Aristotle

Aristotle
Aristotle
  • Born:
  • Nationality: Greek
  • Profession: Philosopher

210

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68

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202

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Aristotle was an ancient Greek philosopher and scientist born in the city of Stagira, Chalkidiki, in the north of Classical Greece. Along with Plato, he is considered the "Father of Western Philosophy". Aristotle provided a complex and harmonious synthesis of the various existing philosophies prior to him, including those of Socrates and Plato, and it was above all from his teachings that the West inherited its fundamental intellectual lexicon, as well as problems and methods of inquiry. As a result, his philosophy has exerted a unique influence on almost every form of knowledge in the West and it continues to be central to the contemporary philosophical discussion.

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[Youth] have exalted notions, because they have not yet been humbled by life or learned its necessary limitations.... 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 love too much, hate too much; they think they know everything: in fact, this is why they overdo everything. Civil Disorder, Riots, Protests & Demonstrations
… these riches, that are derived from this art of wealth-getting, are truly unlimited; for just as the art of medicine is without limit in respect to health, and each of the arts is without limit in respect of its end... Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
A democracy is a government in the hands of men of low birth, no property, and vulgar employments. Democracies & Republics
A democracy, when put to the strain, grows weak; and it is supplanted by oligarchy [rule by the few]. Democracies & Republics
A man who aspires to any high office should have three qualifications: first, he should be prepared to support the constitution of his country; second, he should have a special aptitude for the office he desires; and third, he should have virtue and justice as they are understood by his fellow citizens. Detriments & Qualifications ;Public Office: Benefits
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. Religion & God ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships
All virtue is summed up by just dealing. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
An unbridled democracy is exactly similar to a tyranny. Its objects and instruments are the worst, and both are equally served by the tamest of mankind. It is always to lord it as a sovereign; it therefore has its flatterers in the shape of demagogues. Ancient customs must be done away with; ancient ties, civil and sacred, must be broken; everything must be changed according to new and false theories; and the result is an assimilation of democratic to tyrannical government, in its habits and modes of action. Democracies & Republics
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. Time ;Power ;Human Nature
Anyone can become angry. That is easy, but to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way, this is not easy. Leaders & Leadership
Aristocracy is that form of government in which education and discipline are qualifications for suffrage or office holding. Leaders & Leadership
Barbarians are by nature slaves rather than subjects. Citizenship & Patriotism ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
Democracy arose from men thinking that if they are equal in any respect they are equal in all respects. Democracies & Republics
Democracy is the form of government in which the free are rulers. Democracies & Republics
Education is the best provision for old age. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Elderly, Aging. Old Age, Social Security & Pensions
Even when laws have been written down, they ought not always to remain unaltered. Legislating & Legislative Process
Everyone thinks chiefly of his own, hardly ever of the public interest. Loyalty & Loyalty Oaths
Extreme poverty lowers the character of the democracy. Measures should be taken which will give them [the poor] lasting prosperity. And as this is equally the interest of all classes, the proceeds of the public revenues should be accumulated and distributed among its poor, if possible in such quantities as may enable them to purchase a little farm ... or make a beginning in trade or husbandry. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
For the sake of advantage which is to be gained from the public revenues and from office, men want to be always in office. Detriments & Qualifications ;Public Office: Benefits
From deformed parents, deformed offspring come to be. Families, Children & Parenting
Good laws, if they are not obeyed, do not constitute good government. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander. Military & Veterans
He who has the power to take part in the deliberative or judicial administration of any state is said by us to be a citizen of that state. Citizenship & Patriotism
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. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
It is best that laws should be so constructed as to leave as little as possible to the decision of those who judge. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
it is no easy task to find the middle. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen. Citizenship & Patriotism
It is possible to fail in many ways...while to succeed is possible only in one way. Human Nature
Law is order, and good law is good order. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Liberty and equality ... will best be attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost. Democracies & Republics
Man is ... a political animal. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Men are marked out from the moment of birth to rule or to be ruled. Leaders & Leadership
Men create gods after their own image, not only with regard to their form but with regard to their mode of life. Life ;Religion & God
Men regard it as their right to return evil for evil—and if they cannot, feel they have lost their liberty. Human Nature
