The man who is truly good and wise will bear with dignity whatever fortune sends, and will always make the best of his circumstances.
There is a foolish corner in the brain of the wisest man.
Intuition is the source of scientific knowledge.
For knowing is spoken of in three ways: it may be either universal knowledge or knowledge proper to the matter in hand or actualising such knowledge; consequently three kinds of error also are possible.
All teaching and all intellectual learning come about from already existing knowledge.
All men naturally desire knowledge. An indication of this is our esteem for the senses; for apart from their use we esteem them for their own sake, and most of all the sense of sight. Not only with a view to action, but even when no action is contemplated, we prefer sight, generally speaking, to all the other senses. The reason of this is that of all the senses sight best helps us to know things, and reveals many distinctions.
Fortune favours the bold.
There is a cropping-time in the races of men, as in the fruits of the field; and sometimes, if the stock be good, there springs up for a time a succession of splendid men; and then comes a period of barrenness.
Between husband and wife friendship seems to exist by nature, for man is naturally disposed to pairing.
Money is a guarantee that we may have what we want in the future. Though we need nothing at the moment it insures the possibility of satisfying a new desire when it arises.
If then nature makes nothing without some end in view, nothing to no purpose, it must be that nature has made all of them for the sake of man.
But obviously a state which becomes progressively more and more of a unity will cease to be a state at all. Plurality of numbers is natural in a state; and the farther it moves away from plurality towards unity, the less of a state it becomes and the more a household, and the household in turn an individual.
So we must lay it down that the association which is a state exists not for the purpose of living together but for the sake of noble actions. Those who contribute most to this kind of association are for that very reason entitled to a larger share in the state than those who, though they may be equal or even superior in free birth and in family, are inferior in the virtue that belongs to a citizen. Similarly they are entitled to a larger share than those who are superior in riches but inferior in virtue.
Justice therefore demands that no one should do more ruling than being ruled, but that all should have their turn.
So it is clear that the search for what is just is a search for the mean; for the law is the mean.
…the life which is best for men, both separately, as individuals, and in the mass, as states, is the life which has virtue sufficiently supported by material resources to facilitate participation in the actions that virtue calls for.
A state is an association of similar persons whose aim is the best life possible. What is best is happiness, and to be happy is an active exercise of virtue and a complete employment of it.
…happiness is an activity and a complete utilization of virtue, not conditionally but absolutely.
But since there is but one aim for the entire state, it follows that education must be one and the same for all, and that the responsibility for it must be a public one, not the private affair which it now is, each man looking after his own children and teaching them privately whatever private curriculum he thinks they ought to study.
Justice is the loveliest and health is the best. but the sweetest to obtain is the heart’s desire.
The male has more teeth than the female in mankind, and sheep and goats, and swine. This has not been observed in other animals. Those persons which have the greatest number of teeth are the longest lived; those which have them widely separated, smaller, and more scattered, are generally more short lived.
Adventure is worthwhile.
Liars when they speak the truth are not believed.
To die in order to avoid the pains of poverty, love, or anything that is disagreeable, is not the part of a brave man, but of a coward.
Happiness does not lie in amusement; it would be strange if one were to take trouble and suffer hardship all one’s life in order to amuse oneself.
All friendly feelings toward others come from the friendly feelings a person has for himself.
Since the things we do determine the character of life, no blessed person can become unhappy. For he will never do those things which are hateful and petty.
A vivid image compels the whole body to follow.
Art not only imitates nature, but also completes its deficiencies.
A true disciple shows his appreciation by reaching further than his teacher.
This body is not a home, but an inn; and that only for a short time. Seneca Friendship is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.
It is the characteristic of the magnanimous man to ask no favor but to be ready to do kindness to others.
Virtue means doing the right thing, in relation to the right person, at the right time, to the right extent, in the right manner, and for the right purpose. Thus, to give money away is quite a simple task, but for the act to be virtuous, the donor must give to the right person, for the right purpose, in the right amount, in the right manner, and at the right time.
Character is that which reveals moral purpose, exposing the class of things a man chooses and avoids.
The basis of a democratic state is liberty
Man’s best friend is one who wishes well to the object of his wish for his sake, even if no one is to know of it.
Between friends there is no need of justice.
To enjoy the things we ought and to hate the things we ought has the greatest bearing on excellence of character.
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.
Our characters are the result of our conduct.
In the arena of human life the honors and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action.
They – Young People have exalted notions, because they have not been humbled by life or learned its necessary limitations; moreover, their hopeful disposition makes them think themselves equal to great things – and that means having exalted notions. 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 overdo everything – they love too much, hate too much, and the same with everything else.
