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Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Aristotle. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Aristotle

Aristotle (Greek: Ἀριστοτέλης Aristotélēs, pronounced [aristotélɛːs]; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Lyceum, the Peripatetic school of philosophy, and the Aristotelian tradition. His writings cover many subjects including physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, aesthetics, poetry, theatre, music, rhetoric, psychology, linguistics, economics, politics, meteorology, geology and government. Aristotle provided a complex synthesis of the various philosophies existing prior to him. It was above all from his teachings that the West inherited its 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 a subject of contemporary philosophical discussion.

Little is known about his life. Aristotle was born in the city of Stagira in Northern Greece. His father, Nicomachus, died when Aristotle was a child, and he was brought up by a guardian. At seventeen or eighteen years of age he joined Plato's Academy in Athens and remained there until the age of thirty-seven (c. 347 BC). Shortly after Plato died, Aristotle left Athens and, at the request of Philip II of Macedon, tutored Alexander the Great beginning in 343 BC. He established a library in the Lyceum which helped him to produce many of his hundreds of books on papyrus scrolls.

Though Aristotle wrote many elegant treatises and dialogues for publication, only around a third of his original output has survived, none of it intended for publication.\n\nAristotle's views on physical science profoundly shaped medieval scholarship. Their influence extended from Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages into the Renaissance, and were not replaced systematically until the Enlightenment and theories such as classical mechanics were developed. Some of Aristotle's zoological observations found in his biology, such as on the hectocotyl (reproductive) arm of the octopus, were disbelieved until the 19th century. His works contain the earliest known formal study of logic, studied by medieval scholars such as Peter Abelard and John Buridan. Aristotle's influence on logic also continued well into the 19th century.

He influenced Judeo-Islamic philosophies (800–1400) during the Middle Ages, as well as Christian theology, especially the Neoplatonism of the Early Church and the scholastic tradition of the Catholic Church. Aristotle was revered among medieval Muslim scholars as "The First Teacher" and among medieval Christians like Thomas Aquinas as simply "The Philosopher". His ethics, though always influential, gained renewed interest with the modern advent of virtue ethics. Aristotle has been called "the father of logic", "the father of biology", "the father of political science", the "father of zoology", "the father of scientific method", "the father of rhetoric", and "the father of meteorology".


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Shame is an ornament of the young; a disgrace of the old.

--Aristotle
photo of author Aristotle with quote

Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting in a particular way. We become just by performing just action, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave action.

--Aristotle
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A person's life persuades better than his word.

--Aristotle
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Art completes what nature cannot bring to finish. The artist gives us knowledge of nature's unrealized ends.

--Aristotle
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Music has a power of forming the character, and should therefore be introduced into the education of the young.

--Aristotle
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Fate of empires depends on the education of youth.

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

--Aristotle
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It is during our darkest moments that ew must focus to see the light.

--Aristotle
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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.

--Aristotle
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Every great genius has an admixture of madness.

--Aristotle
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Teachers, who educate children, deserve more honor than parents, who merely gave them birth; for the latter provided mere life, while the former ensured a good life.

--Aristotle
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Equity is that idea of justice which contravenes the written law.

--Aristotle
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Emotions of any kind can be evoked by melody and rhythm; therefore music has the power to form character.

--Aristotle
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The first principle of all action is leisure.

--Aristotle
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Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them.

--Aristotle
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Happiness depends on ourselves.

--Aristotle
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The good of man is the active exercise of his souls faculties in conformity with excellence or virtue, or if there be several human excellences or virtues, in conformity with the best and most perfect among them.

--Aristotle
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What is common to many is least taken care of, for all men have greater regard for what is their own than what they possess in common with others.

--Aristotle
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Tragedy is a representation of action that is worthy of serious attention, complete in itself and of some magnitude bringing about by means of pity and fear the purging of such emotions.

--Aristotle
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Character is that which reveals moral purpose, exposing the class of things a man chooses or avoids.