Men start revolutionary changes for reasons connected with their private lives. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
No man can live well, or indeed live at all, unless he be provided with necessaries. Welfare
No one loves the man whom he fears. Power
No one should have more than five times the wealth of the poorest person. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
Oligarchy is to the advantage of the rich. Democracy to the advantage of the poor. Democracies & Republics
Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history; for poetry expresses the universal, and history only the particular. History ;Literature, Writers & Writing ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Politics is the deliberation of the question: How ought we to order our lives? Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Poverty is the parent of revolution. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
Quite often good things have harmful consequences… men have been ruined by their money or killed by their courage. Human Nature
Readiness to change from old law to new law enfeebles the power of the law. Legislating & Legislative Process
Revolutions break out when opposite parties, the rich and the poor, are equally balanced, and there is little or nothing between them. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
That judges of important causes should hold office for life is not a good thing, for the mind grows old as well as the body. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The basis of a democratic state is liberty. Freedom & Liberty
The best political community is formed by citizens of the middle class. Miscellaneous
The elections to the various offices Solon enacted should be by lot, out of candidates selected by each of the tribes. Each tribe selected ten candidates for the nine archonships, and among these the lot was cast Voters, Voting & Elections
The good of man must be the goal of the science of politics. Welfare ;Social Sciences
The law is reason unaffected by desire. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The legislator should direct his attention above all to the education of youth. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
The man who gets angry at the right things and with the right people, and in the right way and at the right time and for the right length of time, is commended. Human Nature
The rich are few everywhere, the poor many. Poverty
The trade of the petty usurer is hated with most reason: it makes a profit from currency itself, instead of making it from the process which currency was meant to serve. Their common characteristic is obviously their sordid avarice. Business, Commerce & Finance
The whole is more than the sum of its parts. Miscellaneous
Those who think that all virtue is to be found in their own party principles push matters to extremes: they do not consider that disproportion destroys a state. Political Parties & Machines
To the size of the state there is a limit, as there is to plants, animals and implements, for none of these retain their facility when they are too large. States. Nations & Nationhood
Virtue, like art, constantly deals with what is hard to do, and the harder the task the better the success. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
We make war that we may live in peace. War & Peace
What difference does it make whether the women rule or the rulers are ruled by women? The result is the same. Discrimination & Prejudice
When several villages are united in a single complete community, large enough to be nearly or quite self-sufficing, the state comes into existence. States. Nations & Nationhood
Where some people are very wealthy and others have nothing, the result will be either extreme democracy or absolute oligarchy, or despotism will come from either of those excesses. Management & Managing Government
Where the laws are not supreme, there demagogues spring up .... The law ought to be supreme over all. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
While most of those who hold that the whole heaven is finite say that the earth lies at the center, the philosophers of Italy, the so-called Pythagoreans, assert the contrary. They say that in the middle there is fire, and that the earth is one of the stars, and by its circular motion round the center produces night and day Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Youth is easily deceived, because it is quick to hope. Families, Children & Parenting
A constitution is the arrangement of magistracies in a state.
A friend to all is a friend to none. Friendship
A great city is not to be confounded with a populous one.
A sense is what has the power of receiving into itself the sensible forms of things without the matter, in the way in which a piece of wax takes on the impress of a signet-ring without the iron or gold. Power
A statement is persuasive and credible either because it is directly self-evident or because it appears to be proved from other statements that are so.
A tragedy is a representation of an action that is whole and complete and of a certain magnitude. A whole is what has a beginning and middle and end.
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. Religion & God
All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire. Nature
All men by nature desire knowledge. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Nature
All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.
All virtue is summed up in dealing justly.
At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst.
Bad men are full of repentance.
Bashfulness is an ornament to youth, but a reproach to old age.
Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms.
Bring your desires down to your present means. Increase them only when your increased means permit.
But if nothing but soul, or in soul mind, is qualified to count, it is impossible for there to be time unless there is soul, but only that of which time is an attribute, i.e. if change can exist without soul. Time
Change in all things is sweet.
Character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion.
Courage is a mean with regard to fear and confidence.
Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.
