order to confirm the favorable opinion they have formed of themselves. – Aristotle
Why do they call it proctology? Is it because analogy was already taken? – Aristotle
Why is it that all men who are outstanding in philosophy, poetry or the arts are melancholic? – Aristotle
Why is it that all those who have become eminent in philosophy, politics, poetry, or the arts are clearly of an atrabilious temperament and some of them to such an extent as to be affected by diseases caused by black bile? – Aristotle
Wicked me obey from fear; good men, from love. – Aristotle
Wicked men obey for fear, but the good for love. – Aristotle
Wicked men obey out of fear. good men, out of love – Aristotle
Wickedness is nourished by lust. – Aristotle
Wise people have an inward sense of what is beautiful, and the highest wisdom is to trust this intuition and be guided by it. – Aristotle
Wit is cultured insolence. – Aristotle
Wit is educated insolence. – Aristotle
Wit is well-bred insolence. – Aristotle
With regard to excellence, it is not enough to know, but we must try to have and use it. – Aristotle
With respect to the requirement of art, the probable impossible is always preferable to the improbable possible. – Aristotle
With the truth, all given facts harmonize; but with what is false, the truth soon hits a wrong note. – Aristotle
Without action there cannot be a tragedy; there may be without character. – Aristotle
Women should marry when they are about eighteen years of age, and men at seven and thirty; then they are in the prime of life, and the decline in the powers of both will coincide. – Aristotle
Women who are with child should be careful of themselves; they should take exercise and have a nourishing diet. The first of these prescriptions the legislator will easily carry into effect by requiring that they should take a walk daily to some temple, where they can worship the gods who preside over birth. Their minds, however, unlike their bodies, they ought to keep quiet, for the offspring derive their natures from their mothers as plants do from earth. – Aristotle
Wonder implies the desire to learn. – Aristotle
Worms are the intestines of the earth. – Aristotle
Worthless persons appointed to have supreme control of weighty affairs do a lot of damage. – Aristotle
Wretched, ephemeral race, children of chance and tribulation, why do you force me to tell you the very thing which it would be most profitable for you not to hear? The very best thing is utterly beyond your reach: not to have been born, not to be, to be nothing. However, the second best thing for you is: to die soon. – Aristotle
Xenophanes states that the fire in Lipara once failed for sixteen years, but returned in the seventeenth year. They say that the lava-stream in Etna is neither flaming nor continuous, but returns only after an interval of many years. – Aristotle
Yellow-colored objects appear to be gold – Aristotle
Yes the truth is that men’s ambition and their desire to make money are among the most frequent causes of deliberate acts of injustice. – Aristotle
Yet the true friend of the people should see that they be not too poor, for extreme poverty lowers the character of the democracy; measures therefore should be taken which will give them lasting prosperity; and as this is equally the interest of all classes, the proceeds of the public revenues should be accumulated and distributed among its poor, if possible, in such quantities as may enable them to purchase a little farm, or, at any rate, make a beginning in trade or husbandry. – Aristotle
You are what you do repeatedly. – Aristotle
You are what you repeatedly do – Aristotle
You can never learn anything that you did not already know – Aristotle
You should never think without an image. – Aristotle
You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor. – Aristotle
Your happiness depends on you alone. – Aristotle
Youth is easily deceived because it is quick to hope. – Aristotle
Youth loves honor and victory more than money. – Aristotle
Youth should be kept strangers to all that is bad, and especially to things which suggest vice or hate. When the five years have passed away, during the two following years they must look on at the pursuits which they are hereafter to learn. There are two periods of life with reference to which education has to be divided, from seven to the age of puberty, and onwards to the age of one and twenty. – Aristotle
Youth should stay away from all evil, especially things that produce wickedness and ill-will. – Aristotle
On Live and Death
Death is the most terrible of all things, for it is the end, and nothing is thought to be either good or bad for the dead. – Aristotle
Everything is done with a goal, and that goal is “good.” – Aristotle
Happiness is an expression of the soul in considered actions. – Aristotle
Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life: the whole aim and end of human existence. – Aristotle
It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. – Aristotle
It is this simplicity that makes the uneducated more effective than the educated when addressing popular audiences—makes them, as the poets tell us, ‘charm the crowd’s ears more finely.’ Educated men lay down broad general principles; uneducated men argue from common knowledge and draw obvious conclusions. – Aristotle
Life cannot be lived, and understood, simultaneously.
Life in the true sense is perceiving or thinking. – Aristotle
Life is full of chances and changes, and the most prosperous of men may in the evening of his days meet with great misfortunes. – Aristotle
Life is full of chances and changes, and the most prosperous of men may … meet with great misfortunes. – Aristotle
Life is only meaningful when we are striving for a goal. – Aristotle
Quality is not an act, it is a habit. – Aristotle
The actuality of thought is life. – Aristotle
The best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake. – Aristotle
The energy of the mind is the essence of life. – Aristotle
The energy or active exercise of the mind constitutes life. – Aristotle
The happy life is regarded as a life in conformity with virtue. It is a life which involves effort and is not spent in amusement. – Aristotle
The happy life is thought to be one of excellence; now an excellent life requires exertion, and does not consist in amusement. If Eudaimonia, or happiness, is activity in accordance with excellence, it is reasonable that it should be in accordance with the highest excellence; and this will be that of the best thing in us. – Aristotle
The happy life is thought to be one of excellence; now an excellent life requires exertion, and does not consist in amusement. – Aristotle
The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet. – Aristotle
There is no genius without some touch of madness. – Aristotle
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle
What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do good. – Aristotle
What is the highest good in all matters of action? To the name, there is almost complete agreement; for uneducated and educated alike call it happiness, and make happiness identical with the good life and successful living. They disagree, however, about the meaning of happiness. – Aristotle
You’ll understand what life is if you think about the act of dying. When I die, how will I be different from the way I am right now? In the first moments after death, my body will be scarcely different in physical terms than it was in the last seconds of life, but I will no longer move, no longer sense, nor speak, nor feel, nor care. It’s these things that are life. At that moment, the psyche takes flight in the last breath. – Aristotle
Young men have strong passions and tend to gratify them indiscriminately. Of the bodily desires, it is the sexual by which they are most swayed and in which they show absence of control…They are changeable and fickle in their desires which are violent while they last, but quickly over: their impulses are keen but not deep rooted. – Aristotle
Young people are in a condition like permanent intoxication, because life is sweet and they are growing. – Aristotle
Young people are in a condition like permanent intoxication, because youth is sweet and they are growing. – Aristotle
Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies. – Aristotle
Love is the cause of unity in all things. – Aristotle
Love well, be loved and do something of value. – Aristotle
Marriage is like retiring as a bachelor and getting a sexual pension. You don’t have to work for the sex any more, but you only get 65% as much. – Aristotle
Selfishness doesn’t consist in a love to yourself, but in a big degree of such love. – Aristotle
Wicked men obey from fear; good men, from love. – Aristotle
On Politics and Government
Political science spends most of its pains on forming its citizens to be of good character and capable of noble acts. – Aristotle
Political society exists for the sake of noble actions, and not of mere companionship. – Aristotle
Politicians also have no leisure, because they are always aiming at something beyond political life itself, power and glory, or happiness. – Aristotle
Politics appears to be the master art, for it includes so many others and its purpose is the good of man. While it is worthy to perfect one man, it is finer and more godlike to perfect a nation. – Aristotle
Democracy appears to be safer and less liable to revolution than oligarchy. For in oligarchies there is the double danger of the oligarchs falling out among themselves and also with the people; but in democracies there is only the danger of a quarrel with the oligarchs. No dissension worth mentioning arises among the people themselves. And we may further remark that a government which is composed of the middle class more nearly approximates to democracy than to oligarchy, and is the safest of the imperfect forms of government. – Aristotle
Democracy arises out of the notion that those who are equal in any respect are equal in all respects; because men are equally free, they claim to be absolutely equal. – Aristotle
Democracy arose from men’s thinking that if they are equal in any respect, they are equal absolutely. – Aristotle
Democracy is the form of government in which the free are rulers, and oligarchy in which the rich; it is only an accident that the free are the many and the rich are the few. – Aristotle
Democracy is the form of government in which the free are rulers. – Aristotle
Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers. – Aristotle
Governments which have a regard to the common interest are constituted in accordance with strict principles of justice, and are therefore true forms; but those which regard only the interest of the rulers are all defective and perverted forms, for they are despotic, whereas a state is a community of freemen. – Aristotle
He who can not live in society, or who needs nothing because he is sufficient unto itself, no part of the state, is a brute or a god. – Aristotle
Man is a political animal. – Aristotle
Masculine republics give way to feminine democracies, and feminine democracies give way to tyranny. – Aristotle
No state will be well administered unless the middle class holds sway. – Aristotle
No tyrant need fear till men begin to feel confident in each other. – Aristotle
Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms. – Aristotle
Revolutions are effected in two ways, by force and by fraud. – Aristotle
Revolutions are not about trifles, but spring from trifles. – Aristotle
The main purpose of politics is to create friendship among members of the city. – Aristotle
The real difference between democracy and oligarchy is poverty and wealth. Wherever men rule by reason of their wealth, whether they be few or many, that is an oligarchy, and where the poor rule, that is a democracy. – Aristotle
The right constitutions, three in number- kingship, aristocracy, and polity- and the deviations from these, likewise three in number – tyranny from kingship, oligarchy from aristocracy, democracy from polity. – Aristotle
The true forms of government, therefore, are those in which the one, or the few, or the many, govern with a view to the common interest; but governments which rule with a view to the private interest, whether of the one or of the few, or of the many, are perversions. For the members of a state, if they are truly citizens, ought to participate in its advantages. – Aristotle
The true friend of the people should see that they be not too poor, for extreme poverty lowers the character of the democracy. – Aristotle
The tyrant, who in order to hold his power, suppresses every superiority, does away with good men, forbids education and light, controls every movement of the citizens and, keeping them under a perpetual servitude, wants them to grow accustomed to baseness and cowardice, has his spies everywhere to listen to what is said in the meetings, and spreads dissension and calumny among the citizens and impoverishes them, is obliged to make war in order to keep his subjects occupied and impose on them permanent need of a chief. – Aristotle
There are three kinds of constitution: monarchy, aristocracy, and that based on property, timocratic. The best is monarchy, the worst timocracy. Monarchy deviates to tyranny; the king looks to his people’s interest; the tyrant looks to his own. Aristocracy passes over to oligarchy by the badness of its rulers who distribute contrary to equity what belongs to the city; most of the good things go to themselves and office always to the same people, paying most regard to wealth; thus the rulers are few and are bad men instead of the most worthy. Timocracy passes over to democracy since both are ruled by the majority. – Aristotle
There are three prominent types of life: pleasure, political, and contemplative. The mass of mankind is slavish in their tastes, preferring a life suitable to beasts; they have some ground for this view since they are imitating many of those in high places. People of superior refinement identify happiness with honor, or virtue, and generally the political life. – Aristotle
Therefore, the good of man must be the end of the science of politics. – Aristotle
On Economic Means
All men agree that a just distribution must be according to merit in some sense; they do not all specify the same sort of merit, but democrats identify with freemen, supporters of oligarchy with wealth (or noble birth), and supporters of aristocracy with excellence. – Aristotle
Democracy arises out of the notion that those who are equal in any respect are equal in all respects; because men are equally free, they claim to be absolutely equal. – Aristotle
Democracy arose from men’s thinking that if they are equal in any respect they are equal absolutely. – Aristotle
Equality consists in the same treatment of similar persons. – Aristotle
Equality is of two kinds, numerical and proportional; by the first I mean sameness of equality in number or size; by the second, equality of ratios. – Aristotle
Equity is that idea of justice which contravenes the written law. – Aristotle
If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in government to the utmost. – Aristotle
Inferiors revolt in order that they may be equal, and equals that they may be superior. Such is the state of mind which creates revolutions. – Aristotle
Injustice results as much from treating unequals equally as from treating equals unequally. – Aristotle
Men agree that justice in the abstract is proportion, but they differ in that some think that if they are equal in any respect they are equal absolutely, others that if they are unequal in any respect they should be unequal in all. The only stable principle of government is equality according to proportion, and for every man to enjoy his own. – Aristotle
Money … is founded merely on convention; its currency and value depending on the mutable wills of men. – Aristotle
Money is a guarantee that we can have what we want in the future. – Aristotle – Aristotle
Money is a guarantee that we may have what we want in the future. Though we need nothing at the moment it insures the possibility of satisfying a new desire when it arises. – Aristotle
Money originated with royalty and slavery, it has nothing to do with democracy or the struggle of the empoverished enslaved majority. – Aristotle
Money was established for exchange, but interest causes it to be reproduced by itself. Therefore this way of earning money is greatly in conflict with the natural law. – Aristotle
Money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of all modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural. – Aristotle
Money, or its equivalents, are essential in war as well as in peace. – Aristotle
People are different and unequal and yet must be somehow equated. This is why all things that are exchanged must be comparable and to this end, money has been introduced as an intermediate for it measures all things. In truth, demand holds things together and without it, there would be no exchange. – Aristotle
The beginning of reform is not so much to equalize property as to train the noble sort of natures not to desire more, and to prevent the lower from getting more. – Aristotle
The democrats think that as they are equal they ought to be equal in all things. – Aristotle
The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law. – Aristotle
The weak are always anxious for justice and equality. The strong pay no heed to either. – Aristotle
The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal. – Aristotle
There is nothing unequal as the equal treatment of unequals. – Aristotle
When a distribution is made from the common funds of a partnership it will be according to the same ratio which the funds were put into the business by the partners and any violation of this kind of justice would be an injustice. – Aristotle
A friend is a second self. – Aristotle
Friends are an aid to the young, to guard them from error; to the elderly, to attend to their wants and to supplement their failing power of action; to those in the prime of life, to assist them to noble deeds. – Aristotle
Friends are much better tried in bad fortune than in good. – Aristotle
Friends enhance our ability to think and act. – Aristotle
Friends hold a mirror up to each other; through that mirror they can see each other in ways that would not otherwise be accessible to them, and it is this mirroring that helps them improve themselves as persons. – Aristotle
Friendship also seems to be the bond that hold communities together. – Aristotle
Friendship is a form of equality comparable to justice. Each makes the other similar benefits to those he has received. – Aristotle
Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies. – Aristotle
Friendship is a thing most necessary to life, since without friends no one would choose to live, though possessed of all other advantages. – Aristotle
Friendship is communion. – Aristotle
Friendship is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies. – Aristotle
Friendship is essentially a partnership. – Aristotle
Friendship is two souls inhabiting one body. – Aristotle
Nothing in life is more necessary than friendship. – Aristotle
To the query, ”What is a friend?” his reply was ”A single soul dwelling in two bodies.” – Aristotle
Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit. – Aristotle
Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods. – Aristotle
Without friends no one would choose to live. – Aristotle
Without friends, no one would want to live, even if he had all other goods. – Aristotle
Happiness belongs to the self sufficient. – Aristotle
Happiness comes from the perfect practice of virtue. – Aristotle
Happiness consists in the consciousness of a life in which the highest Virtue is actively manifested. – Aristotle
Happiness depends on ourselves. – Aristotle
Happiness depends upon ourselves. – Aristotle
Happiness does not consist in amusement. In fact, it would be strange if our end were amusement, and if we were to labor and suffer hardships all our life long merely to amuse ourselves…. The happy life is regarded as a life in conformity with virtue. It is a life which involves effort and is not spent in amusement. – Aristotle
Happiness does not consist in pastimes and amusements but in virtuous activities. – Aristotle
Happiness does not lie in amusement; it would be strange if one were to take trouble and suffer hardship all one’s life in order to amuse oneself. – Aristotle
Happiness involves engagement in activities that promote one’s highest potentials. – Aristotle
Happiness is a certain activity of soul in conformity with perfect goodness – Aristotle
Happiness is a quality of the soul…not a function of one’s material circumstances. – Aristotle
Happiness is a sort of action. – Aristotle
Happiness is a state of activity. – Aristotle
Happiness is a thing honored and perfect. This seems to be borne out by the fact that it is a first principle or starting-point, since all other things that all men do are done for its sake; and that which is the first principle and cause of things good we agree to be something honorable and divine. – Aristotle
Happiness is activity. – Aristotle
Happiness is an activity and a complete utilization of virtue, not conditionally but absolutely. – Aristotle
Happiness is an activity of the soul in accordance with virtue – Aristotle
Happiness is an expression of the soul in considered actions. – Aristotle
Happiness is at once the best, the noblest, and the pleasantest of things. – Aristotle
Happiness is essentially perfect; so that the happy man requires in addition the goods of the body, external goods and the gifts of fortune, in order that his activity may not be impeded through lack of them. – Aristotle
Happiness is prosperity combined with virtue. – Aristotle
Happiness is self-connectedness. – Aristotle
Happiness is something final and complete in itself, as being the aim and end of all practical activities whatever …. Happiness then we define as the active exercise of the mind in conformity with perfect goodness or virtue. – Aristotle
Happiness is the highest good, being a realization and perfect practice of virtue, which some can attain, while others have little or none of it… – Aristotle
Happiness is the highest good. – Aristotle
Happiness is the highest good. – Aristotle
Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence. – Aristotle
Happiness is the reward of virtue. – Aristotle
Happiness is the settling of the soul into its most appropriate spot. – Aristotle
Happiness is the settling of the soul into its most appropriate spot. – Aristotle
Happiness is the utilization of one’s talents along lines of excellence. – Aristotle
Happiness is thought to depend on leisure; for we are busy that we may have leisure, and make war that we may live in peace. – Aristotle
Happiness is thought to depend on leisure; for we are busy that we may have leisure, and make war that we may live in peace.
