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Quotations --- Aristotle



Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.


It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.


Happiness depends upon ourselves.


Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.


Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.


No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.


Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.


 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.


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.


The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living differ from the dead.


A friend to all is a friend to none.


To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.


Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.


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.


He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.


Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.


The antidote for fifty enemies is one friend.


I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies, for the hardest victory is over self.


Whosoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast or a god.


The high-minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think.


The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.


Happiness is the settling of the soul into its most appropriate spot.


Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.


Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.


It is not enough to win a war; it is more important to organize the peace.


All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reason, passion, and desire.


Learning is not child's play; we cannot learn without pain.


Wise men speak when they have something to say, fools speak because they have to say something.


Philosophy can make people sick.


(The man of virtue) 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.


The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.


We must be neither cowardly nor rash but courageous.


The more you know, the more you know you don't know.


He who is to be a good ruler must have first been ruled.


The secret to humor is surprise.


The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law.


Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history; for poetry expresses the universal, and history only the particular.


Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.


The aim of the wise is not to secure pleasure, but to avoid pain.


All Earthquakes and Disasters are warnings; there’s too much corruption in the world.


Time crumbles things; everything grows old under the power of Time and is forgotten through the lapse of Time.


To lead an orchestra, you must turn your back on the crowd.


Through discipline comes freedom.


The soul never thinks without a mental picture.


Men create gods after their own image, not only with regard to their form, but with regard to their mode of life.


“...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....”


Where your talents and the needs of the world cross; there lies your vocation.


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.


Happiness belongs to the self sufficient.


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.


One swallow does not make a summer,
neither does one fine day;
similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.


Wit is educated insolence.


Without friends, no one would want to live, even if he had all other goods.


To write well, express yourself like the common people, but think like a wise man.


The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.


For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.


It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.


Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in the consciousness that we deserve them.


The energy of the mind is the essence of life.


It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen.


All men by nature desire knowledge.


All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.


Happiness is a state of activity.


Misfortune shows those who are not really friends.


All persons ought to endeavor to follow what is right, and not what is established.


We make war that we may live in peace.


The Law is Reason free from Passion.


A friend is a second self.


In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.


He who cannot be a good follower cannot be a good leader.


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.


We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.


Character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion.


Mothers are fonder than fathers of their children because they are more certain they are their own.


Nature does nothing uselessly.


Great men are always of a nature originally melancholy.


Learning is an ornament in prosperity, a refuge in adversity, and a provision in old age.


Comedy aims at representing men as worse, Tragedy as better than in actual life.


Fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil.


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.


Youth is easily deceived because it is quick to hope.


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


Man is a goal-seeking animal. His life only has meaning if he is reaching out and striving for his goals.


I have gained this by philosophy; that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law.


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 best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake.


Whatever lies within our power to do lies also within our power not to do.


It is simplicity that makes the uneducated more effective than the educated when addressing popular audiences.


It is of the nature of desire not to be satisfied, and most men live only for the gratification of it.


There is an ideal of excellence for any particular craft or occupation; similarly there must be an excellence 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 excellence will we have lives blessed with happiness.


For though we love both the truth and our friends, piety requires us to honor the truth first.


If you would understand anything, observe its beginning and its development.


He who hath many friends hath none.


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.


The least deviation from truth will be multiplied later.


Young people are in a condition like permanent intoxication, because life is sweet and they are growing.


It is not once nor twice but times without number that the same ideas make their appearance in the world.


It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.


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 worth while to live. He is of a disposition to do men service, though he is ashamed to have a service done to him. To confer a kindness is a mark of superiority; to receive one is a mark of subordination... He does not take part in public displays... He is open in his dislikes and preferences; he talks and acts frankly, because of his contempt for men and things... He is never fired with admiration, since there is nothing great in his eyes. He cannot live in complaisance with others, except it be a friend; complaisance is the characteristic of a slave... He never feels malice, and always forgets and passes over injuries... He is not fond of talking... It is no concern of his that he should be praised, or that others should be blamed. He does not speak evil of others, even of his enemies, unless it be to themselves. His carriage is sedate, his voice deep, his speech measured; he is not given to hurry, for he is concerned about only a few things; he is not prone to vehemence, for he thinks nothing very important. A shrill voice and hasty steps come to a man through care... He bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of his circumstances, like a skillful general who marshals his limited forces with the strategy of war... 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.


We give up leisure in order that we may have leisure, just as we go to war in order that we may have peace.


The weak are always anxious for justice and equality. The strong pay no heed to either.


Man is by nature a political animal.


We become brave by doing brave acts.


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.


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.


Bad people...are in conflict with themselves; they desire one thing and do another, like the incontinent who choose harmful pleasures instead of what they themselves believe to be good.


Nature abhors a vacuum.


We are what we repeatively do. Success is not an action but a habit.


Those who cannot bravely face danger are the slaves of their attackers.


Happiness is a quality of the soul...not a function of one's material circumstances.


We acquire a particular quality by acting in a particular way.


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.


In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge.


Without virtue, man is most unholy and savage, and worst in regard to sex and eating.


Even when laws have been written down, they ought not always to remain unaltered.


With the truth, all given facts harmonize; but with what is false, the truth soon hits a wrong note.


The mathematical sciences particularly exhibit order, symmetry and limitations; and these are the greatest forms of the beautiful.


At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst.


The guest will judge better of a feast than the cook.


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.


Evil brings men together.


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.


A courageous person is one who faces fearful things as he ought and as reason directs for the sake of what is noble.


We should behave to our friends as we would wish our friends behave to us.


The self-indulgent man craves for all pleasant things... and is led by his appetite to choose these at the cost of everything else.”


Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms.


“Such [communistic] legislation may have a specious appearance of benevolence; men readily listen to it, and 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. Indeed, we see that there is much more quarrelling among those who have all things in common, though there are not many of them when compared with the vast numbers who have private property.”


“the greater the number of owners, the less the respect for common property. People are much more careful of their personal possessions than of those owned communally; they exercise care over common property only in so far as they are personally affected.”


“When states are democratically governed according to law, there are no demagogues, and the best citizens are securely in the saddle; but where the laws are not sovereign, there you find demagogues. The people become a monarch... such people, in its role as a monarch, not being controlled by law, aims at sole power and becomes like a master.”


“The many are more incorruptible than the few; they are like the greater quantity of water which is less easily corrupted than a little.”


Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man.



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