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

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

"The states of virtue by which the soul possesses truth by way of affirmation or denial are five in number, i.e., art, scientific knowledge, practical wisdom, philosophical wisdom, intuitive wisdom: we do not included judgment and opinion because in these we may be mistaken."

"The quality of life is determined by its activities."

"The test of any government is the extent to which it increases the good in the people."

"The search for truth is one way hard, and in another way easy. For it is evident that no one can master it fully, nor yet miss it wholly. But each adds a little to our knowledge of nature, and from all the facts assembled, there arises a certain grandeur."

"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."

"There was never a genius without a tincture of insanity."

"There is a foolish corner even in the brain of the sage."

"Thief knows thief, and wolf wolf."

"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."

"Those who desire honor from good men, and men who know, are aiming at confirming their own opinion of themselves; they delight in honor, therefore, because they believe in their own goodness on the strength of the judgment of those who speak about them."

"To learn is a natural pleasure, not confined to philosophers, but common to all men."

"We become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions."

"War must be for the sake of peace, business for the sake of leisure, and all things necessary and useful for the sake of things noble."

"Time is a measure of motion and of being moved."

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an art, but a habit."

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

"Well done is half begun."

"We can not learn without pain....The intention makes the crime...I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is the victory over self."

"What a man does should not worry his neighbor."

"Wicked men obey from fear; good men, from love."

"Where there is no middle class, and the poor greatly exceed in number, troubles arise, and the state soon comes to an end."

"When we deliberate it is about means and not ends."

"Young men have strong passions, and tend to gratify them indiscriminately... They have as yet met with few disappointments. Their lives are mainly spent not in memory but in expectation; for expectation refers to the future, memory to the past, and youth has a long future before it and a short past behind it: on the first day of one’s life one has nothing at all to remember, and can only look forward... They would always rather do noble deeds than useful ones: their lives are regulated more by moral feeling than by reasoning; and whereas reasoning leads us to choose what is useful, moral goodness leads us to choose what is noble. They are fonder of their friends, intimates, and companions than older men are, because they like spending their days in the company of others, and have not yet come to value either their friends or anything else by their usefulness to themselves. All their mistakes are in the direction of doing things excessively and vehemently. They disobey Chilon’s precept by overdoing everything; they love too much and hate too much, and the same thing with everything else. They think they know everything, and are always quite sure about it."

"Wit is cultured insolence."

"With a true view all data harmonize, but with a false one the facts soon clash."

"Youth is easily deceived because it is quick to hope."

"All human beings by nature have an urge to know."

"All men by nature desire to know."

"A common danger unites even the bitterest enemies."

"All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind."

"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 –"

"All virtue is summed up in dealing justly."

"Certain pains are bad in an absolute manner, others are bad only in so far as they deprive us of some good."

"God is a living being, eternal, and infinitely good, since life and eternity without interruption or pause is God’s. Actually, this is God."

"Every action must be due to one or other of seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reasoning, anger, or appetite."

"Happiness does not consist in pastimes and amusements but in virtuous activities."

"Happiness is found in the golden middle of two extremes."

"Happiness itself is sufficient excuse. Beautiful things are right and true; so beautiful actions are those pleasing to the gods. Wise people 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 person's own breast. Trust thyself."

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

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

"It is deliberate purpose that constitutes wickedness and criminal guilt."

"Man is by nature a political animal."

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

"Mind seems to be an independent substance implanted within the soul and to be incapable of being destroyed."

"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."

"Nature does nothing without purpose or uselessly."

"Nature… makes nothing in vain."

"Soul is actuality in the sense in which knowledge is so, for the presence of the soul is compatible both with sleep and with waking, and waking is analogous to the exercise of knowledge… the soul is the first actualization of a natural body potentially having life."

"No government can stand which is not founded upon justice."