Happiness itself is sufficient excuse. Beautiful things are right and true; so beautiful actions are those pleasing to the gods. Wise men have an inward sense of what is beautiful, and the highest wisdom is to trust this intuition and be guided by it. The answer to the last appeal of what is right lies within a man’s own breast. Trust thyself. – Aristotle
Happiness lies in virtuous activity, and perfect happiness lies in the best activity, which is contemplative. – Aristotle
Happiness may be defined as good fortune joined to virtue, or a independence, or as a life that is both agreeable and secure. – Aristotle
Happiness seems to require a modicum of external prosperity. – Aristotle
Happiness, then, is co-extensive with contemplation, and the more people contemplate, the happier they are; not incidentally, but in virtue of their contemplation, because it is in itself precious. Thus happiness is a form of contemplation. – Aristotle
Happiness, then, is found to be something perfect and self-sufficient, being the end to which our actions are directed. – Aristotle
Happiness, whether consisting in pleasure or virtue, or both, is more often found with those who are highly cultivated in their minds and in their character, and have only a moderate share of external goods, than among those who possess external goods to a useless extent but are deficient in higher qualities. – Aristotle
Is happiness to be acquired by learning, by habit, or some other form of training? It seems to come as a result of virtue and some process of learning and to be among the godlike things since its end is godlike and blessed. – Aristotle – Aristotle
Men generally agree that the highest good attainable by action is happiness, and identify living well and doing well with happiness. – Aristotle
No happy man can become miserable, for he will never do acts that are hateful and mean. – Aristotle
Some identify happiness with virtue, some with practical wisdom, others with a kind of philosophical wisdom, others add or exclude pleasure and yet others include prosperity. We agree with those who identify happiness with virtue, for virtue belongs with virtuous behavior and virtue is only known by its acts. – Aristotle
The self-sufficient we define as that which when isolated, makes life desirable and complete, and such we think happiness to be. It cannot be exceeded and is, therefore, the end of action. – Aristotle
True happiness comes from gaining insight and growing into your best possible self. Otherwise all you’re having is immediate gratification pleasure, which is fleeting and doesn’t grow you as a person. – Aristotle
True happiness flows from the possession of wisdom and virtue and not from the possession of external goods. – Aristotle
Beauty is the gift from God. – Aristotle
Either a beast or a god. – Aristotle
God and nature create nothing that does not fulfill a purpose – Aristotle
God has many names, though He is only one Being. – Aristotle
If men think that a ruler is religious and has a reverence for the Gods, they are less afraid of suffering injustice at his hands. – Aristotle
Men create gods after their own image, not only with regard to their form, but with regard to their mode of life. – Aristotle
One thing alone not even God can do, To make undone whatever hath been done. – Aristotle
Should a man live underground, and there converse with the works of art and mechanism, and should afterwards be brought up into the open day, and see the several glories of the heaven and earth, he would immediately pronounce them the work of such a Being as we define God to be. – Aristotle
The gods too are fond of a joke. – Aristotle
Poetry demands a man with a special gift for it, or else one with a touch of madness in him. – Aristotle
Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history; for poetry expresses the universal, and history only the particular. – Aristotle
Poetry is something more philosophic and of graver import than history, since its statements are of nature of universals, whereas those of history are of singulars. – Aristotle
The poet, being an imitator like a painter or any other artist, must of necessity imitate one of three objects – things as they were or are, things as they are said or thought to be, or things as they ought to be. The vehicle of expression is language – either current terms or, it may be, rare words or metaphors. – Aristotle
Time is the number of movement. – Aristotle
Time is not composed of indivisible nows any more than any other magnitude is composed of indivisibles. – Aristotle
Time is the measurable unit of movement concerning a before and an after. – Aristotle
Time past, even God is deprived of the power of recalling. – Aristotle
On Developing Logical Thinking
A friend to all is a friend to none. – Aristotle
Anybody can become angry — that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy. – Aristotle
Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in the consciousness that we deserve them. – Aristotle
Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny. – Aristotle
Fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil. – Aristotle
For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them. – Aristotle
Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence. – Aristotle
He who cannot be a good follower cannot be a good leader. – Aristotle
He who has overcome his fears will truly be free. – Aristotle
I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies, for the hardest victory is over self. – Aristotle
It is of the nature of desire not to be satisfied, and most men live only for the gratification of it. – Aristotle
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. – Aristotle
Learning is not child’s play; we cannot learn without pain. – Aristotle
Misfortune shows those who are not really friends. – Aristotle
No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness. – Aristotle
The high-minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think. – Aristotle
Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach. – Aristotle
Time crumbles things; everything grows old under the power of time and is forgotten through the lapse of time. – Aristotle
Whatever lies within our power to do lies also within our power not to do. – Aristotle
Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit. – Aristotle
On Virtue and Ethics
A good character carries with it the highest power of causing a thing to be believed. – Aristotle
A good man may make the best even of poverty and disease, and the other ills of life; but he can only attain happiness under the opposite conditions – Aristotle
A good style must have an air of novelty, at the same time concealing its art. – Aristotle
A good style must, first of all, be clear. It must not be mean or above the dignity of the subject. It must be appropriate. – Aristotle
A sense is what has the power of receiving into itself the sensible forms of things without the matter, in the way in which a piece of wax takes on the impress of a signet-ring without the iron or gold. – Aristotle
Between friends there is no need for justice, but people who are just still need the quality of friendship; and indeed friendliness is considered to be justice in the fullest sense. – Aristotle
But a man’s best friend is the one who not only wishes him well but wishes it for his own sake (even though nobody will ever know it): and this condition is best fulfilled by his attitude towards himself – and similarly with all the other attributes that go to define a friend. For we have said before that all friendly feelings for others are extensions of a man’s feelings for himself. – Aristotle
Even if there be one good which is universally predictable or is capable of independent existence, it could not be attained by man. – Aristotle
Even if we could suppose the citizen body to be virtuous, without each of them being so, yet the latter would be better, for in the virtue of each the virtue of all is involved. – Aristotle
Every art and every inquiry, and similarly, every action and pursuit is thought to aim at some good, and for this reason, the good has been declared to be that at which all things aim. – Aristotle
For contemplation is both the highest form of activity (since the intellect is the highest thing in us, and the objects that it apprehends are the highest things that can be known), and also it is the most continuous, because we are more capable of continuous contemplation than we are of any practical activity. – Aristotle
Good habits formed at youth make all the difference. – Aristotle
Good has two meanings: it means that which is good absolutely and that which is good for somebody. – Aristotle
Good laws, if they are not obeyed, do not constitute good government. – Aristotle
Good moral character is not something that we can achieve on our own. We need a culture that supports the conditions under which self-love and friendship flourish. – Aristotle
Goodness is to do good to the deserving and love the good and hate the wicked, and not to be eager to inflict punishment or take vengeance, but to be gracious and kindly and forgiving. – Aristotle
Greatness of Soul seems therefore to be as it were a crowning ornament of the virtues; it enhances their greatness, and it cannot exist without them. Hence it is hard to be truly great-souled, for greatness of soul is impossible without moral nobility. – Aristotle
Greatness of spirit is accompanied by simplicity and sincerity. – Aristotle
Greatness of spirit is to bear finely both good fortune and bad, honor and disgrace, and not to think highly of luxury or attention or power or victories in contests, and to possess a certain depth and magnitude of spirit. – Aristotle
Happiness is an end in itself. – Aristotle
Happiness is for those who are sufficient unto themselves. – Aristotle
Happiness, then, is co-extensive with contemplation, and the more people contemplate, the happier they are; not incidentally, but in virtue of their contemplation, because it is in itself precious. Thus happiness is a form of contemplation. – Aristotle
Happiness, then, is found to be something perfect and self-sufficient, being the end to which our actions are directed. – Aristotle
If the virtues are neither passions nor facilities, all that remains is that they should be states of character. – Aristotle
If there is some end in the things we do, which we desire for its own sake, clearly this must be the chief good. Knowing this will have a great influence on how we live our lives. – Aristotle
If things are good in themselves, the goodwill appears as something identical in them all, but the accounts of the goodness in honor, wisdom, and pleasure are diverse. The good, therefore, is not some common element answering to one idea. – Aristotle
If we consider the function of man to be a certain kind of life, and this to be an activity of the soul implying a rational principle, and the function of a good man to be the noble performance of these, and if any action is well performed when it is performed in accordance with the appropriate principle; if this is the case, human good turns out to be activity of the soul in accordance with virtue. – Aristotle
If what was said in the Ethics is true, that the happy life is the life according to virtue lived without impediment, and that virtue is a mean, then the life which is in a mean, and in a mean attainable by every one, must be the best. And the same principles of virtue and vice are characteristic of cities and of constitutions; for the constitution is in a figure the life of the city. – Aristotle
It [Justice] is complete virtue in the fullest sense, because it is the active exercise of complete virtue; and it is complete because its possessor can exercise it in relation to another person, and not only by himself. – Aristotle
It makes no difference whether a good man has defrauded a bad man, or a bad man defrauded a good man, or whether a good or bad man has committed adultery: the law can look only to the amount of damage done. – Aristotle
Knowledge is not necessary for the possession of the virtues, whereas the habits which result from doing just and temperate acts count for all. By doing just acts the just man is produced, by doing temperate acts, the temperate man; without acting well no one can become good. Most people avoid good acts and take refuge in theory and think that by becoming philosophers they will become good. – Aristotle
Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting in a particular way. – Aristotle
Modesty is hardly to be described as a virtue. It is a feeling rather than a disposition. It is a kind of fear of falling into disrepute. – Aristotle
Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts. – Aristotle
Moral excellence is concerned with pleasure and pain; because of pleasure we do bad things and for fear of pain we avoid noble ones. For this reason, we ought to be trained from youth, as Plato says: to find pleasure and pain where we ought; this is the purpose of education. – Aristotle
Moral qualities are so constituted as to be destroyed by excess and by deficiency . . . – Aristotle
Moral virtue is … a mean between two vices, that of excess and that of defect, and … it is no small task to hit the mean in each case, as it is not, for example, any chance comer, but only the geometer, who can find the center of a given circle. – Aristotle
Moral virtue is a mean . . . between two vices, one of excess and the other of defect; . . . it is such a mean because it aims at hitting the middle point in feelings and in actions. This is why it is a hard task to be good, for it is hard to find the middle point in anything. – Aristotle
Our virtues are voluntary (and in fact we are in a sense ourselves partly the cause of our moral dispositions, and it is our having a certain character that makes us set up an end of a certain kind), it follows that our vices are voluntary also; they are voluntary in the same manner as our virtues. – Aristotle
Piety requires us to honor truth above our friends. – Aristotle
Rightness in our choice of an end is secured by [Moral] Virtue. – Aristotle
Selfishness is not self-love, but an inordinate passion for self. – Aristotle
So virtue is a purposive disposition, lying in a mean that is relative to us and determined by a rational principle, and by that which a prudent man would use to determine it. It is a mean between two kinds of vice, one of excess and the other of deficiency. – Aristotle
The end being what we wish for, the means what we deliberate about and we choose our actions voluntarily. The exercise of virtues is concerned with means, and therefore, both virtue and vice are in our power. – Aristotle
The friendship of worthless people has a bad effect (because they take part, unstable as they are, in worthless pursuits, and actually become bad through each other’s influence). But the friendship of the good is good, and increases in goodness because of their association. They seem even to become better men by exercising their friendship and improving each other; for the traits that they admire in each other get transferred to themselves. – Aristotle
The good for man is an activity of the soul in accordance with virtue, or if there are more kinds of virtue than one, in accordance with the best and most perfect kind. – Aristotle
The good is that toward which everything tends to be. – Aristotle
The greatest virtues are those which are most useful to other persons. – Aristotle
The happiness of life is assessed at the end of a life. – Aristotle
The human good is an activity of soul according to virtue. – Aristotle
The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousand fold. – Aristotle
The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law. – Aristotle
The passion is not appropriate for all ages, but only to youth. – Aristotle
The secret of business is to know something nobody else knows. – Aristotle
The virtue as the art consecrates itself constantly to what’s difficult to do, and the harder the task, the shinier the success. – Aristotle
The virtue of a faculty is related to the special function which that faculty performs. Now there are three elements in the soul which control action and the attainment of truth: namely, Sensation, Intellect, and Desire. Of these, Sensation never originates action, as is shown by the fact that animals have sensation but are not capable of action. – Aristotle
The virtue of justice consists in moderation, as regulated by wisdom. – Aristotle
The virtue of the good man is necessarily the same as the virtue of the citizen of the perfect state. – Aristotle
The virtues [moral excellence] therefore are engendered in us neither by nature nor yet in violation of nature; nature gives us the capacity to receive them, and this capacity is brought to maturity by habit. – Aristotle
The virtues cannot exist without Prudence. A proof of this is that everyone, even at the present day, in defining Virtue, after saying what disposition it is [i.e. moral virtue] and specifying the things with which it is concerned, adds that it is a disposition determined by the right principle; and the right principle is the principle determined by Prudence. – Aristotle
The well is not enough to be happy, but evil enough to make him unhappy. – Aristotle
There must be in prudence also some master virtue. – Aristotle
This is by righteousness that we become righteous practicing temperance, temperate; practicing courage, brave… – Aristotle
Virtue also depends on ourselves. And so also does vice. For where we are free to act we are also free to refrain from acting, and where we are able to say No we are also able to say Yes; if therefore we are responsible for doing a thing when to do it right, we are also responsible for not doing it when not to do it is wrong, and if we are responsible for rightly not doing a thing, we are also responsible for wrongly doing it. – Aristotle
Virtue is a state of character concerned with choice, being determined by rational principle as determined by the moderate man of practical wisdom. – Aristotle
Virtue is more clearly shown in the performance of fine ACTIONS than in the non-performance of base ones. – Aristotle
Virtue is not merely a state in conformity with the right principle, but one that implies the right principle; and the right principle in moral conduct is prudence. – Aristotle
Virtue is the golden mean between two vices, the one of excess and the other of deficiency. – Aristotle
Virtue makes us aim at the right end, and practical wisdom makes us take the right means. – Aristotle
Virtue means doing the right thing, in relation to the right person, at the right time, to the right extent, in the right manner, and for the right purpose. Thus, to give money away is quite a simple task, but for the act to be virtuous, the donor must give to the right person, for the right purpose, in the right amount, in the right manner, and at the right time. – Aristotle
We maintain, and have said in the Ethics, if the arguments there adduced are of any value, that happiness is the realization and perfect exercise of virtue, and this not conditional, but absolute. And I used the term ‘conditional’ to express that which is indispensable, and ‘absolute’ to express that which is good in itself. – Aristotle
We must behave with friends as we would like them to behave with self. – Aristotle
Without virtue it is difficult to bear gracefully the honors of fortune. – Aristotle
On Wisdom and Knowledge
All men by nature desire knowledge. – Aristotle
All men by nature desire to know. – Aristotle
Doubt is the beginning of wisdom.