It is clear that there is some difference between ends: some ends are energeia [energy], while others are products which are additional to the energeia.
One swallow does not make a spring, nor does one fine day.
The intention makes the crime.
People of superior refinement and of active disposition identify happiness with honour; for this is roughly speaking, the end of political life.
Whether we call it sacrifice, or poetry, or adventure, it is always the same voice that calls.
They who are to be judges must also be performers.
It is easy to perform a good action, but not easy to acquire a settled habit of performing such actions.
Teaching is the highest form of understanding.
To be conscious that we are perceiving or thinking is to be conscious of our own existence.
It is possible to fail in many ways…while to succeed is possible only in one way.
Human beings are curious by nature.
We deliberate not about ends, but about means.
The excellence of a thing is related to its proper function.
In everything, it is no easy task to find the middle.
We must become just be doing just acts.
It is no easy task to be good.
If there is some end of the things we do, which we desire for its own sake, clearly this must be the good. Will not knowledge of it, then, have a great influence on life? Shall we not, like archers who have a mark to aim at, be more likely to hit upon what we should? If so, we must try, in outline at least, to determine what it is.
Life in the true sense is perceiving or thinking.
Nor was civil society founded merely to preserve the lives of its members; but that they might live well: for otherwise a state might be composed of slaves, or the animal creation… nor is it an alliance mutually to defend each other from injuries, or for a commercial intercourse. But whosoever endeavors to establish wholesome laws in a state, attends to the virtues and vices of each individual who composes it; from whence it is evident, that the first care of him who would found a city, truly deserving that name, and not nominally so, must be to have his citizens virtuous.
The vigorous are no better than the lazy during one half of life, for all men are alike when asleep.
Happiness, whether consisting in pleasure or virtue, or both, is more often found with those who are highly cultivated in their minds and in their character, and have only a moderate share of external goods, than among those who possess external goods to a useless extent but are deficient in higher qualities.
We become just by the practice of just actions, self-controlled by exercising self-control, and courageous by performing acts of courage.
The law does not expressly permit suicide, and what it does not permit it forbids.
The hardest victory is the victory over self.
For what is the best choice for each individual is the highest it is possible for him to achieve.
They who have drunk beer, fall on their back, but there is a peculiarity in the effects of the drink made from barley, for they that get drunk on other intoxicating liquors fall on all parts of their body, they fall on the left side, on the right side, on their faces, and and on their backs. But it is only those who get drunk on beer that fall on their backs with their faces upward.
What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do good.
For often, when one is asleep, there is something in consciousness which declares that what then presents itself is but a dream.
We ought, so far as it lies within our power, to aspire to immortality, and do all that we can to live in conformity with the highest that is within us; for even if it is small in quantity, in power and preciousness, it far excels all the rest.
The seat of the soul and the control of voluntary movement – in fact, of nervous functions in general, – are to be sought in the heart. The brain is an organ of minor importance.
The sun, moving as it does, sets up processes of change and becoming and decay, and by its agency the finest and sweetest water is every day carried up and is dissolved into vapour and rises to the upper region, where it is condensed again by the cold and so returns to the earth. This, as we have said before, is the regular course of nature.
All art is concerned with coming into being; for it is concerned neither with things that are, or come into being by necessity, nor with things that do so in accordance with nature.
The beautiful is that which is desirable in itself.
A likely impossibility is always preferable to an unconvincing possibility.
When quarrels and complaints arise, it is when people who are equal have not got equal shares, or vice-versa.
He who is by nature not his own but another’s man is by nature a slave.
To learn is a natural pleasure, not confined to philosophers, but common to all men.
The greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor; it is the one thing that cannot be learned from others; and it is also a sign of genius, since a good metaphor implies an intuitive perception of the similarity of the dissimilar.
That judges of important causes should hold office for life is a questionable thing, for the mind grows old as well as the body.
Whereas the law is passionless, passion must ever sway the heart of man.
Men cling to life even at the cost of enduring great misfortune.
The quality of life is determined by its activities.
Not to get what you have set your heart on is almost as bad as getting nothing at all.
Why do men seek honour? Surely in order to confirm the favorable opinion they have formed of themselves.
Revolutions are not about trifles, but spring from trifles.
Where the laws are not supreme, there demagogues spring up.
A speaker who is attempting to move people to thought or action must concern himself with Pathos.
Knowing what is right does not make a sagacious man.
Those who believe 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.
When we deliberate it is about means and not ends.
