Aristotle

Aristotle
384 B.C.
322 B.C.

Greek Philosopher, Student of Plato, Teacher of Alexander the Great, Scientist, Explored Physics, Metaphysics, Poetry, Theater, Music, Logic, Rhetoric, Linguistics, Politics, Government, Ethics, Biology and Zoology

Author Quotes

Happiness... must be some form of contemplation. But, being a man, one will also need external prosperity; for our nature is not self-sufficient for the purpose of contemplation, but our body also must be healthy and must have food and other attention. Still, we must not think that the man who is to be happy will need many things or great things... for self-sufficiency and action do not involve excess, and we do noble acts without ruling earth and sea.

Happiness, whether consisting in pleasure or virtue, or both, is more often found with those who are most highly cultivated in their mind and in their character, and have only a moderate share of external good, than among those who possess external good to a useless extent but are deficient in higher qualities; and this is not only matter of experience, but, if reflected upon, will easily appear to be in accordance with reason.

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.

Evil destroys even itself, and if it is complete becomes unbearable.

Equality does not seem to take the same form in acts of justice and in friendship; for in acts of justice what is equal in the primary sense is that which is in proportion to merit, while quantitative equality is secondary, but in friendship quantitative equality is primary and proportion to merit secondary.

Everything that we choose we choose for the sake of something else - except happiness, which is an end.

Between man and wife friendship seems to exist by nature; for man is naturally inclined to form couples.

Dignity consists not in possessing honors, but in deserving them.

Bashfulness is an ornament to youth, but a reproach to old age.

Benefactors seem to love those whom they benefit more than those who receive benefits love their benefactors.

All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth.

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.

All the irascible passions imply movement towards something... And if we wish to know the order of all the passions in the way of generation, love and hatred are first; desire and aversion, second; hope and despair, third; fear and daring, fourth; anger, fifth; sixth and last, joy and sadness, which follow from all the passions... yet so that love precedes hatred; desire precedes aversion; hope precedes despair; fear precedes daring; and joy precedes sadness.

All we do is done with an eye to something else.

All friendship is for the sake of good or of pleasure.

All that one gains by falsehood is, not to be believed when he speaks the truth.

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 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 impassable, mind as passive is destructible), and without it nothing thinks.

[Paraphrase] List of virtues: courage, temperance, liberality, magnificence, pride, good temper, friendliness, truthfulness, wittiness, shame, justice.

A likely impossibility is always preferable to an unconvincing possibility.

Author Picture
First Name
Aristotle
Birth Date
384 B.C.
Death Date
322 B.C.
Bio

Greek Philosopher, Student of Plato, Teacher of Alexander the Great, Scientist, Explored Physics, Metaphysics, Poetry, Theater, Music, Logic, Rhetoric, Linguistics, Politics, Government, Ethics, Biology and Zoology