Intuition is the source of scientific knowledge.
Knowing what is right does not make a sagacious man. – Aristotle
Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. – Aristotle
Knowledge is remembering. – Aristotle
Knowledge of the fact differs from knowledge of the reason for the fact. – Aristotle
Neither practical wisdom nor any state of being is impeded by the pleasure arising from it; it is foreign pleasures that impede, for the pleasures arising from thinking and learning will make us think and learn all the more. – Aristotle
So that the lover of myths, which are a compact of wonders, is by the same token a lover of wisdom. – Aristotle
The ignorant says the learned doubt, the wise thinking. – Aristotle
The most important relationship we can all have is the one you have with yourself, the most important journey you can take is one of self-discovery. To know yourself, you must spend time with yourself, you must not be afraid to be alone. Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. – Aristotle
The wise man does not expose himself needlessly to danger, since there are few things for which he cares sufficiently; but he is willing, in great crises, to give even his life — knowing that under certain conditions it is not worthwhile to live. – Aristotle
The wise man knows of all things, as far as possible, although he has no knowledge of each of them in detail. – Aristotle
The wise man must not be ordered but must order, and he must not obey another, but the less wise must obey him. – Aristotle
We do not know if we ignore the real causes. – Aristotle
- My lectures are published and not published; they will be intelligible to those who heard them, and to none beside.
- Letter to Alexander the Great as quoted by William Whewell, History of the Inductive Sciences (1837), Ch. 2, Sect. 2
- Of things said without any combination, each signifies either substance or quantity or qualification or a relative or where or when or being-in-a-position or having or doing or being affected. To give a rough idea, examples of substance are man, horse; of quantity: four-foot, five-foot; of qualification: white, grammatical; of a relative: double, half, larger; of where: in the Lyceum, in the market-place; of when: yesterday, last-year; of being-in-a-position: is-lying, is sitting; of having: has-shoes-on, has-armour-on; of doing: cutting, burning; of being-affected: being-cut, being-burned.
- 1b25-2a10; J. L. Ackrill (tr.), 1984-1995
- Knowledge of the fact differs from knowledge of the reason for the fact.
- I. 13, 78a.22
- The premisses of demonstrative knowledge must be true, primary, immediate, more knowable than and prior to the conclusion, which is further related to them as effect to cause… The premisses must be the cause of the conclusion, more knowable than it, and prior to it; its causes, since we posses scientific knowledge of a thing only when we know its cause; prior, in order to be causes; antecedently known, this antecedent knowledge being not our mere understanding of the meaning, but knowledge of the fact as well. Now ‘prior’ and ‘more knowable’ are ambiguous terms, for there is a difference between what is prior and more knowable in the order of being and what is prior and knowable to man. I mean that objects nearer to sense are prior and more knowable to man; objects without qualification prior and more knowable are those further from sense. Now the most universal causes are furthest from sense and particular causes are nearest to sense, and they are thus exactly opposed to each other.
- I. 2, 71b.9 sqq
- We may assume the superiority ceteris paribus [all things being equal] of the demonstration which derives from fewer postulates or hypotheses—in short from fewer premisses; for… given that all these are equally well known, where they are fewer knowledge will be more speedily acquired, and that is a desideratum. The argument implied in our contention that demonstration from fewer assumptions is superior may be set out in universal form…
- Book I, Part 25
- Also known as Occam’s razor or the principle of parsimony / economy (lex parsimoniae)
- Richard McKeon (tr.) (1963), p. 150
- The natural way of doing this [seeking scientific knowledge or explanation of fact] is to start from the things which are more knowable and obvious to us and proceed towards those which are clearer and more knowable by nature; for the same things are not ‘knowable relatively to us’ and ‘knowable’ without qualification. So in the present inquiry we must follow this method and advance from what is more obscure by nature, but clearer to us, towards what is more clear and more knowable by nature. Now what is to us plain and obvious at first is rather confused masses, the elements and principles of which became known to us by later analysis…
- A.1, 184a.16 sqq, source:, Book I, Part 1, Tr. R. P. Hardie, R. K. Gaye.
- But it is better to assume principles less in number and finite, as Empedocles makes them to be. All philosophers… make principles to be contraries… (for Parmenides makes principles to be hot and cold, and these he demominates fire and earth) as those who introduce as principles the rare and the dense. But Democritus makes the principles to be the solid and the void; of which the former, he says, has the relation of being, and the latter of non-being. …it is necessary that principles should be neither produced from each other, nor from other things; and that from these all things should be generated. But these requisites are inherent in the first contraries: for, because they are first, they are not from other things; and because they are contraries, they are not from each other.
- Book I, Ch. VI, pp. 53-55.
- It is necessary that every thing which is harmonized, should be generated from that which is void of harmony, and that which is void of harmony from that which is harmonized. …But there is no difference, whether this is asserted of harmony, or of order, or composition… the same reason will apply to all of these.
- Book I, Ch. VI, p. 57.
- [T]he ancient philosophers… all of them assert that the elements, and those things which are called by them principles, are contraries, though they establish them without reason, as if they were compelled to assert this by truth itself. They differ, however… that some of them assume prior, and others posterior principles; and some of them things more known according to reason, but others such as are more known according to sense: for some establish the hot and the cold, others the moist and the dry, others the odd and the even, and others strife and friendship, as the causes of generation. …in a certain respect they assert the same things, and speak differently from each other. They assert different things… but the same things, so far as they speak analogously. For they assume principles from the same co-ordination; since, of contraries, some contain, and others are contained.
- Book I, Ch. VI, pp. 57-59.
- [U]niversal is known according to reason, but that which is particular, according to sense…
- Book I, Ch. VI, p. 59.
- This opinion… appears to be ancient… that the one, excess and defect, are the principles of things… It is not… probable that there are more than three principles… [E]ssence is one certain genus of being: so that principles will differ from each other in prior and posterior alone, but not in genus, for in one genus there is always one contrariety, and all contrarieties appear to be referred to one. That there is neither one element, therefore, nor more than two or three, is evident.
- Book I, Ch. VII, pp. 62-63.
- [T]he first philosophers, in investigating the truth and the nature of things, wandered, as if led by ignorance, into a certain… path. Hence, they say that no being is either generated or corrupted, because it is necessary that what is generated should be generated either from being or non-being: but both these are impossible; for neither can being be generated, since it already is; and from nothing, nothing can be generated… And thus… they said that there were not many things, but that being alone had a subsistence. …the ancient philosophers …through this ignorance added so much to their want of knowledge, as to fancy that nothing else was generated or had a being; but they subverted all generation.
- Book I, Ch. IX, pp. 73-76.
- [A]ll things as subsist from nature appear to contain in themselves a principle of motion and permanency; some according to place, others according to increase and diminuation; and others according to change in quality.
- Book II, Ch. I, p. 88.
- According to one mode… nature is thus denominated, viz. the first subject matter to every thing which contains in itself the principle of motion and mutation. But after another mode it is denominated form, which subsists according to definition: for as art is called that which subsists according to art, and that which is artificial; so likewise nature is both called that which is according to nature, and that which is natural. …that which is composed from these is not nature, but consists from nature; as, for instance, man. And this is nature in a greater degree than matter: for every thing is then said to be, when it is form in energy… entelecheia, rather than when it is incapacity.
- Book II, Ch. I, pp. 93-94.
- [L]et us consider, with respect to causes, what they are, and how many there are in number… this also must be done by us in discoursing concerning generation and corruption, and all physical mutation… knowing the principles of these…
Cause… is after one manner said to be that, from which, being inherent, something is produced… But after another manner cause is form and paradigm (and this is the definition of the essence of a thing) and the genera of this. …But it happens… that there are also many causes of the same thing, and this is not from accident. …seed, a physician, he who consults, and, in short, he who makes, are all of them causes, as that whence the principle of mutation, or permanency, or motion is derived. …It is, however, necessary always to investigate the supreme cause of every thing …Further still, it is necessary to investigate the genera of genera; and the particulars of particulars… We should also explore the capacities of the capabilities, and the energizers of the things affected by energy.
- Book II, Ch. III, pp. 107-113.
- Fortune… and chance, are said to be in the number of causes… [W]ith some it is dubious whether these things have subsistence or not. For, say they, nothing is produced from fortune, but there is a definite cause of all such things… For if fortune were any thing, it would truly appear to be absurd; and some one might doubt why no one of the ancient wise men, when assigning the causes of generation and corruption, has ever defined any thing concerning fortune. …[M]any things are produced, and have a subsistence, from fortune and chance… They did not, however, think that fortune was any thing belonging to friendship or strife, or fire, or intellect, or any thing else of things of this kind. They are chargeable, therefore, with absurdity, whether they did not conceive that it had a substance, or whether fancying that it had, they omitted it; especially since it was sometimes employed by them. Thus Empedocles says that the air…
Thus it then chanc’d to run, tho’ varying oft.He also says that the greater part of… animals were generated by fortune. But there are some who assign chance to the cause of this heaven, and of all mundane natures… [W]e must consider… whether chance or fortune are the same… or different from each other, and how they fall into definite causes.
- Book II, Ch. IV, pp. 113-115.
- [S]ince causes are four in number, to know them all is the business of the natural philosopher, who also referring to the cause why a thing is to all of them, viz. to matter, form, that which moves, and for the sake of which a thing subsists, physically assigns a reason. Frequently, however, three of these causes pass into one: for the cause why a thing is, and that for the sake of which it is, are one. But that which motion first originates, is in species the same with these… [T]here are three treatises; once concerning that which is immoveable; another concerning that which is moved, indeed, but is incorruptible; and a third concerning corruptible natures. So the cause of why a thing is, is assigned by him who refers to matter, to essence, and to the first mover… But there are two principles which are naturally motive; of which, one is not physical, because it does not contain in itself the principle of motion. And if there is any thing which moves without being moved, it is of this kind; as is that which is perfectly immoveable, that which is the first of all things, together with essence and form: for it is the end, and that for the sake of which a thing subsists. So that since nature is for the sake of something, it is also necessary to know this cause.
- Book II, Ch. VII, pp. 124-126.
- Since… nature is a principle of motion and mutation… it is necessary that we should not be ignorant of what motion is… But motion appears to belong to things continuous; and the infinite first presents itself to the view in that which is continuous. …[F]requently …those who define the continuous, employ the nature or the infinite, as if that which is divisible to infinity is continuous.
- Book III, Ch. I, pp. 135-136.
- [I]t is impossible for motion to subsist without place, and void, and time.
- Book III, Ch. I, p. 136.
- There is… something which is in energy only; and there is something which is both in energy and capacity. …of relatives, one is predicated as according to excess and defect: another according to the effective and passive, and, in short, the motive, and that which may be moved… Motion, however, has not a substance separate from things… But each of the categories subsists in a twofold manner in all things. Thus… one thing pertaining to it is form, and another privation. …So the species of motion and mutation are as many as those of being. But since in every genus of things, there is that which is in entelecheia, and that which is in capacity; motion is the entelecheia of that which is in capacity… That there is energy, therefore, and that a thing then happens to be moved, when this energy exists, and neither prior nor posterior to it, is manifest. … [N]either motion nor mutation can be placed in any other genus; nor have those who have advanced a different opinion concerning it spoken rightly. …for by some motion is said to be difference, inequality, and non-being; though it is not necessary that any of these should be moved… Neither is mutation into these, nor from these, rather than from their opposites. …The cause, however, why motion appears to be indefinite, is because it can neither be simply referred to the capacity, nor to the energy of beings. …[I]t is difficult to apprehend what motion is: for it is necessary to refer it either to privation, or to capacity, or to simple energy; but it does not appear that it can be any of these. The above-mentioned mode, therfore remains, viz. that it is a certain energy; but… difficult to be perceived, but which may have a subsistence.
- Book III, Ch. I, pp. 137-147.
- Since the science of nature is conversant with magnitudes, motion, and time, each of which must necessarily be either infinite or finite…[we] should speculate the infinite, and consider whether it is or not; and if it is what it is. …[A]ll those who appear to have touched on a philosophy of this kind… consider it as a certain principle of beings. Some, indeed, as the Pythagoreans and Plato, consider it, per se, not as being an accident to any thing else, but as having an essential subsistence… the Pythagoreans… consider the infinite as subsisting in sensibles; for they do not make number to be separate; and they assert that what is beyond the heavens is infinite; but Plato says that beyond the heavens there is not any body, nor ideas, because these are no where: he affirms, however, that the infinite is both in sensibles, and in ideas. …Plato establishes two infinities, viz. the great and the small.
- Book III, Ch. IV, pp. 150-152.