The appropriate age for marrige is around eighteen and thirty-seven for man
It is more difficult to organize a peace than to win a war; but the fruits of victory will be lost if the peace is not organized.
The same ideas, one must believe, recur in men’s minds not once or twice but again and again.
All men seek one goal: success or happiness.
If happiness is activity in accordance with excellence, it is reasonable that it should be in accordance with the highest excellence.
The only way to achieve true success is to express yourself completely in service to society.
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.
Excellence is an art won by training and habituation.
Patience is so like fortitude that she seems either her sister or her daughter.
Happiness depends on ourselves.
And yet the true creator is necessity, which is the mother of invention.
This much then, is clear: in all our conduct it is the mean that is to be commended.
At first he who invented any art that went beyond the common perceptions of man was naturally admired by men, not only because there was something useful in the inventions, but because he was thought wise and superior to the rest. But as more arts were invented, and some were directed to the necessities of life, others to its recreation, the inventors of the latter were always regarded as wiser than the inventors of the former, because their branches of knowledge did not aim at utility.
Philosophy is the science which considers truth.
The energy or active exercise of the mind constitutes life.
The body is most fully developed from thirty to thirty-five years of age, the mind at about forty-nine.
We do not know a truth without knowing its cause.
Salt water when it turns into vapour becomes sweet, and the vapour does not form salt water when it condenses again. This I know by experiment. The same thing is true in every case of the kind: wine and all fluids that evaporate and condense back into a liquid state become water. They all are water modified by a certain admixture, the nature of which determines their flavour.
There is more evidence to prove that saltness [of the sea] is due to the admixture of some substance, besides that which we have adduced. Make a vessel of wax and put it in the sea, fastening its mouth in such a way as to prevent any water getting in. Then the water that percolates through the wax sides of the vessel is sweet, the earthy stuff, the admixture of which makes the water salt, being separated off as it were by a filter.
The physician heals, Nature makes well.
But nature flies from the infinite; for the infinite is imperfect, and nature always seeks an end.
Everything that depends on the action of nature is by nature as good as it can be.
For nature by the same cause, provided it remain in the same condition, always produces the same effect, so that either coming-to-be or passing-away will always result.
Nature does nothing without a purpose. In children may be observed the traces and seeds of what will one day be settled psychological habits, though psychologically a child hardly differs for the time being from an animal.
He who sees things grow from the beginning will have the best view of them.
Now, the causes being four, it is the business of the student of nature to know about them all, and if he refers his problems back to all of them, he will assign the “why” in the way proper to his science-the matter, the form, the mover, that for the sake of which.
…we are all inclined to … direct our inquiry not by the matter itself, but by the views of our opponents; and, even when interrogating oneself, one pushes the inquiry only to the point at which one can no longer offer any opposition. Hence a good inquirer will be one who is ready in bringing forward the objections proper to the genus, and that he will be when he has gained an understanding of the differences.
What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing.
Art takes nature as its model.
Men create the gods after their own images.
In painting, the most brilliant colors, spread at random and without design, will give far less pleasure than the simplest outline of a figure.
The line between lawful and unlawful abortion will be marked by the fact of having sensation and being alive.
Of mankind in general, the parts are greater than the whole.
Men regard it as their right to return evil for evil and, if they cannot, feel they have lost their liberty.
Those who have the command of the arms in a country are masters of the state, and have it in their power to make what revolutions they please. [Thus,] there is no end to observations on the difference between the measures likely to be pursued by a minister backed by a standing army, and those of a court awed by the fear of an armed people.
The things best to know are first principles and causes, but these things are perhaps the most difficult for men to grasp, for they are farthest removed from the senses …
What soon grows old? Gratitude.
Adoration is made out of a solitary soul occupying two bodies.
A man can make up his mind quickly when he has only a little to make up.
But what is happiness? If we consider what the function of man is, we find that happiness is a virtuous activity of the soul.
Character is determined by choice, not opinion.
How strange it is that Socrates, after having made the children common, should hinder lovers from carnal intercourse only, but should permit love and familiarities between father and son or between brother and brother, than which nothing can be more unseemly, since even without them love of this sort is improper. How strange, too, to forbid intercourse for no other reason than the violence of the pleasure, as though the relationship of father and son or of brothers with one another made no difference.
If they do not share equally enjoyments and toils, those who labor much and get little will necessarily complain of those who labor little and receive or consume much. But indeed there is always a difficulty in men living together and having all human relations in common, but especially in their having common property.
Property should be in a certain sense common, but, as a general rule, private; for, when every one has a distinct interest, men will not complain of one another, and they will make more progress, because every one will be attending to his own business.
