Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Aristotle NULL

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

"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."

"Inferiors revolt in order that they may be equal, and equals that they may be superior."

"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."

"It is by education I learn to do by choice, what other men do by the constraint of fear."

"It is better for a city to be governed by a good man than even by good laws."

"It is by education I learn to do by choice, what others men do by the constraint of fear."

"It is not possessions but the desires of mankind which require to be equalized."

"It is not sufficient to know what one ought to say, but one must also know how to say it."

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

"It is more difficult to organize peace than to win a war; but the fruits of victory will be lost if the peace is not well organized."

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

"It was through the feeling of wonder that men now and at first began to philosophize."

"Lack of experience diminishes our power of taking a comprehensive view of the admitted facts. Hence those who dwell in intimate association with nature and its phenomena grow more and more able to formulate, as the foundation of their theories, principles such as to admit of a wide and coherent development: 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."

"It would be wrong to put friendship before truth."

"Law is a form of order, and good law must necessarily mean good order."

"Life is doing things, not making things."

"Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting in a particular way."

"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."

"Man is a political creature and one whose nature is to live with others."

"Men regard it as their right to return evil for evil - and, if they cannot, feel they have lost their liberty."

"Many a friendship is lost for lack of speaking."

"Nature creates nothing without a purpose, but always the best possible in each kind of living creature by reference to its essential constitution. Accordingly if one way is better than another that is the way of Nature."

"Nature does nothing without purpose."

"Most people would rather get than give affection."

"Nature flies from the infinite, for the infinite is unending or imperfect, and Nature ever seeks an end."

"No one loves the man he fears."

"No one will dare maintain that it is better to do injustice that to bear it."

"No one will dare maintain that it is better to do injustice than to bear it."

"Philosophy is the science which considers truth."

"No one would choose a friendless existence on condition of having all the other things in the world."

"Revolutions are not about trifles, but spring from trifles."

"Some men are just as sure of the truth as are others of what they know."

"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."

"Shame is an ornament to the young, a disgrace to the old, since an old man ought not to do anything of which he need be ashamed."

"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."

"Praise invariably implies a reference to a higher standard."

"States require property, but property, even though living beings are included in it, is no part of a state; for a state is not a community of living beings only, but a community of equals, aiming at the best life possible. Now, 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."

"Suffering becomes beautiful when anybody bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility but through greatness of mind."

"Since there must always be motion without intermission, there must necessarily be something, one thing or it may be a plurality, that first imparts motion, and this first movement must be unmoved."

"Teachers, who educate children, deserve more honor than parents who merely give them birth; for the latter provided mere life, while the former ensure a good life."

"The end of labor is to gain leisure."

"The activity of philosophic wisdom is admittedly the pleasantest of virtuous activities; at all events the pursuit of it is thought to offer pleasures marvelous for their purity and their enduringness, and it is to be expected that those who know ill pass their time more pleasantly than those who inquire. And the self-sufficiency that is spoken of must belong most to the contemplative activity."

"The end of democracy is freedom; of oligarchy, wealth; of aristocracy, the maintenance of education and national institutions; of tyranny, the protection of the tyrant."

"The activity of God, which surpasses all others in blessedness, must be contemplative; and of human activities, therefore, that which is most akin to this must be most of the nature of happiness."

"The life of children, as much as that of intemperate men, is wholly governed by their desires."

"The life of animals, then, may be divided into two acts - procreation and feeding; for on these two acts all their interests and life concentrate... And whatsoever is in conformity with nature is pleasant, and all animals pursue pleasure in keeping with their nature."

"The one exclusive sign of a thorough knowledge is the power of teaching."

"The man with a host of friends who slaps on the back everybody he meets is regarded as the friend of nobody."

"The middle course of life is the best."

"The physician heals, Nature makes well."