- All those… who discourse concerning nature, always subject a certain other nature of… elements, to the infinite… But no one of those who make the elements to be finite introduces infinity. Such, however, as make infinite elements, as Anaxagoras and Democritus, say that the infinite is continuous by contact. …Rationally, too, do all philosophers consider the infinite as a principle; for it cannot be in vain, nor can any other power be present with it than that of a principle: for all things are either the principle, or from the principle; but of the infinite there is no principle, since otherwise it would have an end. …it is also unbegotten and uncorruptible, as being a certain principle: for… end is the corruption of everything. …It likewise appears to comprehend and govern all things, as those assert who do not introduce other causes beside the infinite… It would seem also that this is divine: for it is immortal and indestructible, as Anaximander says, and most of the physiologists.
- Book III, Ch. IV, pp. 152-155.
- [B]ecause that which is finite is always bounded with reference to something… it is necessary that there should be no end… [N]umber also appears to be infinite, and mathematical magnitudes, and that which is beyond the heavens. And since that which is beyond is infinite, body also appears to be infinite, and it would seem that there are infinite worlds; for why is there rather void here than there? …If also there is a vacuum, and an infinite place, it is necessary that there should be an infinite body: for in things which have a perpetual subsistence, capacity differs nothing from being. The speculation of the infinite is, however, attended with doubt: for many impossibilities happen both to those who do not admit that it has a subsistence, and to those who do. …It is …especially the province of a natural philosopher to consider if there be a sensible infinite magnitude.
- Book III, Ch. V, p. 156.
- [T]hey pronounce absurdly who thus speak, as the Pythagoreans assert: for at the same time they make the infinite to be essence, and distribute it into parts.
- Book III, Ch. VI, p. 158.
- [I]t is impossible that each of the elements should be infinite. For that is body which has interval on all sides; and that is infinite which has extension without bound.
- Book III, Ch. VII, p. 159.
- [I]t’s gravity is the cause; and that which is heavy abides in the middle, and the earth is in the middle: in like manner also, the infinite will abide in itself, through some other cause… and will itself support itself. …[T]he places of the whole and the part are of the same species; as of the whole earth and a clod, the place is downward; and of the whole of fire, and a spark, the place is upward. So that if the place of the infinite is in itself, there will be the same place also of a part of the infinite.
- Book III, Ch. VII, p. 162.
- [H]ow will one part of the infinite be above, and another below? Or how will it have extremes or a middle? Further still, every sensible body is in place; but the species and differences of place are upward and downward, before and behind, to the right hand and to the left: and these things not only thus subsist with relation to us, and by position, but have a definite subsistence in the universe itself. But it is impossible that these things should be in the infinite: and… that there should be an infinite place. But every body is in place; and therefore it is also impossible that there should be an infinite body. …[T]herefore …there is not an infinite body in energy.
- Book III, Ch. VII, pp. 163-164.
- [T]he infinite is in capacity. That, however, which is infinite in capacity is not to be assumed as that which is infinite in energy. …[I]t has its being in capacity, and in division and diminution. …[I]t is always possible to assume something beyond it. It does not, however, on this account surpass every definite magnitude; as in division it surpasses every definite magnitude, and will be less.
- Book III, Ch. VIII, pp. 164-166.
- Plato… introduces two infinities, because both in increase and diminution there appears to be transcendency, and a progression to infinity. Though… he did not use them: for neither is there infinity in numbers by diminution or division; since unity is a minimum: nor by increase; for he extends number as far as to the decad.
- Book III, Ch. VIII, p. 167.
- The infinite… happens to subsist in a way contrary to what is asserted by others: for the infinite is not that beyond which there is nothing, but it is that of which there is always something beyond. …But that pertaining to which there is nothing beyond is perfect and whole. …that of which nothing is absent pertaining to the parts …the whole is that pertaining to which there is nothing beyond. But that pertaining to which something external is absent, that is not all …But nothing is perfect which has not an end; and the end is a bound. On this account… Parmenides spoke better than Melissus: for the latter says that the infinite is a whole; but the former, that the whole is finite, and equally balanced from the middle: for to conjoin the infinite with the universe and the whole, is not to connect line with line.
- Book III, Ch. IX, pp. 168-169.
On the Heavens
- The bodies of which the world is composed are solids, and therefore have three dimensions. Now, three is the most perfect number,—it is the first of numbers, for of one we do not speak as a number, of two we say both, but three is the first number of which we say all. Moreover, it has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
- I. 1. as translated by William Whewell and as quoted by Florian Cajori, A History of Physics in its Elementary Branches (1899) as Aristotle’s proof that the world is perfect.
- …suppose α without weight, but β possessing weight; and let α pass over space γδ, but β in the same time pass over a space γε,—for that which has weight will be carried through the larger space. If now the heavy body be divided in the proportion that space γε bears to γδ, … and if the whole is carried through the whole space γε, then it must be that a part in the same time would be carried through γδ…
- Book III Ch. II as quoted by Florian Cajori (1899), as Aristotle’s explanation of why bodies fall quicker in exact proportion to their weight.
- That body is heavier than another which, in an equal bulk, moves downward quicker.
- IV. 1. as quoted by Florian Cajori (1899)
- Sound is the motion of that which is able to be moved, after the manner in which those things are moved, that rebound from smooth bodies, when any one strikes them. Not every thing… sounds… but it is necessary, that the body which is struck should be equable, that the air may collectively rebound, and be shaken. The differences, however, of bodies which sound, are manifested in the sound, which is in energy; for, as colours are not perceived without light, so neither are the sharp and the flat perceived without sound. But these things are asserted metaphorically, from those which pertain to the touch; for the sharp moves the sense much in a short time, but the flat a little in a long time. The sharp, therefore, is not rapid, and the flat slow; but such a motion is produced of the one, on account of celerity, and of the other on account of slowness, that, also, which is perceived in the touch, appears to be analogous to the acute and obtuse, for the acute, as it were, stings; but the obtuse, as it were, impels: because the one moves in a short, but the other in a long time. Hence it happens that the one is swift but the other slow. Let it therefore be thus determined concerning sound.
- Book II : On the soul; In: Aristotle (1808). Works, Vol. 4. p. 62 (412a-424b)
- It is not necessary to ask whether soul and body are one, just as it is not necessary to ask whether the wax and its shape are one, nor generally whether the matter of each thing and that of which it is the matter are one. For even if one and being are spoken of in several ways, what is properly so spoken of is the actuality.
- De Anima ii 1, 412b6–9: About the Mind–body problem
- But voice is a certain sound of that which is animated; for nothing inanimate emits a voice; but they are said to emit a voice from similitude, as a pipe, and a lyre, and such other inanimate things, have extension, modulation, and dialect; for thus it appears, because voice, also, has these.
- Book II: On the soul; In: Aristotle (1808). Works, Vol. 4. p. 63 (412a-424b)
Parts of Animals
- Ἐν πᾶσι γὰρ τοῖς φυσικοῖς ἔνεστί τι θαυμαστόν.
- In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.
- Book I, 645a.16
- We should venture on the study of every kind of animal without distaste; for each and all will reveal to us something natural and something beautiful.
- Book I, 645a.21
- The essential nature (concerning the soul) cannot be corporeal, yet it is also clear that this soul is present in a particular bodily part, and this one of the parts having control over the rest (heart).
- Parva Naturalia 467b.13–16
Generation of Animals
- Nature flies from the infinite, for the infinite is unending or imperfect, and Nature ever seeks an end.
- Book I, 715b.15
- Concerning the generation of animals akin to them, as hornets and wasps, the facts in all cases are similar to a certain extent, but are devoid of the extraordinary features which characterize bees; this we should expect, for they have nothing divine about them as the bees have.
- Book III, 761a.2
- Just as it sometimes happens that deformed offspring are produced by deformed parents, and sometimes not, so the offspring produced by a female are sometimes female, sometimes not, but male, because the female is as it were a deformed male.
- Generation of Animals as translated by Arthur Leslie Peck (1943), p. 175
- All men by nature desire to know. An indication of this is the delight we take in our senses; for even apart from their usefulness they are loved for themselves; and above all others the sense of sight. For not only with a view to action, but even when we are not going to do anything, we prefer sight to almost everything else. The reason is that this, most of all the senses, makes us know and brings to light many differences between things.
- Book I, 980a.21: Opening paragraph of Metaphysics
- Variant: All men by nature desire knowledge.
- The first sentence is in the Oxford Dictionary of Scientific Quotations (2005), 21:10
- For it is owing to their wonder that men both now begin and at first began to philosophize; they wondered originally at the obvious difficulties, then advanced little by little and stated difficulties about the greater matters, e.g. about the phenomena of the moon and those of the sun and of the stars, and about the genesis of the universe. And a man who is puzzled and wonders thinks himself ignorant (whence even the lover of myth is in a sense a lover of Wisdom, for the myth is composed of wonders); therefore since they philosophized order to escape from ignorance, evidently they were pursuing science in order to know, and not for any utilitarian end. — Metaphysics by Aristotle – Book 1, ClassicalWisdom.com
- Variant: [And] one who experiences a difficulty and who feels wonder thinks that he does not understand…, so that, if it is to escape ignorance that they have practised philosophy, then it is clearly for the sake of knowing, and not for any practical purpose, that they have pursued understanding.
- The second sentence is in Metaphysics A 2, 928b 17–20, Aristotle: Metaphysics Beta: Symposium Aristotelicum, Michel Crubellier & Andre´ Laks, eds. (Oxford University Press, 2009), p. 4.
- οὐ γὰρ δεῖν ἐπιτάττεσθαι τὸν σοφὸν ἀλλ᾽ ἐπιτάττειν, καὶ οὐ τοῦτον ἑτέρῳ πείθεσθαι, ἀλλὰ τούτῳ τὸν ἧττον σοφόν.
- The wise man must not be ordered but must order, and he must not obey another, but the less wise must obey him.
- 982a.15, W. Ross, trans., The Basic Works of Aristotle (2001), p. 691.
- The wise man must not be ordered but must order, and he must not obey another, but the less wise must obey him.
- That which is desirable on its own account and for the sake of knowing it is more of the nature of wisdom than that which is desirable on account of its results.
- 982a16, Complete Works, vol. 2, p. 1554
- πάντων γὰρ ὅσα πλείω μέρη ἔχει καὶ μὴ ἔστιν οἷον σωρὸς τὸ πᾶν.
- The totality is not, as it were, a mere heap, but the whole is something besides the parts.
- Book VIII, 1045a.8–10
- Cf. Euclid, Elements, Book I, Common Notion 5: “τὸ ὅλον τοῦ μέρους μεῖζον. [The whole is greater than the part.]”
- If, then, God is always in that good state in which we sometimes are, this compels our wonder; and if in a better this compels it yet more. And God is in a better state. And life also belongs to God; for the actuality of thought is life, and God is that actuality; and God’s self-dependent actuality is life most good and eternal.
- Book XII, 1072b.24
- Those who assert that the mathematical sciences say nothing of the beautiful or the good are in error. For these sciences say and prove a great deal about them; if they do not expressly mention them, but prove attributes which are their results or definitions, it is not true that they tell us nothing about them. The chief forms of beauty are order and symmetry and definiteness, which the mathematical sciences demonstrate in a special degree.
- Book XIII, 1078a.33
- If there is some end of the things we do, which we desire for its own sake, clearly this must be the good. Will not knowledge of it, then, have a great influence on life? Shall we not, like archers who have a mark to aim at, be more likely to hit upon what we should? If so, we must try, in outline at least, to determine what it is.
- Book I, 1094a.18
- It is the mark of an educated man to look for precision in each class of things just so far as the nature of the subject admits; it is evidently equally foolish to accept probable reasoning from a mathematician and to demand from a rhetorician scientific proofs.
- Book I, 1094b.24
- The life of money-making is one undertaken under compulsion, and wealth is evidently not the good we are seeking; for it is merely useful and for the sake of something else.
- Book I, 1096a.5
- Piety requires us to honor truth above our friends.
- Book I, 1096a.16
- Life seems to be common even to plants, but we are seeking what is peculiar to man. Let us exclude, therefore, the life of nutrition and growth. Next there would be a life of perception, but it also seems to be common even to the horse, the ox, and every animal. There remains, then, an active life of the element that has a rational principle; of this, one part has such a principle in the sense of being obedient to one, the other in the sense of possessing one and exercising thought. And, as “life of the rational element” also has two meanings, we must state that life in the sense of activity is what we mean; for this seems to be the more proper sense of the term. Now if the function of man is an activity of soul which follows or implies a rational principle, and if we say “so-and-so” and “a good so-and-so” have a function which is the same in kind, e.g. a lyre, and a good lyre-player, and so without qualification in all cases, eminence in respect of goodness being added to the name of the function (for the function of a lyre-player is to play the lyre, and that of a good lyre-player is to do so well): if this is the case, and we state the function of man to be a certain kind of life, and this to be an activity or actions of the soul implying a rational principle, and the function of a good man to be the good and noble performance of these, and if any action is well performed when it is performed in accordance with the appropriate excellence: if this is the case, human good turns out to be activity of soul in accordance with virtue, and if there are more than one virtue, in accordance with the best and most complete.
But we must add “in a complete life.” For one swallow does not make a summer, nor does one day; and so too one day, or a short time, does not make a man blessed and happy.
- Book I, 1098a; §7 as translated by W. D. Ross
- One swallow does not a summer make.
- As quoted in A History of Ancient Philosophy: From the Beginning to Augustine (1998) by Karsten Friis Johansen, p. 382
- One swallow (they say) no Sommer doth make.
- John Davies, in The Scourge of Folly (1611)
- One swallow yet did never summer make.
- As rendered by William Painter in Chaucer Newly Painted (1623)
- One swallow does not make a spring, nor does one sunny day; similarly, one day or a short time does not make a man blessed and happy.
- As translated in Philosophical Grounds of Rationality: Intentions, Categories, Ends (1988), by Richard E. Grandy and Richard Warner, p. 483
- Let this serve as an outline of the good; for we must presumably first sketch it roughly, and then later fill in the details. But it would seem that any one is capable of carrying on and articulating what has once been well outlined, and that time is a good discoverer or partner in such a work; to which facts the advances of the arts are due; for any one can add what is lacking. And we must also remember what has been said before, and not look for precision in all things alike, but in each class of things such precision as accords with the subject-matter, and so much as is appropriate to the inquiry. For a carpenter and a geometer investigate the right angle in different ways; the former does so in so far as the right angle is useful for his work, while the latter inquires what it is or what sort of thing it is; for he is a spectator of the truth. We must act in the same way, then, in all other matters as well, that our main task may not be subordinated to minor questions. Nor must we demand the cause in all matters alike; it is enough in some cases that the fact be well established, as in the case of the first principles; the fact is the primary thing or first principle. Now of first principles we see some by induction, some by perception, some by a certain habituation, and others too in other ways. But each set of principles we must try to investigate in the natural way, and we must take pains to state them definitely, since they have a great influence on what follows. For the beginning is thought to be more than half of the whole, and many of the questions we ask are cleared up by it.
