Aristotle was one of the greatest philosophers in ancient Greece, who lived between 384 and 322 BC. He was one of Plato’s disciples and later became the teacher of Alexander the Great. He is considered, along with Plato, one of the great geniuses of Antiquity, being regarded even today as the only one who has exerted an overwhelming influence on the intellectual history of Western Europe.
Through his writings, he has made an important contribution in many fields: biology, zoology, physics, metaphysics, logic, psychology, ethics, aesthetics, poetry, theater, music, rhetoric, linguistics, and politics.
Throughout history, people have tried to keep Aristotle’s work intact. Unfortunately, only a small part of Aristotle’s writings have passed the test of time.
In order to understand more the importance and influence of this philosopher, it is important to know important ideas, concepts and quotes. We present you 80 profound Aristotle’s quotes about friendship, life, love and politics:
1. There is no great genius without a mixture of madness.
2. The quality of life is determined by its activities.
3. Health is a matter of choice, not a mystery of chance
4. Men create the gods after their own images.
5. In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge.
6. It is better for a city to be governed by a good man than by good laws.
7. Happiness is prosperity combined with virtue.
8. Reason is a light that God has kindled in the soul.
9. The physician himself, if sick, actually calls in another physician, knowing that he cannot reason correctly if required to judge his own condition while suffering.
10. It is simplicity that makes the uneducated more effective than the educated when addressing popular audiences.
11. Teachers, who educate children, deserve more honour than parents, who merely gave them birth; for the latter provided mere life, while the former ensure a good life.
12. My best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake.
13. Art is a higher type of knowledge than experience.
14. Happiness involves engagement in activities that promote one’s highest potentials.
15. Courage is the first virtue that makes all other virtues possible.
16. Where the laws are not supreme, there demagogues spring up.
17. It is not enough to win a war; it is more important to organize the peace.
18. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
19. I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.
20. The secret to humor is surprise.
21. Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.
22. Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow-ripening fruit.
23. Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history; for poetry expresses the universal, and history only the particular.
24. The end of labor is to gain leisure.
25. Time crumbles things; everything grows old under the power of Time and is forgotten through the lapse of Time.
26. All men by nature desire knowledge.
27. Praise invariably implies a reference to a higher standard.
28. All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire.
29. 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.
30. At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst.
31. Plato is dear to me, but dearer still is truth.
32. The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.
33. The aim of the wise is not to secure pleasure, but to avoid pain
34. Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them.
35. Memory is the scribe of the soul.
36. 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.
37. What it lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not to do.
38. Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.
39. Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.
40. The law is reason, free from passion.
41. Wicked men obey from fear; good men, from love.
42. Man is by nature a political animal.
43. It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
44. The energy of the mind is the essence of life.
45. The one exclusive sign of thorough knowledge is the power of teaching.
46. No notice is taken of a little evil, but when it increases it strikes the eye.
47. A constitution is the arrangement of magistrates in a state.
48. Men acquire particular quality by constantly acting in a particular way.
49. Men are swayed more by fear than by reverence.
50. Courage is a mean with regard to fear and confidence.
51. Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotism.
52. The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living from the dead.
53. Character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion.
54. The most perfect political community is one in which the middle class is in control, and outnumbers both of the other classes.
55. Fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil.
56. Change in all things is sweet.
57. Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers.
58. Men generally agree that the highest good attainable by action is happiness, and identify living well and doing well with happiness.
59. Death is the most terrible of all things, for it is the end, and nothing is thought to be either good or bad for the dead.
60. Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life: the whole aim and end of human existence.
61. Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.
62. 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.
63. It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.
64. He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.
65. In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous.
66. The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.
67. The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.
68. A friend to all is a friend to none.
69. Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity.
70. Friendship is essentially a partnership.
71. We make war that we may live in peace.
72. Youth is easily deceived because it is quick to hope.
73. 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.
74. 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.
75. Education is the best provision for old age.
76. 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.
77. Therefore, the good of man must be the end of the science of politics.
78. Piety requires us to honor truth above our friends.
79. 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.
80. 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.