Democracy arises out of the notion that those who are equal in any respect are equal in all respects; because men are equally free, they claim to be absolutely equal. Respect ;Equality & Equal Opportunity
Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
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. Life ;Happiness & Unhappiness ;Government
Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them.
Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
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. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Excellence, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean, relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it.
Fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil.
For as the eyes of bats are to the blaze of day, so is the reason in our soul to the things which are by nature most evident of all. Nature
For one swallow does not make a summer, nor does one day; and so too one day, or a short time, does not make a man blessed and happy. Time
For though we love both the truth and our friends, piety requires us to honor the truth first. Truth ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Friendship is essentially a partnership. Friendship
Happiness depends upon ourselves. Happiness & Unhappiness
He who can be, and therefore is, another's, and he who participates in reason enough to apprehend, but not to have, is a slave by nature. Nature
He who hath many friends hath none. Friendship
He who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god. Society ;Religion & God
Hence poetry is something more philosophic and of graver import than history, since its statements are rather of the nature of universals, whereas those of history are singulars. Nature ;History ;Literature, Writers & Writing
Homer has taught all other poets the art of telling lies skillfully. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Hope is a waking dream. Hope
I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.
I have gained this from philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law.
If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in government to the utmost. Government ;Equality & Equal Opportunity
If one way be better than another, that you may be sure is nature's way. Nature
In a democracy the poor will have more power than the rich, because there are more of them, and the will of the majority is supreme. Power
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous. Nature
In constructing the plot and working it out with the proper diction, the poet should place the scene, as far as possible, before his eyes. In this way, seeing everything with the utmost vividness, as if he were a spectator of the action, he will discover what is in keeping with it, and be most unlikely to overlook inconsistencies.
In making a speech one must study three points: first, the means of producing persuasion; second, the language; third the proper arrangement of the various parts of the speech.
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. Life
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 best to rise from life as from a banquet, neither thirsty nor drunken. Life
It is clearly better that 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. Business, Commerce & Finance
It is Homer who has chiefly taught other poets the art of telling lies skillfully. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
It is just that we should be grateful, not only to those with whose views we may agree, but also to those who have expressed more superficial views; for these also contributed something, by developing before us the powers of thought.
It is not once nor twice but times without number that the same ideas make their appearance in the world.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
It is unbecoming for young men to utter maxims.
Jealousy is both reasonable and belongs to reasonable men, while envy is base and belongs to the base, for the one makes himself get good things by jealousy, while the other does not allow his neighbour to have them through envy.
Long-lived persons have one or two lines which extend through the whole hand; short-lived persons have two lines not extending through the whole hand.
Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Man is by nature a political animal. Nature ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Man is the only animal capable of reasoning, though many others possess the faculty of memory and instruction in common with him.
Men are swayed more by fear than by reverence.
Misfortune shows those who are not really friends.
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.
Most people would rather give than get affection.
Mothers are fonder than fathers of their children because they are more certain they are their own.
My best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake. Friendship
Nature does nothing in vain. Nature
No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness.
No notice is taken of a little evil, but when it increases it strikes the eye.
No one would choose a friendless existence on condition of having all the other things in the world.
Of all the varieties of virtues, liberalism is the most beloved.
Our judgments when we are pleased and friendly are not the same as when we are pained and hostile.
Perfect friendship is the friendship of men who are good, and alike in excellence; for these wish well alike to each other qua good, and they are good in themselves. Friendship
Personal beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of reference.
Persuasion is achieved by the speaker's personal character when the speech is so spoken as to make us think him credible. We believe good men more fully and more readily than others: this is true generally whatever the question is, and absolutely true where exact certainty is impossible and opinions are divided.
Persuasion is clearly a sort of demonstration, since we are most fully persuaded when we consider a thing to have been demonstrated.
Piety requires us to honor truth above our friends. Truth
Plato is dear to me, but dearer still is truth. Truth
Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Politicians also have no leisure, because they are always aiming at something beyond political life itself, power and glory, or happiness. Life ;Happiness & Unhappiness ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Probable impossibilities are to be preferred to improbable possibilities.
Quality is not an act, it is a habit. Motivation
Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms.