- Book I, 1098a-b; §7 as translated by W. D. Ross
- For some identify happiness with virtue, some with practical wisdom, others with a kind of philosophic wisdom, others with these, or one of these, accompanied by pleasure or not without pleasure; while others include also external prosperity. Now … it is not probable that these should be entirely mistaken, but rather that they should be right in at least some one respect or even in most respects.
- Book I, 1098b.23
- For pleasure is a state of soul, and to each man that which he is said to be a lover of is pleasant…. Now for most men their pleasures are in conflict with one another because these are not by nature pleasant, but the lovers of what is noble find pleasant the things that are by nature pleasant; and virtuous actions are such… Happiness then is the best, noblest, and most pleasant thing in the world, and these attributes are not severed as in the inscription at Delos: Most noble is that which is justest, and best is health; but pleasantest is it to win what we love.
- Book I, 1099a.6
- Everything that depends on the action of nature is by nature as good as it can be, and similarly everything that depends on art or any rational cause, and especially if it depends on the best of all causes. To entrust to chance what is greatest and most noble would be a very defective arrangement.
- Book I, 1099b.22: Quoted in Oxford Dictionary of Scientific Quotations (2005), 21:8.
- The truly good and wise man will bear all kinds of fortune in a seemly way, and will always act in the noblest manner that the circumstances allow.
- Book I, 1101a
- May not we then confidently pronounce that man happy who realizes complete goodness in action, and is adequately furnished with external goods? Or should we add, that he must also be destined to go on living not for any casual period but throughout a complete lifetime in the same manner, and to die accordingly, because the future is hidden from us, and we conceive happiness as an end, something utterly and absolutely final and complete? If this is so, we shall pronounce those of the living who possess and are destined to go on possessing the good things we have specified to be supremely blessed, though on the human scale of bliss.
- Book I, 1101a.10
- For the things we have to learn before we can do, we learn by doing.
- Book II, 1103a.33: Cited in: Oxford Dictionary of Scientific Quotations (2005), 21:9
- For legislators make the citizens good by forming habits in them, and this is the wish of every legislator, and those who do not effect it miss their mark, and it is in this that a good constitution differs from a bad one.
- Book II, 1103b.4
- …. In a word, acts of any kind produce habits or characters of the same kind. Hence we ought to make sure that our acts are of a certain kind; for the resulting character varies as they vary. It makes no small difference, therefore, whether a man be trained in his youth up in this way or that, but a great difference, or rather all the difference.
- Book II, 1103b
- It is well said, then, that it is by doing just acts that the just man is produced, and by doing temperate acts the temperate man; without doing these no one would have even a prospect of becoming good. But most people do not do these, but take refuge in theory and think they are being philosophers and will become good in this way, behaving somewhat like patients who listen attentively to their doctors, but do none of the things they are ordered to do.
- Book II, 1105b.9
- Again, it is possible to fail in many ways (for evil belongs to the class of the unlimited … and good to that of the limited), while to succeed is possible only in one way (for which reason also one is easy and the other difficult—to miss the mark easy, to hit it difficult); for these reasons also, then, excess and defect are characteristic of vice, and the mean of virtue; For men are good in but one way, but bad in many.
- Book II, 1106b.28
- The vices respectively fall short of or exceed what is right in both passions and actions, while virtue both finds and chooses that which is intermediate.
- Book II, 1107a.4
- Variant: Some vices miss what is right because they are deficient, others because they are excessive, in feelings or in actions, while virtue finds and chooses the mean.
- In cases of this sort, let us say adultery, rightness and wrongness do not depend on committing it with the right woman at the right time and in the right manner, but the mere fact of committing such action at all is to do wrong.
- Book II, 1107a.15
- οὕτω δὲ καὶ τὸ μὲν ὀργισθῆναι παντὸς καὶ ῥᾴδιον, καὶ τὸ δοῦναι ἀργύριον καὶ δαπανῆσαι· τὸ δ᾽ ᾧ καὶ ὅσον καὶ ὅτε καὶ οὗ ἕνεκα καὶ ὥς, οὐκέτι παντὸς οὐδὲ ῥᾴδιον
- Any one can get angry — that is easy — or give or spend money; but to do this to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, with the right motive, and in the right way, that is not for every one, nor is it easy.
- Book II, 1109a.27.
- Variant translation: Anybody can become angry, that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way, that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.
- As quoted in The Child: At Home and School (1944) by Edith M. Leonard, Lillian E. Miles, and Catherine S. Van der Kar, p. 203
- κατὰ τὸν δεύτερον, φασί, πλοῦν τὰ ἐλάχιστα ληπτέον τῶν κακῶν
- We must as second best, as people say, take the least of the evils.
- Book II, 1109a.34 (cf. Nicomachean Ethics, 1131b: ἔστι γὰρ τὸ ἔλαττον κακὸν μᾶλλον αἱρετὸν τοῦ μείζονος [the lesser of two evils is more desirable than the greater])
- Therefore only an utterly senseless person can fail to know that our characters are the result of our conduct.
- Book III, 5.12
- Variant: Now not to know that it is from the exercise of activities on particular objects that states of character are produced is the mark of a thoroughly senseless person.
- μεταβολὴ δὲ πάντων γλυκύ
- Change in all things is sweet.
- Book VII, 14
- Remark: While this quote is known as Aristotle’s, he did not propose it as his own saying, but as a citation from another author. The full text is: “But ‘change in all things is sweet’, as the poet says, because of some vice.”
- ἄνευ γὰρ φίλων οὐδεὶς ἕλοιτ᾽ ἂν ζῆν, ἔχων τὰ λοιπὰ ἀγαθὰ πάντα
- Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods.
- Book VIII, 1155a.5
- When people are friends, they have no need of justice, but when they are just, they need friendship in addition.
- Book VIII, 1155a.26
- The best friend is he that, when he wishes a person’s good, wishes it for that person’s own sake.
- Book IX, 1168b.1
- Variants: My best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake.
The best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake.
- After these matters we ought perhaps next to discuss pleasure. For it is thought to be most intimately connected with our human nature, which is the reason why in educating the young we steer them by the rudders of pleasure and pain; it is thought, too, that to enjoy the things we ought and to hate the things we ought has the greatest bearing on virtue of character. For these things extend right through life, with a weight and power of their own in respect both to virtue and to the happy life, since men choose what is pleasant and avoid what is painful; and such things, it will be thought, we should least of all omit to discuss, especially since they admit of much dispute.
- Book X, 1172a.17
- And happiness is thought to depend on leisure; for we are busy that we may have leisure, and make war that we may live in peace.
- Book X, 1177b.4
- Now the activity of the practical virtues is exhibited in political or military affairs, but the actions concerned with these seem to be unleisurely. Warlike actions are completely so (for no one chooses to be at war, or provokes war, for the sake of being at war; any one would seem absolutely murderous if he were to make enemies of his friends in order to bring about battle and slaughter); but the action of the statesman is also unleisurely, and-apart from the political action itself—aims at despotic power and honours, or at all events happiness, for him and his fellow citizens—a happiness different from political action, and evidently sought as being different. So if among virtuous actions political and military actions are distinguished by nobility and greatness, and these are unleisurely and aim at an end and are not desirable for their own sake, but the activity of reason, which is contemplative, seems both to be superior in serious worth and to aim at no end beyond itself, and to have its pleasure proper to itself (and this augments the activity), and the self-sufficiency, leisureliness, unweariedness (so far as this is possible for man), and all the other attributes ascribed to the supremely happy man are evidently those connected with this activity, it follows that this will be the complete happiness of man, if it be allowed a complete term of life.
- Book X, 1177b.6
- Misfortune shows those who are not really friends.
- Eudemian Ethics, Book VII, 1238a.20
- Man is by nature a political animal.
- Book I, 1253a.2
- Nature does nothing uselessly.
- Book I, 1253a.8
- Further, the state is by nature clearly prior to the family and to the individual, since the whole is of necessity prior to the part; for example, if the whole body be destroyed, there will be no foot or hand, except in an equivocal sense, as we might speak of a stone hand; for when destroyed the hand will be no better than that. But things are defined by their working and power; and we ought not to say that they are the same when they no longer have their proper quality, but only that they have the same name.
- Book I, Part II
- The proof that the state is a creation of nature and prior to the individual is that the individual, when isolated, is not self-sufficing; and therefore he is like a part in relation to the whole.
- Book I, Part II
- He who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god.
- Book I, 1253a.27
- Man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all.
- Book I, 1253a.31
- Money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of all modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural.
- Book I, 1258b.4
- Men … are easily induced to believe that in some wonderful manner everybody will become everybody’s friend, especially when some one is heard denouncing the evils now existing in states, suits about contracts, convictions for perjury, flatteries of rich men and the like, which are said to arise out of the possession of private property. These evils, however, are due to a very different cause — the wickedness of human nature.
- Book II, 1263b.15
- One would have thought that it was even more necessary to limit population than property; and that the limit should be fixed by calculating the chances of mortality in the children, and of sterility in married persons. The neglect of this subject, which in existing states is so common, is a never-failing cause of poverty among the citizens; and poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.
- Book II, Section VI (translation by Benjamin Jowett)
- It is of the nature of desire not to be satisfied, and most men live only for the gratification of it.
- Book II, 1267b.4
- Again, men in general desire the good, and not merely what their fathers had.
- Book II, 1269a.4
- Even when laws have been written down, they ought not always to remain unaltered.
- Book II, 1269a.9
- That judges of important causes should hold office for life is a disputable thing, for the mind grows old as well as the body.
- Book II, 1270b.39
- They should rule who are able to rule best.
- Book II, 1273b.5
- The good citizen need not of necessity possess the virtue which makes a good man.
- Book III, 1276b.34
- A state is not a mere society, having a common place, established for the prevention of mutual crime and for the sake of exchange…. Political society exists for the sake of noble actions, and not of mere companionship.
- Book III, 1280b.30–1281a.3
- The law is reason unaffected by desire.
- Book III, 1287a.32
- Variant: The Law is reason free from passion.
- If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost.
- Book IV, 1291b.34
- Demagogues arise in cities where the laws are not sovereign. The people then becomes a monarchy – a single composite monarch made up of many members, with the many paying the sovereign, no as individuals, but collectively. It is not clear what homer means who he says that ‘it is not good to have the rule of many masters;; whether he has in mind a situation of this kind, or one where there are many rulers who act as individuals.
- Book IV, 1292a.7
- Inferiors revolt in order that they may be equal, and equals that they may be superior. Such is the state of mind which creates revolutions.
- Book V, 1302a.29
- Even trifles are most important when they concern the rulers, as was the case of old at Syracuse; for the Syracusan constitution was once changed by a love-quarrel of two young men, who were in the government. The story is that while one of them was away from home his beloved was gained over by his companion, and he to revenge himself seduced the other’s wife. They then drew the members of the ruling class into their quarrel and so split all the people into portions. We learn from this story that we should be on our guard against the beginnings of such evils, and should put an end to the quarrels of chiefs and mighty men. The mistake lies in the beginning — as the proverb says — ‘Well begun is half done’; so an error at the beginning, though quite small, bears the same ratio to the errors in the other parts.
- Book V, 1303b.19-30
- Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms.
- Book V, 1311a.11
- Democracy arose from men’s thinking that if they are equal in any respect they are equal absolutely [in all respects].”
- Aristotle, Politics, Book V 1301a.29-31
- τὸ πένητας ποιεῖν τοὺς ἀρχομένους τυραννικόν, ὅπως μήτε φυλακὴ τρέφηται καὶ πρὸς τῷ καθ᾽ ἡμέραν ὄντες ἄσχολοι ὦσιν ἐπιβουλεύειν.
- It is also in the interests of a tyrant to make his subjects poor, so that he may be able to afford the cost of his bodyguard, while the people are so occupied with their daily tasks that they have no time for plotting.
- Book V, 1313b.16
- … καὶ ἡ εἰσφορὰ τῶν τελῶν…
- Subjects are also kept poor by payment of taxes.
- Book V, 1313b.16
- A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side.
- Book V,1314b.39
- The basis of a democratic state is liberty.
- Book VI, 1317a.40
- Happiness, whether consisting in pleasure or virtue, or both, is more often found with those who are highly cultivated in their minds and in their character, and have only a moderate share of external goods, than among those who possess external goods to a useless extent but are deficient in higher qualities.
- Book VII, 1323b.1
- But for those that are equal to have an unequal share and those that are alike an unlike share is contrary to nature, and nothing contrary to nature is noble.
- Book VII 3.5, 1325b
- Law is order, and good law is good order.
- Book VII, 1326a.29
- Practical life is not necessarily directed toward other people, as some think; and it is not the case that practical thoughts are only those which result from action for the sake of what ensues. On the contrary, much more practical are those mental activities and reflections which have their goal in themselves and take place for their own sake.
- VII, 3, 8, 1325b16–20
- Those who live in a cold climate and in [northern] Europe are full of spirit, but wanting in intelligence and skill; and therefore they keep their freedom, but have no political organization, and are incapable of ruling over others. Whereas the natives of Asia are intelligent and inventive, but they are wanting in spirit, and therefore they are always in a state of subjection and slavery. But the Hellenic race, which is situated between them, is likewise intermediate in character, being high-spirited and also intelligent. Hence it continues free, and is the best governed of any nation, and, if it could be formed into one state, would be able to rule the world.
- Book VII, 7, 1327b, tr. Benjamian Jowett (1908)
- Let us then enunciate the functions of a state and we shall easily elicit what we want: First there must be food; secondly, arts, for life requires many instruments; thirdly, there must be arms, for the members of a community have need of them, and in their own hands, too, in order to maintain authority both against disobedient subjects and against external assailants….
- Book VII, 1328b.4
- The soul of man may be divided into two parts; that which has reason in itself, and that which hath not, but is capable of obeying its dictates.
- οἱ … μὴ δυνάμενοι κινδυνεύειν ἀνδρείως δοῦλοι τῶν ἐπιόντων εἰσίν.
- Those who cannot face danger like men are the slaves of any invader.
- Book VII, 15, 1334a
- The appropriate age for marriage is around eighteen for girls and thirty-seven for men.
- Book VII, 1335a.27
- It is not easy to determine the nature of music, or why any one should have a knowledge of it.
- Book VIII, 5, 1339a
- There can be no doubt that children should be taught those useful things which are really necessary, but not all things, for occupations are divided into liberal and illiberal; and to young children should be imparted only such kinds of knowledge as will be useful to them without vulgarizing them. And any occupation, art, or science which makes the body, or soul, or mind of the freeman less fit for the practice or exercise of virtue is vulgar; wherefore we call those arts vulgar which tend to deform the body, and likewise all paid employments, for they absorb and degrade the mind. There are also some liberal arts quite proper for a freeman to acquire, but only in a certain degree, and if he attend to them too closely, in order to attain perfection in them, the same evil effects will follow.
- Book VIII 1337b.5, 1885 edition
- For well-being and health, again, the homestead should be airy in summer, and sunny in winter. A homestead possessing these qualities would be longer than it is deep; and its main front would face the south.