The error of Socrates must be attributed to the false notion of unity from which he starts. Unity there should be, both of the family and of the state, but in some respects only. For there is a point at which a state may attain such a degree of unity as to be no longer a state, or at which, without actually ceasing to exist, it will become an inferior state, like harmony passing into unison, or rhythm which has been reduced to a single foot. The state, as I was saying, is a plurality which should be united and made into a community by education
All three states – the Lacedaemonian, the Cretan, and the Carthaginian – nearly resemble one another, and are very different from any others. Many of the Carthaginian institutions are excellent. The superiority of their constitution is proved by the fact that the common people remains loyal to the constitution; the Carthaginians have never had any rebellion worth speaking of, and have never been under the rule of a tyrant.
One citizen differs from another, but the salvation of the community is the common business of them all. This community is the constitution; the virtue of the citizen must therefore be relative to the constitution of which he is a member.
A constitution is the arrangement of magistracies in a state, especially of the highest of all. The government is everywhere sovereign in the state, and the constitution is in fact the government.
When the citizens at large administer the state for the common interest, the government is called by the generic name – a constitution.
Any change of government which has to be introduced should be one which men, starting from their existing constitutions, will be both willing and able to adopt, since there is quite as much trouble in the reformation of an old constitution as in the establishment of a new one, just as to unlearn is as hard as to learn.
The laws are, and ought to be, relative to the constitution, and not the constitution to the laws. A constitution is the organization of offices in a state, and determines what is to be the governing body, and what is the end of each community. But laws are not to be confounded with the principles of the constitution; they are the rules according to which the magistrates should administer the state, and proceed against offenders.
If what was said in the Ethics is true, that the happy life is the life according to virtue lived without impediment, and that virtue is a mean, then the life which is in a mean, and in a mean attainable by every one, must be the best. And the same principles of virtue and vice are characteristic of cities and of constitutions; for the constitution is in a figure the life of the city.
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.
In the first place, then, men should guard against the beginning of change, and in the second place they should not rely upon the political devices of which I have already spoken invented only to deceive the people, for they are proved by experience to be useless.
That which most contributes to the permanence of constitutions is the adaptation of education to the form of government, and yet in our own day this principle is universally neglected. The best laws, though sanctioned by every citizen of the state, will be of no avail unless the young are trained by habit and education in the spirit of the constitution.
The form of government is a democracy when the free, who are also poor and the majority, govern, and an oligarchy when the rich and the noble govern, they being at the same time few in number.
Democracy appears to be safer and less liable to revolution than oligarchy. For in oligarchies there is the double danger of the oligarchs falling out among themselves and also with the people; but in democracies there is only the danger of a quarrel with the oligarchs. No dissension worth mentioning arises among the people themselves. And we may further remark that 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.
There is an error common to both oligarchies and to democracies: in the latter the demagogues, when the multitude are above the law, are always cutting the city in two by quarrels with the rich, whereas they should always profess to be maintaining their cause; just as in oligarchies the oligarchs should profess to maintain the cause of the people, . .
Every man should be responsible to others, nor should anyone be allowed to do just as he pleases; for where absolute freedom is allowed there is nothing to restrain the evil which is inherent in every man. But the principle of responsibility secures that which is the greatest good in states; the right persons rule and are prevented from doing wrong, and the people have their due. It is evident that this is the best kind of democracy, and why? because the people are drawn from a certain class.
The art of wealth-getting which consists in household management, on the one hand, has a limit; the unlimited acquisition of wealth is not its business. And therefore, in one point of view, all riches must have a limit; nevertheless, as a matter of fact, we find the opposite to be the case; for all getters of wealth increase their hard coin without limit.
Inasmuch as every family is a part of a state, and these relationships are the parts of a family, and the virtue of the part must have regard to the virtue of the whole, women and children must be trained by education with an eye to the constitution, if the virtues of either of them are supposed to make any difference in the virtues of the state. And they must make a difference: for the children grow up to be citizens, and half the free persons in a state are women.
Special care should be taken of the health of the inhabitants, which will depend chiefly on the healthiness of the locality and of the quarter to which they are exposed, and secondly on the use of pure water; this latter point is by no means a secondary consideration. For the elements which we use the most and oftenest for the support of the body contribute most to health, and among those are water and air. Wherefore, in all wise states, if there is want of pure water, and the supply is not all equally good, the drinking water ought to be separated from that which is used for other purposes.
Men must be able to engage in business and go to war, but leisure and peace are better; they must do what is necessary and indeed what is useful, but what is honorable is better. On such principles children and persons of every age which requires education should be trained.