--Aristotle
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Anything whose presence or absence makes no discernible difference is no essential part of the whole.

--Aristotle
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What lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not to do.

--Aristotle
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It is the repeated performance of just and temperate actions that produces virtue.

--Aristotle
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For through wondering human beings now and in the beginning have been led to philosophizing.

--Aristotle
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Virtue is a state apt to exercise deliberate choice, being in the relative mean, determined by reason , and as a man of practical wisdom would determine...In respect of fears and confidence or boldness, the Mean state is Courage.

--Aristotle
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Neither by nature. then, nor contrary to nature do the virtues arise in us; nature gives us the capacity to receive them. and this capacity is brought to maturity by habit.

--Aristotle
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The end of this science (ethics) is not knowledge but action.

--Aristotle
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The misanthrope, as an essentially solitary man, is not a man at all he must be a beast or a god.

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

--Aristotle
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Metaphysics is universal and is exclusively concerned with primary substance. And here we will have the science to study that which is, both in its essence and in the properties which it has.

--Aristotle
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Beauty depends on size as well as symmetry. No very small animal can be beautiful, for looking at it takes so small a portion of time that the impression of it will be confused. Nor can any very large one, for a whole view of it cannot be had at once.

--Aristotle
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Happiness is an expression of the soul in considered actions.

--Aristotle
photo of author Aristotle with quote

He who on conviction does and pursues and chooses what is pleasant would be thought to be better than one who does so as a result not of calculation but of incontinence; for he is easier to cure since he may be persuaded to change his mind.

--Aristotle
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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.

--Aristotle
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To give away money is an easy matter and in any man's power. But to decide to whom to give it, and how large and when, and for what purpose and how, is neither in every man's power nor an easy matter.

--Aristotle
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A good style must, first of all, be clear. It must not be mean or above the dignity of the subject. It must be appropriate.

--Aristotle
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The best way to teach morality is to make it a habit with children.

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

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

--Aristotle
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Irrational passions would seem to be as much a part of human nature as is reason.

--Aristotle
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To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake it is necessary to stand out in the cold.

--Aristotle
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This world is inescapably linked to the motions of the worlds above. All power in this world is ruled by these options.

--Aristotle
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Conscientious and careful physicians allocate causes of disease to natural laws, while the ablest scientists go back to medicine for their first principles.

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

--Aristotle
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Happiness is prosperity combined with virtue.

--Aristotle
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One can aim at honor both as one ought, and more than one ought, and less than one ought. He whose craving for honor is excessive is said to be ambitious, and he who is deficient in this respect unambitious; while he who observes the mean has no peculiar name.

--Aristotle
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We should aim rather at leveling down our desires than leveling up our means.

--Aristotle
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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.

--Aristotle
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If every tool, when ordered, or even of its own accord, could do the work that befits it... then there would be no need either of apprentices for the master workers or of slaves for the lords.

--Aristotle
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The avarice of mankind is insatiable.

--Aristotle
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We cannot ... prove geometrical truths by arithmetic.

--Aristotle
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Metaphor is halfway between the unintelligible and the commonplace.

--Aristotle
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Whatsoever that be within us that feels, thinks, desires, and animates, is something celestial, divine, and, consequently, imperishable.

--Aristotle
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A friend is a second self, so that our consciousness of a friend's existence...makes us more fully conscious of our own existence.

--Aristotle
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People generally despise where they flatter.

--Aristotle

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To die to escape from poverty or love or anything painful is not the mark of a brave man, but rather of a cowrd; for it is softness to fly from what is troublesome, and such a man endures death not because it is noble but to fly from evil.

--Aristotle
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It is of itself that the divine thought thinks (since it is the most excellent of things), and its thinking is a thinking on thinking.

--Aristotle

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Teenagers these days are out of control. They eat like pigs, they are disrespectful of adults, they interrupt and contradict their parents, and they terrorize their teachers.

--Aristotle
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To be always seeking after the useful does not become free and exalted souls.