- 1345a.20, Economics (Oeconomica), Greek Texts and Translations, Perseus under PhiloLogic.
- It is absurd to hold that a man ought to be ashamed of being unable to defend himself with his limbs but not of being unable to defend himself with speech and reason, when the use of reason is more distinctive of a human being than the use of his limbs.
- Book I, 1355b.1
- Evils draw men together.
- Book I, 1362b.39: quoting a proverb
- Thus every action must be due to one or other of seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reasoning, anger, or appetite.
- Book I, 1369a.5
- Variant: All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion and desire
- The young have exalted notions, because they have not been humbled by life or learned its necessary limitations; moreover, their hopeful disposition makes them think themselves equal to great things—and that means having exalted notions. They would always rather do noble deeds than useful ones: Their lives are regulated more by moral feeling than by reasoning…. All their mistakes are in the direction of doing things excessively and vehemently. They overdo everything; they love too much, hate too much, and the same with everything else.
- Book II, 1389a.31
- Wit is cultured insolence.
- Book II, 1389b.11
- It is simplicity that makes the uneducated more effective than the educated when addressing popular audiences.
- Book II, 1395b.27
- A tragedy, then, is the imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself; in language … not in a narrative form; with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish its catharsis of such emotions.
- A whole is that which has beginning, middle, and end.
- διὸ καὶ φιλοσοφώτερον καὶ σπουδαιότερον ποίησις ἱστορίας ἐστίν: ἡ μὲν γὰρ ποίησις μᾶλλον τὰ καθόλου, ἡ δ᾽ ἱστορία τὰ καθ᾽ ἕκαστον λέγει.
- Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history; for poetry expresses the universal, and history only the particular.
- διὸ εὐφυοῦς ἡ ποιητική ἐστιν ἢ μανικοῦ
- Poetry demands a man with a special gift for it, or else one with a touch of madness in him.
- But the greatest thing by far is to have a command of metaphor. This alone cannot be imparted by another; it is the mark of genius, for to make good metaphors implies an eye for resemblances.
- Homer has taught all other poets the art of telling lies skillfully.
- Variant: It is Homer who has chiefly taught other poets the art of telling lies skillfully.
- For the purposes of poetry a convincing impossibility is preferable to an unconvincing possibility.
The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers
- Diogenes Laërtius, The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers. Literally translated by C. D. Yonge; Henry G. Bohn, 1853. [Dicta attributed to Aristotle in The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers by Diogenes Laërtius.]
- The roots of education … are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.
- I have gained this by philosophy … I do without being ordered what some are constrained to do by their fear of the law.
- Liars … when they speak the truth they are not believed.
- Hope is the dream of a waking man.
- p. 187
- A friend is one soul abiding in two bodies.
- p. 188; also reported in various sources as:
Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies.
A true friend is one soul in two bodies.
Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.
What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.
- p. 188; also reported in various sources as:
- Amicus Plato, sed magis amica veritas.
- Plato is dear to me, but dearer still is truth.
- Variant: Plato is my friend, but the truth is more my friend.
- A similar statement was attributed to Aristotle in antiquityː “Φίλος μὲν Σωκράτης, ἀλλὰ φιλτέρα ἀλήθεια.” [“Socrates is a friend, but truth is a greater.”] — Ammonius Hermiae, Life of Aristotle (as translated in Dictionary of Quotations (1906) by Thomas Benfield Harbottle, p. 527). The variant mentioned above may possibly be derived from a reduction of a statement known to have been made by Isaac Newton, who at the head of notes he titled Quaestiones Quaedam Philosophicae (Certain Philosophical Questions) wrote in Latin: “Amicus Plato— amicus Aristoteles— magis amica veritas” which translates to: “Plato is my friend— Aristotle is my friend— but my greatest friend is truth.” (c. 1664)
- Another possible origin of the “dear is Plato” statement is in the Nicomachean Ethics; the Ross translation (of 1096a.11–1096a.16) provides: “We had perhaps better consider the universal good and discuss thoroughly what is meant by it, although such an inquiry is made an uphill one by the fact that the Forms have been introduced by friends of our own. Yet it would perhaps be thought to be better, indeed to be our duty, for the sake of maintaining the truth even to destroy what touches us closely, especially as we are philosophers; for, while both are dear, piety requires us to honour truth above our friends.”
Note that the last clause, when quoted by itself loses the connection to “the friends” who introduced “the Forms”, Plato above all. Therefore the misattribution could be the result of the “quote” actually being a paraphrase which identifies Plato where Aristotle only alludes to him circumspectly.
- According to the notes in Plato: Republic Book X, edited by John Ferguson, p. 71, «the familiar ‘amicus Plato sed magis amica veritas’ is found in Cervantes’ Don Quixote II 8 and cannot be traced further back. Cf. Roger Bacon Op. mai. I vii, ‘amicus est Socrates, magister meus, sed magis est amica veritas‘. For the opposite view, see Cicero, T.D. I 17,39, ‘errare mehercule malo cum Platone . . . quam cum istis vera sentire‘.»
- The single harmony produced by all the heavenly bodies singing and dancing together springs from one source and ends by achieving one purpose, and has rightly bestowed the name not of “disordered” but of “ordered universe” upon the whole.
- Pseudo-Aristotle, De Mundo, 399a
- Remember that time slurs over everything, let all deeds fade, blurs all writings and kills all memories. Except are only those which dig into the hearts of men by love.
- “The Letter of Aristotle to Alexander on the Policy toward the Cities”, translated from Lettre d’Aristote à Alexandre sur la politique envers les cités, an Arabic text translated and edited by Józef Bielawski and Marian Plezia (1970), p. 72; translated from an ancient Greek text that survived only in Arabic translation, there is little acceptance that this is an authentic letter of Aristotle.
- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
- Attributed to Aristotle in Lowell L. Bennion, Religion and the Pursuit of Truth, Deseret Book Company, 1959, p. 52, and in American Opinion, Volume 24, Robert Welch, Inc., 1981, p. 23. Possibly a discombobulation of the Nicomachean Ethics Book I, 1094b.24 quote above.
- Man is a goal-seeking animal. His life only has meaning if he is reaching out and striving for goals.
- Attributed to Aristotle in Bernhoff A. Dahl, Optimize Your Life!, Trionics International Inc., 2005, p. 111.
- Happiness depends upon ourselves
- An interpretative gloss of Aristotle’s position in Nicomachean Ethics book 1 section 9, tacitly inserted by J. A. K. Thomson in his English translation The Ethics of Aristotle (1955). The original Greek at Book I 1099b.29, reads ὁμολογούμενα δὲ ταῦτ’ ἂν εἴη καὶ τοῖς ἐν ἀρχῇ, which W. D. Ross translates fairly literally as [a]nd this will be found to agree with what we said at the outset. Thomson’s much freer translation renders the same passage thus: [t]he conclusion that happiness depends upon ourselves is in harmony with what I said in the first of these lectures; the words “that happiness depends upon ourselves” were added by Thomson to clarify what “the conclusion” is, but they do not appear in the original Greek of Aristotle. Rackham’s earlier English translation added a similar gloss, but averted confusion by confining it to a footnote.
- What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do good.
- Often given as a saying of Aristotle with no reference.
- We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
- Variant: We are what we repeatedly do, therefore excellence is not an act, but a habit.
- Source: Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World’s Greatest Philosophers (1926), reprinted in Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books, 1991, ISBN 0-671-73916-6], Ch. II: Aristotle and Greek Science; part VII: Ethics and the Nature of Happiness: “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation: we do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have these because we have acted rightly; ‘these virtues are formed in man by his doing the actions’; we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit: ‘the good of man is a working of the soul in the way of excellence in a complete life… for as it is not one swallow or one fine day that makes a spring, so it is not one day or a short time that makes a man blessed and happy'” (p. 76). The quoted phrases within the quotation are from the Nicomachean Ethics, Book II, 4; Book I, 7. The misattribution is from taking Durant’s summation of Aristotle’s ideas as being the words of Aristotle himself.
- We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts not breaths; // In feelings, not in figures on a dial. // We should count time by heart throbs. He most lives // Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.
- This is actually from the poem “We live in deeds…” by Philip James Bailey. This explains the strange pattern of capitalization.
- The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal. (Whilst a paraphrase this is based on Aristotle’s writings as Aristotle stated “For instance, it is thought that justice is equality, and so it is, though not for everybody but only for those who are equals; and it is thought that inequality is just, for so indeed it is, though not for everybody, but for those who are unequal” in https://www.loebclassics.com/view/aristotle-politics/1932/pb_LCL264.211.xml Politics, III. V. 8.
- This first appears in 1974 in an explanation of Aristotle’s politics in Time magazine, before being condensed to an epigram as “Aristotle’s Axiom” in Peter’s People (1979) by Laurence J. Peter
- There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing and be nothing.
- Source: Elbert Hubbard, Little Journeys to the Homes of American Statesmen (1898), p. 370: “If you would escape moral and physical assassination, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing—court obscurity, for only in oblivion does safety lie.” Other versions of the saying were repeated in several of Hubbard’s later writings.
- Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility but through greatness of mind.
- Widely attributed since the mid to late 19th century, this apparently derives from a gloss or commentary on the following passage from Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics (c. 325 BC), Book 1, Ch. XI (Bekker No. 1100b.13–14):
- ὅμως δὲ καὶ ἐν τούτοις διαλάμπει τὸ καλόν, ἐπειδὰν φέρῃ τις εὐκόλως πολλὰς καὶ μεγάλας ἀτυχίας, μὴ δι᾽ ἀναλγησίαν, ἀλλὰ γεννάδας ὢν καὶ μεγαλόψυχος. εἰ δ᾽ εἰσὶν αἱ ἐνέργειαι κύριαι τῆς ζωῆς, καθάπερ εἴπομεν, οὐδεὶς ἂν γένοιτο τῶν μακαρίων ἄθλιος
- But nevertheless, even in these [misfortunes], nobility of the soul is conspicuous, when a man bears and digests many and great misfortunes, not from insensibility, but because he is high spirited and magnanimous. But if the energies are the things that constitute the bliss or the misery of life, as we said, no happy man can ever become miserable.
- A New Translation of the Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle (1835), 3rd. ed., Oxford: J. Vincent. p. 30
- Nevertheless even under these [misfortunes] the force of nobility shines out, when a man bears calmly many great disasters, not from insensibility, but because he is generous and of a great soul. Setting happiness then, as we do, not in the outward surroundings of man, but in his inward state, we may fairly say that no one who has attained to the bliss of virtue will ever justly become an object of pity or contempt.
- St. George William Joseph Stock, Lectures in the Lyceum or Aristotle’s ethics for English readers (1897), p. 47
- But nevertheless, even in these [misfortunes], nobility of the soul is conspicuous, when a man bears and digests many and great misfortunes, not from insensibility, but because he is high spirited and magnanimous. But if the energies are the things that constitute the bliss or the misery of life, as we said, no happy man can ever become miserable.
- ὅμως δὲ καὶ ἐν τούτοις διαλάμπει τὸ καλόν, ἐπειδὰν φέρῃ τις εὐκόλως πολλὰς καὶ μεγάλας ἀτυχίας, μὴ δι᾽ ἀναλγησίαν, ἀλλὰ γεννάδας ὢν καὶ μεγαλόψυχος. εἰ δ᾽ εἰσὶν αἱ ἐνέργειαι κύριαι τῆς ζωῆς, καθάπερ εἴπομεν, οὐδεὶς ἂν γένοιτο τῶν μακαρίων ἄθλιος
- Widely attributed since the mid to late 19th century, this apparently derives from a gloss or commentary on the following passage from Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics (c. 325 BC), Book 1, Ch. XI (Bekker No. 1100b.13–14):
- Those who can, do, those who cannot, teach.
- This and many similar quotes with the same general meaning are misattributed to Aristotle as a result of Twitter attribution decay. The original source of the quote remains anonymous. The oldest reference resides in the works of George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman (1903): “Maxims for Revolutionists”, where he claims that “He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.”.
- However, the related quote, “Those who can, do. Those who understand, teach” likely originates from Lee Shulman in his explanation of Aristotlean views on professional mastery:
Aristotle, whose works formed the heart of the medieval curriculum, made these observations in Metaphysics (cited in Wheelwright, 1951): “We regard master-craftsmen as superior not merely because they have a grasp of theory and know the reasons for acting as they do. Broadly speaking, what distinguishes the man who knows from the ignorant man is an ability to teach, and this is why we hold that art and not experience has the character of genuine knowledge (episteme)–namely, that artists can teach and others (i.e., those who have not acquired an art by study but have merely picked up some skill empirically) cannot.” . . . “With Aristotle we declare that the ultimate test of understanding rests on the ability to transform one’s knowledge into teaching. Those who can, do. Those who understand, teach.”
- Humour is the only test of gravity, and gravity of humour. For a subject which would not bear raillery is suspicious; and a jest which would not bear a serious examination is certainly false wit.
- Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury, Sensus Communis: An Essay on the Freedom of Wit and Humour (1709), Part 1, Sec. 5, incorrectly attributing it to Gorgias via Aristotle.
Quotes about Aristotle
- ONCE upon a time, Aristotle taught Alexander that he should restrain himself from frequently approaching his wife, who was very beautiful, lest he should impede his spirit from seeking the general good. Alexander acquiesed to him. The queen, when she perceived this and was upset, began to draw Aristotle to love her. Many times she crossed paths with him alone, with bare feet and disheveled hair, so that she might entice him.
At last, being enticed, he began to solicit her carnally. She says,
“This I will certainly not do, unless I see a sign of love, lest you be testing me. Therefore, come to my chamber crawling on hand and foot, in order to carry me like a horse. Then I’ll know that you aren’t deluding me.”
When he had consented to that condition, she secretly told the matter to Alexander, who lying in wait apprehended him carrying the queen. When Alexander wished to kill Aristotle, in order to excuse himself, Aristotle says,
If thus it happened to me, an old man most wise, that I was deceived by a woman, you can see that I taught you well, that it could happen to you, a young man.”
Hearing that, the king spared him, and made progress in Aristotle’s teachings.
- Anonymous, Phyllis and Aristotle.
- Robert [Grosseteste] became much interested in science and scientific method… He was conscious of the dual approach by means of induction and deduction (resolution and composition); i.e., from the empirical knowledge one proceeds to probable general principles, and from these as premises one them derives conclusions which constitute verifications or falsifications of the principles. This approach to science was not that far removed from Aristotle…
- Carl B. Boyer, The Rainbow: From Myth to Mathematics (1959)
- [Aristotle] totally misrepresents Plato’s doctrine of “Ideas.” … It is also pertinent to inquire, what is the difference between the “formal cause” of Aristotle and the archetypal ideas of Plato? … Yet Aristotle is forever congratulating himself that he alone has properly treated the “formal” and the “final cause”!
- Benjamin Franklin Cocker, in Christianity and Greek Philosophy (1870), p. 299
- Aristotle was the first genuine scientist in history. . . . Every scientist is in his debt.
- The Encyclopædia Britannica, cited in the article: Who Made the Laws That Govern Our Universe?