Rhetoric may be defined as the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion. This is not a function of any other art. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Some animals are cunning and evil-disposed, as the fox; others, as the dog, are fierce, friendly, and fawning. Some are gentle and easily tamed, as the elephant; some are susceptible of shame, and watchful, as the goose. Some are jealous and fond of ornament, as the peacock.
Some animals utter a loud cry. Some are silent, and others have a voice, which in some cases may be expressed by a word; in others, it cannot. There are also noisy animals and silent animals, musical and unmusical kinds, but they are mostly noisy about the breeding season.
Some kinds of animals burrow in the ground; others do not. Some animals are nocturnal, as the owl and the bat; others use the hours of daylight. There are tame animals and wild animals. Man and the mule are always tame; the leopard and the wolf are invariably wild, and others, as the elephant, are easily tamed.
Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility but through greatness of mind.
Temperance is a mean with regard to pleasures.
The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
The aim of the wise is not to secure pleasure, but to avoid pain.
The beginning of reform is not so much to equalize property as to train the noble sort of natures not to desire more, and to prevent the lower from getting more.
The duty of rhetoric is to deal with such matters as we deliberate upon without arts or systems to guide us, in the hearing of persons who cannot take in at a glance a complicated argument or follow a long chain of reasoning.
The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living from the dead.
The end of labor is to gain leisure. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
The energy of the mind is the essence of life. Life
The eyes of some persons are large, others small, and others of a moderate size; the last-mentioned are the best. And some eyes are projecting, some deep-set, and some moderate, and those which are deep-set have the most acute vision in all animals; the middle position is a sign of the best disposition.
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.
The gods too are fond of a joke.
The greatest virtues are those which are most useful to other persons.
The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances. Life
The law is reason, free from passion.
The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold. 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. Nature
The most perfect political community is one in which the middle class is in control, and outnumbers both of the other classes.
The one exclusive sign of thorough knowledge is the power of teaching. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Power
The poet, being an imitator like a painter or any other artist, must of necessity imitate one of three objects - things as they were or are, things as they are said or thought to be, or things as they ought to be. The vehicle of expression is language - either current terms or, it may be, rare words or metaphors.
The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
The secret to humor is surprise. Humor
The soul never thinks without a picture.
The state comes into existence for the sake of life and continues to exist for the sake of good life. Life
The true and the approximately true are apprehended by the same faculty; it may also be noted that men have a sufficient natural instinct for what is true, and usually do arrive at the truth. Hence the man who makes a good guess at truth is likely to make a good guess at probabilities. Truth
The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival. Life ;Power
The virtue of justice consists in moderation, as regulated by 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 worthwhile to live. Life
The young are permanently in a state resembling intoxication.
There is no great genius without some touch of madness. Intelligence, Spying, Espionage & Covert Operations
There was never a genius without a tincture of madness.
Therefore, the good of man must be the end of the science of politics. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Those that know, do. Those that understand, teach.
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. Life ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Thou wilt find rest from vain fancies if thou doest every act in life as though it were thy last. Life
To attain any assured knowledge about the soul is one of the most difficult things in the world. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
To run away from trouble is a form of cowardice and, while it is true that the suicide braves death, he does it not for some noble object but to escape some ill. Death
We are not angry with people we fear or respect, as long as we fear or respect them; you cannot be afraid of a person and also at the same time angry with him. Time ;Respect
We become just by performing just action, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave action.
We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths; in feelings, not in figures on a dial. We should count time by heart throbs. He most lives who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best. Time
We must no more ask whether the soul and body are one than ask whether the wax and the figure impressed on it are one.
We praise a man who feels angry on the right grounds and against the right persons and also in the right manner at the right moment and for the right length of time. Time
Well begun is half done.
What it lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not to do. Power
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.
Whether if soul did not exist time would exist or not, is a question that may fairly be asked; for if there cannot be someone to count there cannot be anything that can be counted, so that evidently there cannot be number; for number is either what has been, or what can be, counted. Time
Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god. Religion & God
Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit. Friendship ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Wit is educated insolence. Intelligence, Spying, Espionage & Covert Operations
Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods.
You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.
Youth is easily deceived because it is quick to hope. Hope