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

--Aristotle
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The Good of man is the active exercise of his soul's faculties in conformity with excellence or virtue, or if there be several human excellences or virtues, in conformity with the best and most perfect among them.

--Aristotle
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Now the goodness that we have to consider is clearly human goodness, since the good or happiness which we set out to seek was human good and human happiness. But human goodness means in our view excellence of soul, not excellence of body.

--Aristotle
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The greatest injustices proceed from those who pursue excess, not by those who are driven by necessity.

--Aristotle
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In practical matters the end is not mere speculative knowledge of what is to be done, but rather the doing of it. It is not enough to know about Virtue, then, but we must endeavor to possess it, and to use it, or to take any other steps that may make.

--Aristotle
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The citizens begin by giving up some part of the constitution, and so with greater ease the government change something else which is a little more important, until they have undermined the whole fabric of the state.

--Aristotle
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Gentleness is the ability to bear reproaches and slights with moderation, and not to embark on revenge quickly, and not to be easily provoked to anger, but be free from bitterness and contentiousness, having tranquility and stability in the spirit.

--Aristotle
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The hardest victory is the victory over self.

--Aristotle
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The principle aim of gymnastics is the education of all youth and not simply that minority of people highly favored by nature.

--Aristotle
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For that which has become habitual, becomes as it were natural.

--Aristotle
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A good man may make the best even of poverty and disease, and the other ills of life; but he can only attain happiness under the opposite conditions.

--Aristotle
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Excellence or virtue in a man will be the disposition which renders him a good man and also which will cause him to perform his function well.

--Aristotle
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To seek for utility everywhere is entirely unsuited to men that are great-souled and free.

--Aristotle
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Experience has shown that it is difficult, if not impossible, for a populous state to be run by good laws.

--Aristotle

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Quite often good things have hurtful consequences. There are instances of men who have been ruined by their money or killed by their courage.

--Aristotle
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Something is infinite if, taking it quantity by quantity, we can always take something outside.

--Aristotle
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For we are inquiring not in order to know what virtue is, but in order to become good, since otherwise our inquiry would have been of no use.

--Aristotle
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Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and pursuit, 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.

--Aristotle
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Wit is well-bred insolence.

--Aristotle
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Irrational passions would seem to be as much a part of human nature as is reason.

--Aristotle
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The goal of war is peace, of business, leisure.

--Aristotle
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One can with but moderate possessions do what one ought.

--Aristotle

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The female is, as it were, a mutilated male, and the catamenia are semen, only not pure; for there is only one thing they have not in them, the principle of soul.

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

--Aristotle
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I have gained this by philosophy … I do without being ordered what some are constrained to do by their fear of the law.

--Aristotle
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Meanness is more ingrained in man's nature than Prodigality; the mass of mankind are avaricious rather than open-handed.

--Aristotle
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One who faces and who fears the right things and from the right motive, in the right way and at the right time, posseses character worthy of our trust and admiration.

--Aristotle
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Even hackneyed and commonplace maxims are to be used, if they suit one's purpose: just because they are commonplace, every one seems to agree with them, and therefore they are taken for truth.

--Aristotle
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A fool contributes nothing worth hearing and takes offense at everything.

--Aristotle
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It is accepted as democratic when public offices are allocated by lot; and as oligarchic when they are filled by election. -- Aristotle, Politics, Book IV.

--Aristotle
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Because the rich are generally few in number, while the poor are many, they appear to be antagonistic, and as the one or the other prevails they form the government. Hence arises the common opinion that there are two kinds of government -- democracy and oligarchy.

--Aristotle
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A government which is composed of the middle class more nearly approximates to democracy than to oligarchy, and is the safest of the imperfect forms of government.

--Aristotle
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By myth I mean the arrangement of the incidents.

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

--Aristotle

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In painting, the most brilliant colors, spread at random and without design, will give far less pleasure than the simplest outline of a figure.

--Aristotle

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