- According to Aristotle, scientific investigation and explanation was a twofold process, the first inductive and the second deductive. The investigator must begin with what was prior in the order of knowing, that is, with the facts observed through the senses, and he must ascend through induction to generalizations or universal forms or causes which were most remote from sensory experience, yet causing that experience and therefore prior in the order of nature. [Footnote:] The idea that the order of demonstration was the order of nature came from Plato. Aristotle said that the order of discovery was the reverse of the order of demonstration.
- A. C. Crombie, Robert Grosseteste and the Origins of Experimental Science (1953)
- The model of scientific knowledge, in which effects could be shown to follow necessarily from their causes as conclusions from premises, Aristotle held to be mathematics, and where mathematics could be used in the natural sciences their conclusions were also exact and necessary. … Of the inductive process by which the investigator passed from sensory experience of particular facts or connexions to a grasp of the prior demonstrative principles that explained them, Aristotle gave a clear psychological account. The final stage in the process was the sudden act by which the intuitive reason or νοῦς, after a number of experiences of facts, grasped the universal or theory explaining them, or penetrated to knowledge of the substance causing and connecting them.
- A. C. Crombie, Robert Grosseteste and the Origins of Experimental Science (1953) citing Posterior Analytics i. I, 184a26 sqq
- Is the ordinary person incompetent? No judgment is more decisive for one’s political philosophy. It was perhaps the single most important difference in judgment between Plato and Aristotle.
- Robert A. Dahl, After the Revolution? (1970; 1990), p. 26
- It is difficult to be enthusiastic about Aristotle, because it was difficult for him to be enthusiastic about anything… He realized too completely the Delphic command to avoid excess: he is so anxious to pare away extremes that at last nothing is left. He is so fearful of disorder that he forgets to be fearful of slavery; he.is so timid of uncertain change that he prefers a certain changelessness that near resembles death. He lacks that Heraclitean sense of flux which justifies the conservative in believing that all permanent change is gradual, and justifies the radical in believing that no changelessness is permanent. He forgets that Plato’s communism was meant only for the elite, the unselfish and ungreedy few; and he comes deviously to a Platonic result when he says that though property should be private, its use should be as far as possible common. He does not see (and perhaps he could not be expected in his early day to see) that individual control of the means of production was stimulating and salutary only when these means were so simple as to be purchasable by any man; and that their increasing complexity and cost lead to a dangerous centralization of ownership and power, and to an artificial and finally disruptive inequality.
- Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World’s Greatest Philosophers (1926), reprinted in Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books, 1991
- From quotations I had seen I had a high notion of Aristotle’s merits, but I had not the most remote notion what a wonderful man he was. Linnaeus and Cuvier have been my two gods, though in very different ways, but they were mere schoolboys to old Aristotle.
- Charles Darwin, letter (1882) to William Ogle, in Francis Darwin (ed.), Life and Letters of Charles Darwin (London: John Murray, 1887), Vol. III, p. 252
- It is pretty definitely settled, among men competent to form a judgment, that Aristotle was the best educated man that ever walked on the surface of this earth. He is still, as he was in Dante’s time, the “master of those that know.” It is, therefore, not without reason that we look to him, not only as the best exponent of ancient education, but as one of the worthiest guides and examples in education generally. That we may not lose the advantage of his example, it will be well, before we consider his educational theories, to cast a glance at his life, the process of his development, and his work.
- Thomas Davidson, in Aristotle and Ancient Educational Ideals (1892), p. 154
- John Philoponus (c. 490-570) of Alexandria… refuted Aristotle’s theory that the velocities of falling bodies in a given medium are proportional to their weight, making the observation that “if one lets fall simultaneously from the same height two bodies differing greatly in weight, one will find that the ratio of the times of their motion does not correspond to the ratios of their weights, but the difference in time is a very small one.” …He also criticized Aristotle’s antiperistasis theory of projectile motion, which states that the air displaced by the object flows back to push it from behind. Instead Philoponus concluded that “some incorporeal kinetic power is imparted by the thrower to the object thrown” and that “if an arrow or a stone is projected by force in a void, the same will happen much more easily, nothing being necessary except the thrower.” This is the famous “impetus theory,” which was revived in medieval Islam and again in fourteenth century Europe, giving rise to the beginning of modern dynamics.
- John Freely, Before Galileo: The Birth of Modern Science in Medieval Europe (2012)
- We have in our age new accidents and observations, and such, that I question not in the least, but if Aristotle were now alive, they would make him change his opinion; which may be easily collected from the very manner of his discoursing: For when he writeth that he esteemeth the Heavens inalterable, &c. because no new thing was seen to be begot therein, or any old to be dissolved, he seems implicitely to hint unto us, that when he should see any such accident, he would hold the contrary; and confront, as indeed it is meet, sensible experiments to natural reason: for had he not made any reckoning of the senses, he would not then from the not seeing of any sensible mutation, have argued immutability.
- Galileo Galilei, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (1632) as quoted in the Salusbury translation, The Systeme of the World: in Four Dialogues (1661) p. 37
- I do believe for certain, that he [Aristotle] first procured, by the help of the senses, such experiments and observations as he could, to assure him as much as was possible of the conclusion, and that he afterwards sought out the means how to demonstrate it; for this is the usual course in demonstrative sciences. And the reason thereof is, because when the conclusion is true, by the help of the resolutive method, one may hit upon some proposition before demonstrated, or come to some principle known per se; but if the conclusion be false, a man may proceed in infinitum, and never meet with any truth already known.
- Galileo Galilei, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, Salusbury translation (1661) p. 37 as quoted by Edwin Arthur Burtt, The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Physical Science (1925)
- The group of philosophical ideas that concerns us has been called essentialism by Popper, who has traced the impact of Plato’s metaphysics on political thinking down to modern times. Even before Plato, Greek philosophy began to experience difficulties in dealing with change. If things grew, or passed away, they seem somehow unreal, suggesting that they belonged only to a world of appearances. Heraclitus, in adopting the notion that material things are illusory, maintained that all that really exists is “fire”—that is, process. …To Plato, true reality exists in the essence, Idea, or eidos. …In the hands of Aristotle, essentialist metaphysics became somewhat altered. …[H]e held that [essences] did not exist apart from things. His works embraced the concepts of teleology, empiricism, and natural science… to understand a thing was to know its essence, or to define it. …A true system of knowledge thus became essentially a classification scheme… Plato and Aristotle… both embraced the notion that ideas or classes are more than just abstractions—that is… both advocated forms of “realism.” …Aristotle …advocated heirarchical classification… classes were differentiated… by properties held in common… An implication, of enormous historical importance, was that it became very difficult to classify things which change, or… grade into one another, or even to conceive or to discuss them. Indeed, the very attempt to reason in terms of essences almost forces one to ignore everything dynamic or transitory. One could hardly design a philosophy better suited to predispose one toward dogmatic reasoning and static concepts. The Darwinian revolution thus depended upon the collapse of the Western intellectual tradition.
- Michael Ghiselin, The Triumph of the Darwinian Method (1969)
- Aristotle… justly reproves Democritus for saying, that if no medium were interposed, a pismire would be visible in the heavens; asserting, on the contrary, that if vacuity alone intervened, nothing possibly could be seen, because all vision is performed by changes or motions in the organ of sight; and all such changes or motions imply an interposed medium. Between the perceptions of the eye and of the ear there is a striking analogy. Bodies are only visible by their colour; and colour is only perceptible in light; and unless different motions were excited by light in the eye, colour and the distinctions of colour would no more be visible, than, independently of different vibrations communicated to the ear, sound, and the distinctions of sound, would be audible. When the vibrations in a given time are many, the sensation of sharpness or shrillness follows; when the vibrations are, in the same time, comparatively few, the sensation of flatness is the result: but the first sound does not excite many vibrations because it is shrill or sharp, but it is sharp because it excites many vibrations; and the second sound does not excite few vibrations because it is flat or grave, but it is grave because it excites few vibrations.
- John Gillies, Aristotle’s Ethics: Comprising His Practical Philosophy (1893)
- On the authority of Aristotle… motion in the planetary world was somehow directed by the more perfect motion in higher spheres, and so on, up to the outermost sphere of fixed stars, indistinguishable from the prime mover. This implied a refined animistic and pantheistic world view, incomparably more rational than the ancient world views of Babylonians and Egyptians, among others, but a world view, nonetheless, hardly compatible with the idea of “inertial motion” which is implied in Buridan’s concept of “impetus”… a momentous breaking point… which was to bear fruit… in the hands, first of Copernicus and then of Newton.
- Julio A. Gonzalo, The Intelligible Universe: An Overview of the Last Thirteen Billion Years (2008) 2nd edn
- The followers of Aristotle were called peripatetics because the “master of them that know” valued the linkage between cogitation and ambulation (the covered walk in Aristotle’s Lyceum was a peripatos).
- Stephen Jay Gould, “Evolution by Walking”, Dinosaur in a Haystack: Reflections in Natural History (1995)
- Time for us embraces a whole field of ‘before and after’, but Aristotle says: ‘Before and after are involved in motion, but time is these so far as they are numbered’ (Phys. 223a28). Elsewhere he defines time as ‘the number of motion in respect of before and after’, and he could seriously discuss the question whether there could be time without conscious and thinking beings; ‘for if there could be no one to count, there could be nothing counted. …If nothing can count but soul, and within soul mind, there cannot be time without soul, but only the substratum of time’ (ibid. 219b2, 223a22)
- W. K. C. Guthrie, A History of Greek Philosophy Vol. 1, “The Earlier Presocratics and the Pythagoreans” (1962)
- As we now know, in the evolution of the structure of human activities, profitability works as a signal that guides selection towards what makes man more fruitful; only what is more profitable will, as a rule, nourish more people, for it sacrifices less than it adds. So much was at least sensed by some Greeks prior to Aristotle. Indeed, in the fifth century – that is, before Aristotle – the first truly great historian began his history of the Peloponnesian War by reflecting how early people `without commerce, without freedom of communication either by land or sea, cultivating no more of their territory than the exigencies of life required, could never rise above nomadic life’ and consequently `neither built large cities nor attained to any other form of greatness’ (Thucydides, Crawly translation, 1,1,2). But Aristotle ignored this insight.
Had the Athenians followed Aristotle’s counsel – counsel blind both to economics and to evolution – their city would rapidly have shrunk into a village, for his view of human ordering led him to an ethics appropriate only to, if anywhere at all, a stationary state. Nonetheless his doctrines came to dominate philosophical and religious thinking for the next two thousand years – despite the fact that much of that same philosophical and religious thinking took place within a highly dynamic, rapidly extending, order.(…) The anti-commercial attitude of the mediaeval and early modern Church, condemnation of interest as usury, its teaching of the just price, and its contemptuous treatment of gain is Aristotelian through and through. (…) Notwithstanding, and indeed wholly neglecting, the existence of this great advance, a view that is still permeated by Aristotelian thought, a naive and childlike animistic view of the world (Piaget, 1929:359), has come to dominate social theory and is the foundation of socialist thought.
- Friedrich Hayek, The Fatal Conceit (1988), Ch. 3: The Evolution of the Market: Trade and Civilisation
- Current scientific and philosophical usage is so deeply influenced by the Aristotelian tradition, which knows nothing of evolution, that existing dichotomies and contrasts not only usually fail to capture correctly the processes underlying the problems and conflicts discussed in chapter one, but actually hinder understanding of those problems and conflicts themselves.
- Friedrich Hayek, The Fatal Conceit (1988), Appendix A: ‘Natural’ Versus ‘Artificial’
- If order is to be maintained in existence — and that after all is what God wills, for He is not a God of confusion — first and foremost it must be remembered that every man is an individual man, is himself conscious of being an individual man. If once men are permitted to coalesce into what Aristotle calls “the multitude,” a characteristic of beasts, this abstraction (instead of being regarded as less than nothing, as in fact it is, less than the lowliest individual man) will be regarded as something, and no long time will elapse before this abstraction becomes God.
- Soren Kierkegaard, The Sickness Unto Death 1849, p. 151 Hannay
- He penetrated into the whole universe of things, and subjected its scattered wealth to intelligence; and to him the greater number of the philosophical sciences owe their origin and distinction.
- Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Vorlesungen über die Gesch. der Philos. (1833) II. 298, as quoted in Aristotle: a Chapter from the History of Science by George Henry Lewes
- Unfortunately… the philosophy of Aristotle laid it down as a principle, that the celestial motions were regulated by laws proper to themselves, and bearing no affinity to those which prevail on earth. By thus drawing a broad and impassable line of separation between celestial and terrestrial mechanics, it placed the former altogether out of the pale of experimental research, while it at the same time impeded the progress of the latter by the assumption of principles respecting natural and unnatural motions, hastily adopted from the most superficial and cursory and remark, undeserving even the name of observation. Astronomy therefore continued for ages a science of mere record, in which theory had no part, except in so far as it attempted to conciliate the inequalities of the celestial motions with that assumed law of uniform circular revolution which was alone considered consistent with the perfection of the heavenly mechanism.
- John Herschel, A Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy (1831)
- In the old philosophy, a curious conjunction of ethical and physical prejudices had led to the notion that there was something ethically bad and physically obstructive about matter. Aristotle attributes all irregularities and apparent dysteleologies in nature to the disobedience, or sluggish yielding, of matter to the shaping and guiding influence of those reasons and causes which were hypostatised in his ideal ‘Forms.’
- Thomas Henry Huxley, The Advance of Science in the Last Half-Century (1889)
- Aristotle was the first accurate critic and truest judge — nay, the greatest philosopher the world ever had; for he noted the vices of all knowledges, in all creatures, and out of many men’s perfections in a science he formed still one Art.
- Ben Jonson, The works of Ben Jonson, Vol. 9 (1816), p. 240
- Aristotle had not been popular in the ancient world, but his ideas were picked up by the materialistically-minded Arabs as they were developing their culture, and from there his works were introduced into Western Europe. They became the rage, stimulating a whole intellectual revival. It soon became necessary for the church to deal with this point of view, and through the genius of Thomas Aquinas all of the church ideas were rewritten within the framework of Aristotle’s ideas with their mythological character reduced to a bare minimum.
- Morton Kelsey, Myth, History & Faith: The Mysteries of Christian Myth & Imagination (1974)
- Most expositions of Aristotle’s doctrines, when they have not been dictated by a spirit of virulent detraction, or unsympathetic indifference, have carefully suppressed all, or nearly all, the absurdities, and only retained what seemed plausible and consistent. But in this procedure their historical significance disappears.
- George Henry Lewes, Aristotle: a Chapter from the History of Science (1864)
- Aristotle… seems utterly destitute of any sense of the Ineffable. There is no quality more noticeable in him than his unhesitating confidence in the adequacy of the human mind to comprehend the universe… He never seems to be visited by misgivings as to the compass of human faculty, because his unhesitating mind is destitute of awe. He has no abiding consciousness of the fact deeply impressed on other minds, that the circle of the Knowable is extremely limited; and that beyond it lies a vast mystery… impenetrable. Hence the existence of Evil is no perplexity to his soul; it is accepted as a simple fact. Instead of being troubled by it, saddened by it, he quietly explains it as the consequence of Nature not having correctly written her meaning. This mystery which has darkened so many sensitive meditative minds with anguish he considered to be only bad orthography.
