Quotes by Aristotle

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Aristotle (384 BCE - March 7, 322 BCE) was an ancient Greek philosopher, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. He wrote on diverse subjects, including physics, poetry, biology and zoology, logic, rhetoric, politics and government, and ethics. Along with Socrates and Plato, Aristotle was one of the most influential of ancient Greek philosophers. They transformed Presocratic Greek philosophy into the foundations of Western philosophy as we know it. Some consider Plato and Aristotle to have founded two of the most important schools of Ancient philosophy; others consider Aristotelianism as a development and concretization of Plato's insights. more

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Nature does nothing uselessly.

Melancholy men are of all others the most witty.
The greatest virtues are those which are most useful to other persons.
All men by nature desire to know.
Probable impossibilities are to be preferred to improbable possibilities.
The one exclusive sign of thorough knowledge is the power of teaching.
Equality consists in the same treatment of similar persons.
The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold.
Memory is the scribe of the soul.
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.
The law is reason, free from passion.
Man is by nature a political animal.
What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.
Character is that which reveals moral purpose, exposing the class of things a man chooses or avoids.
At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst.
We give up leisure in order that we may have leisure, just as we go to war in order that we may have peace.
It is the mark of an instructed mind to rest satisfied with the degree of precision which the nature of the subject admits and not to seek exactness when only an approximation of the truth is possible.
The young are permanently in a state resembling intoxication.
Great men are always of a nature originally melancholy.
It is Homer who has chiefly taught other poets the art of telling lies skillfully.
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.
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.
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Plato is dear to me, but dearer still is truth.
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.
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.
The soul never thinks without a picture.
The end of labor is to gain leisure.
A great city is not to be confounded with a populous one.
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.
Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a particular way. We become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions.
One thing alone not even God can do,To make undone whatever hath been done.
The true end of tragedy is to purify the passions.
It is better to rise from life as from a banquet -- neither thirsty nor drunken.
[The educated differ from the uneducated] as much as the living from the dead.
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
It's best to rise from life like a banquet, neither thirsty or drunken.
Homer has taught all other poets the are of telling lies skillfully.
The virtue of justice consists in moderation, as regulated by wisdom.
If happiness is activity in accordance with excellence, it is reasonable that it should be in accordance with the highest excellence.
Cruel is the strife of brothers.
Every rascal is not a thief, but every thief is a rascal.
What lies in our power to do, lies in our power not to do.
It was through the feeling of wonder that men now and at first began to philosophize.
I have gained this by philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law.
Of all the varieties of virtues, liberalism is the most beloved.
All virtue is summed up in dealing justly.
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.
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.
Therefore, the good of man must be the end of the science of politics.
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.
Praise invariably implies a reference to a higher standard.
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.
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.
Bad men are full of repentance.
No one will dare maintain that it is better to do injustice than to bear it.
In revolutions the occasions may be trifling but great interest are at stake.
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.

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