- George Henry Lewes, Aristotle: a Chapter from the History of Science (1864)
- Roger Bacon expressed a feeling which afterwards moved many minds, when he said that if he had the power he would burn all the works of the Stagirite, since the study of them was not simply loss of time, but multiplication of ignorance. Yet in spite of this outbreak every page is studded with citations from Aristotle, of whom he everywhere speaks in the highest admiration.
- George Henry Lewes, Aristotle: a Chapter from the History of Science (1864)
- Aristotle forever, but Truth even for longer than that.
- Francis Lieber, in a letter to S. A. Allibone, New York, May, 1857, in The Life And Letters of Francis Lieber (1882), p. 295
- Aristotle, that histrionic mountebank, who from behind a Greek mask has so long bewitched the Church of Christ, that most cunning juggler of souls, who, if he had not been accredited as human blood and bone, we should have been justified in maintaining to be the veritable devil.
- Martin Luther, in a letter to John Stuart Blackie, 1516. In Four Phases of Morals (1871)
- Aristotle sees no difference between the falling of a leaf or a stone and the death of the good and noble people in the ship; nor does he distinguish between the destruction of a multitude of ants by an ox depositing on them his excrement and the death of worshippers killed by the fall of the house when its foundations give way. In short, the opinion of Aristotle is this: Everything is the result of management which is constant, which does not come to an end and does not change any of its properties, as e.g., the heavenly beings, and everything which continues according to a certain rule… But that which is not constant, and does not follow a certain rule… is due to chance and not to management; it is in no relation to Divine Providence. Aristotle holds that it is even impossible to ascribe to Providence that management of these things. …It is the belief of those who turned away from our Law and said: “God hath forsaken the earth.” (Ezek. ix. 9)
- Maimonides, Guide for the Perplexed (c. 1190)
- When I saw that Moses’ version of the Genesis of the world did not fit sufficiently in many ways with Aristotle and the rest of the philosophers, I began to have doubts about the truth of all philosophers and started to investigate the secrets of nature.
- Gerardus Mercator, Evangelicæ Historiæ: Quadripartita Monas Sive Harmonia Quatuor Evangelistarum (“Harmonization of the Gospels”) (1592), dedicatory letter. Quoted in Jean Van Raemdonck, Gerard Mercator: sa vie et ses oeuvres (1869), p. 25, footnote 2
- In his discussion on slavery Aristotle said that when the shuttle wove by itself and the plectrum played by itself chief workmen would not need helpers nor masters slaves. At the time he wrote, he believed that he was establishing the eternal validity of slavery; but for us today he was in reality justifying the existence of the machine. Work, it is true, is the constant form of man’s interaction with his environment, if by work one means the sum total of exertions necessary to maintain life; and the lack of work usually means an impairment of function and a breakdown in organic relationship that leads to substitute forms of work, such as invalidism and neurosis. But work in the form of unwilling drudgery or of that sedentary routine which… the Athenians so properly despised—work in these forms is the true province of machines. Instead of reducing human beings to work-mechanisms, we can now transfer the main part of burden to automatic machines. This potentially… is perhaps the largest justification of the mechanical developments of the last thousand years.
- Lewis Mumford, Technics and Civilization (1934)
- The first clear expression of the idea of an element occurs in the teachings of the Greek philosophers. … Aristotle … who summarized the theories of earlier thinkers, developed the view that all substances were made of a primary matter… On this, different forms could be impressed… so the idea of the transmutation of the elements arose. Aristotle’s elements are really fundamental properties of matter…. hotness, coldness, moistness, and dryness. By combining these in pairs, he obtained what are called the four elements, fire, air, earth and water… a fifth, immaterial, one was added, which appears in later writings as the quintessence. This corresponds with the ether. The elements were supposed to settle out naturally into the earth (below), water (the oceans), air (the atmosphere), fire and ether (the sky and heavenly bodies).
- J. R. Partington, A Short History of Chemistry (1937)
- All the things that Aristotle has said are inconsistent because they are poorly systematized and can be called to mind only by the use of arbitrary mnemonic devices.
- Petrus Ramus, Quaecumque ab Aristotele dicta essent, commentitia esse (1536) his university thesis, as paraphrased by Walter J. Ong, Ramus, Method, and the Decay of Dialogue: From the Art of Discourse to the Art of Reason (1958) pp. 46-47.
- It appears to me that there can be no question, that Aristotle stands forth, not only as the greatest figure in antiquity, but as the greatest intellect that has ever appeared upon the face of this earth.
- George J. Romanes, as quoted in “The most important question in the world.”: Is mankind advancing? (1910), p. 38
- Aristotle, as a philosopher, is in many ways very different from all his predecessors. He is the first to write like a professor: his treatises are systematic, his discussions are divided into heads, he is a professional teacher, not an inspired prophet. His work is critical, careful, pedestrian, without any trace of Bacchic enthusiasm. The Orphic elements in Plato are watered down in Aristotle, and mixed with a strong dose of common sense; where he is Platonic, one feels that his natural temperament has been overpowered by the teaching to which he has been subjected. He is not passionate, or in any profound sense religious. The errors of his predecessors were the glorious errors of youth attempting the impossible; his errors are those of age which cannot free itself of habitual prejudices. He is best in detail and in criticism; he fails in large construction, for lack of fundamental clarity and Titanic fire.
- Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy (1945), Book One, Part II, Chapter XIX, Aristotle’s Metaphysics, p. 161
- I do not agree with Plato, but if anything could make me do so, it would be Aristotle’s arguments against him.
- Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy (1945), Book One, Part II, Ch. XXI, Aristotle’s Politics, p. 189
- I conclude that the Aristotelian doctrines are wholly false, with the exception of the formal theory of the syllogism, which is unimportant. Any person in the present day who wishes to learn logic will be wasting his time if he reads Aristotle or any of his disciples. Nonetheless, Aristotle’s logical writings show great ability, and would have been useful to mankind if they had appeared at a time when intellectual originality was still active. Unfortunately, they appeared at the very end of the creative period of Greek thought, and therefore came to be accepted as authoritative. By the time that logical originality revived, a reign of two thousand years had made Aristotle very difficult to dethrone. Throughout modern times, practically every advance in science, in logic, or in philosophy has had to be made in the teeth of opposition from Aristotle’s disciples.
- Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy (1945), Book One, Part II, Chapter XXII, p. 202
- Aristotle is the last Greek philosopher who faces the world cheerfully; after him, all have, in one form or another, a philosophy of retreat.
- Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy (1945), Book One, Part II, Ch. XXVI, p. 232
- Aristotle, so far as I know, was the first man to proclaim explicitly that man is a rational animal. His reason for this view was one which does not now seem very impressive; it was, that some people can do sums.
- Bertrand Russell, “An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish”, in Unpopular Essays (1950), p. 71
- Aristotle could have avoided the mistake of thinking that women have fewer teeth than men, by the simple device of asking Mrs Aristotle to keep her mouth open while he counted.
- Bertrand Russell, “An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish”, Unpopular Essays (1950).
- To modern educated people, it seems obvious that matters of fact are to be ascertained by observation, not by consulting ancient authorities. But this is an entirely modern conception, which hardly existed before the seventeenth century. Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives’ mouths. He said also that children would be healthier if conceived when the wind is in the north. One gathers that the two Mrs. Aristotles both had to run out and look at the weathercock every evening before going to bed. He states that a man bitten by a mad dog will not go mad, but any other animal will (Hiss. Am., 704a); that the bite of the shrewmouse is dangerous to horses, especially if the mouse is pregnant (ibid., 604b); that elephants suffering from insomnia can be cured by rubbing their shoulders with salt, olive oil, and warm water (ibid., 605a); and so on and so on. Nevertheless, classical dons, who have never observed any animal except the cat and the dog, continue to praise Aristotle for his fidelity to observation.
- Bertrand Russell, The Impact of Science on Society (1951), p. 7
- Socrates and Plato had no time for Athenian democracy, and wanted a revived aristocratic government for their city. But both were moral radicals; they thought ordinary morality was radically misguided, and that public opinion should be ignored when it was at odds with one’s conscience or reason. Things are very different in Aristotle. Plato’s concern for the balance of the soul was shared by Aristotle, but not his ethical radicalism.
- Alan Ryan, Introduction in Justice (1993) edited by Alan Ryan
- Justice is of two kinds, justice in distribution and justice in rectification. … Aristotle thinks primarily of setting things straight, and denies that rectificatory justice contains an element of ‘tit for tat’.
- Alan Ryan, Introduction in Justice (1993) edited by Alan Ryan
- Aristotle’s genius was for showing the ways in which we might construct the “best practicable state.” This was not mere practicality; the goals of political life are not wholly mundane. The polity comes into existence for the sake of mere life, but it continues to exist for the sake of the good life. The good life is richly characterized, involving as it does the pursuit of justice, the expansion of the human capacities used in political debate, and the development of all the public and private virtues that a successful state can shelter—military courage, marital fidelity, devotion to the physical and psychological welfare of our children, and so on indefinitely.
- Alan Ryan, On Politics: A History of Political Thought: From Herodotus to the Present (2012), Ch. 3 : Aristotle: Politics Is Not Philosophy
- Aristotle, who foresaw so many things, never dreamed of the social truth. Cuvier, whose sagacity is so highly lauded, was constrained to yield homage to the genius of Aristotle in Natural History; for myself, who am at this date in full possession of social truth, in politics Aristotle only inspires me with profound pity.
- Jules Sandeau, in Money-Bags and Titles: A Hit at the Follies of the Age (1850), Ch. XVIII, p. 185 (said by Timoleon to his father Levrault).
- The old Greek philosophy, which in Europe in the later middle ages was synonymous with the works of Aristotle, considered motion as a thing for which a cause must be found: a velocity required a force to produce and to maintain it. The great discovery of Galileo was that not velocity, but acceleration requires a force. This is the law of inertia of which the real content is: the natural phenomena are described by differential equations of the second order.
- Willem de Sitter, The Astronomical Aspect of the Theory of Relativity (1933)
- Men often speak of virtue without using the word but saying instead “the quality of life” or “the great society” or “ethical” or even “square.” But do we know what virtue is? Socrates arrived at the conclusion that it is the greatest good for a human being to make everyday speeches about virtue-apparently without ever finding a completely satisfactory definition of it. However, if we seek the most elaborate and least ambiguous answer to this truly vital question, we shall turn to Aristotle’s Ethics. There we read among other things that there is a virtue of the first order called magnanimity—the habit of claiming high honors for oneself with the understanding that one is worthy of them. We also read there that sense of shame is not a virtue: sense of shame is becoming for the young who, due to their immaturity, cannot help making mistakes, but not for mature and well-bred men who simply always do the right and proper thing. Wonderful as all this is-we have received a very different message from a very different quarter.
- Leo Strauss, “Niccolo Machiavelli”, in History of Political Philosophy (3rd ed., 1987) edited by Leo Strauss and Joseph Cropsey
- Aristotle… distinguished four sorts of explanatory factor… and in later centuries these came to be known as his ‘four causes’. The name is unfortunate, since nowadays we usually restrict the term ’cause’ to one of his four types… they would have been better called his ‘four becauses’—since he was concerned to distinguish, not the different varieties of cause and effect, but rather the different senses in which the question ‘Why?’ can be asked… [W]e could give four different answers, whose relevance would depend on our precise interpretation of the question. We could refer to: (i) The material constitution… or ‘From what?’… (ii) The form, essence, or ‘What was it?’… (iii) The precipitating cause or ‘By What?’… (iv) The end [destination or purpose], or ‘In aid of what?’… These four types of explanation are not necessarily rivals. …all four types can frequently be cited without inconsistency. Indeed, apart from a few phenomena… which have no function and so ‘just happen’, Aristotle thought all natural events called for explanation in all four ways.
- Stephen Toulmin, June Goodfield, The Architecture of Matter (1962)
- The metaphysical doctrine of ‘permanent essences’ drew empirical support from the success of Aristotle’s zoological theory of fixed species, which was its most convincing application to our actual experience of the world. …[T]he doctrine of fixed organic species simply exemplified, in the special sphere of biology, the permanent character of all ‘rationally intelligible’ entities. Conversely, Darwin demonstrated that Aristotle’s most favored examples failed to support… the metaphysical assumption on which orthodox Greek natural philosophy had been based. Species were not… permanent entities; the earlier ‘typological’ or ‘essentialist’ approach to taxonomy inherited from Aristotle misrepresented the long term history of living things. …However irrelevant the empirical details of Darwin’s work may be to general philosophy, the abstract form of his explanatory schema has a much broader significance. So, when Darwin and his successors showed that the whole zoological concepts of ‘species’ must be reanalysed in populational terms, their demonstration knocked away [a] prop from the traditional metaphysical debate.
- Stephen Toulmin, Human Understanding (1972) Vol. 1 The Collective Use and Evolution of Concepts.
- In matter-theory, as in astronomy, the Church’s commitment to Aristotle was in due course to prove an embarassment. In both branches of science his speculative distinction between terrestrial and celestial matter was insecure from the very beginning. His own most loyal commentator, Alexander of Aphrodisias… had already dreamt of a theory unifying all things, and John Philoponos… had rejected the distinction between terrestrial and celestial matter outright. Nevertheless, it was still an axiom of scholasticism almost a thousand years later.
- Stephen Toulmin, June Goodfield, The Architecture of Matter (1962)
- Aristotle’s works are full of platitudes in much the same way that Shakespeare’s Hamlet is full of quotations.
- J. O. Urmson, Aristotle’s Ethics, Blackwell, 1988, p. 71.
- “We’ve got to purge Aristotle from our system.”
“I’ve never read him so why do I have to purge him from my system?”
“It’s proof of his grip on Western Man that he dominates the thinking of people who have never heard of him.”
- Peter De Vries, Reuben, Reuben: A Novel (1984), p. 37; quoted in John B. Morrall’s Aristotle (2013), p. 12.
- Aristotle especially, both by speculation and observation… reached something like the modern idea of a succession of higher organizations from lower, and made the fruitful suggestion of “a perfecting principle” in Nature. With the coming in of Christian theology this tendency toward a yet truer theory of evolution was mainly stopped, but the old crude view remained…
- Andrew Dickson White, A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, Ch. 1 (1896)
- As man loses touch with his ‘inner being’, his instinctive depths, he finds himself trapped in the world of consciousness, that is to say, in the world of other people. Any poet knows this truth; when other people sicken him, he turns to hidden resources of power inside himself, and he knows then that other people don’t matter a damn. He knows the ‘secret life’ inside him is the reality; other people are mere shadows in comparison. but the ‘shadows’ themselves cling to one another. ‘Man is a political animal’, said Aristotle, telling one of the greatest lies in human history. Man has more in common with the hills, or with the stars, than with other men.
- Colin Wilson in The Mind Parasites, p. 170 (1967)
You must log in to post a comment.