The same things are best both for individuals and for states, and these are the things which the legislator ought to implant in the minds of his citizens.
Women should marry when they are about eighteen years of age, and men at seven and thirty; then they are in the prime of life, and the decline in the powers of both will coincide.
Women who are with child should be careful of themselves; they should take exercise and have a nourishing diet. The first of these prescriptions the legislator will easily carry into effect by requiring that they should take a walk daily to some temple, where they can worship the gods who preside over birth. Their minds, however, unlike their bodies, they ought to keep quiet, for the offspring derive their natures from their mothers as plants do from earth.
Youth should be kept strangers to all that is bad, and especially to things which suggest vice or hate. When the five years have passed away, during the two following years they must look on at the pursuits which they are hereafter to learn. There are two periods of life with reference to which education has to be divided, from seven to the age of puberty, and onwards to the age of one and twenty.
Since the whole city has one end, it is manifest that education should be one and the same for all, and that it should be public, and not private – not as at present, when every one looks after his own children separately, and gives them separate instruction of the sort which he thinks best; the training in things which are of common interest should be the same for all. Neither must we suppose that any one of the citizens belongs to himself, for they all belong to the state, and are each of them a part of the state, and the care of each part is inseparable from the care of the whole.
That education should be regulated by law and should be an affair of state is not to be denied, but what should be the character of this public education, and how young persons should be educated, are questions which remain to be considered. As things are, there is disagreement about the subjects. For mankind are by no means agreed about the things to be taught, whether we look to virtue or the best life. Neither is it clear whether education is more concerned with intellectual or with moral virtue.
Nature herself, as has been often said, requires that we should be able, not only to work well, but to use leisure well; for, as I must repeat once again, the first principle of all action is leisure. Both are required, but leisure is better than occupation and is its end.
Leisure of itself gives pleasure and happiness and enjoyment of life, which are experienced, not by the busy man, but by those who have leisure.
There are branches of learning and education which we must study merely with a view to leisure spent in intellectual activity, and these are to be valued for their own sake; whereas those kinds of knowledge which are useful in business are to be deemed necessary, and exist for the sake of other things.
It is evident, then, that there is a sort of education in which parents should train their sons, not as being useful or necessary, but because it is liberal or noble.
To be always seeking after the useful does not become free and exalted souls.
And, speaking generally, passion seems not to be amenable to reason, but only to force.
If, then, there is some end of the things we do, which we desire for its own sake (everything else being desired for the sake of this), and if we do not choose everything for the sake of something else (for at that rate the process would go on to infinity, so that our desire would be empty and vain), clearly this must be the good and the chief good.
The End is included among goods of the soul, and not among external goods.
Indeed, we may go further and assert that anyone who does not delight in fine actions is not even a good man.
Great and frequent reverses can crush and mar our bliss both by the pain they cause and by the hindrance they offer to many activities. Yet nevertheless even in adversity nobility shines through, when a man endures repeated and severe misfortune with patience, not owing to insensibility but from generosity and greatness of soul.
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;
There are three things that are the motives of choice and three that are the motives of avoidance; namely, the noble, the expedient, and the pleasant, and their opposites, the base, the harmful, and the painful. Now in respect of all these the good man is likely to go right and the bad to go wrong, but especially in respect of pleasure; for pleasure is common to man with the lower animals, and also it is a concomitant of all the objects of choice, since both the noble and the expedient appear to us pleasant.
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.
Error is multiform (for evil is a form of the unlimited, as in the old Pythagorean imagery, and good of the limited), whereas success is possible in one way only (which is why it is easy to fail and difficult to succeed – easy to miss the target and difficult to hit it); so this is another reason why excess and deficiency are a mark of vice, and observance of the mean a mark of virtue: Goodness is simple, badness is manifold.
When you have thrown a stone, you cannot afterwards bring it back again, but nevertheless you are responsible for having taken up the stone and flung it, for the origin of the act was within you. Similarly the unjust and profligate might at the outset have avoided becoming so, and therefore they are so voluntarily, although when they have become unjust and profligate it is no longer open to them not to be so.
Now the greatest external good we should assume to be the thing which we offer as a tribute to the gods, and which is most coveted by men of high station, and is the prize awarded for the noblest deeds; and such a thing is honor, for honor is clearly the greatest of external goods.
And inasmuch as the great-souled man deserves most, he must be the best of men; for the better a man is the more he deserves, and he that is best deserves most. Therefore the truly great-souled man must be a good man. Indeed greatness in each of the virtues would seem to go with greatness of soul.
If a man of good natural disposition acquires Intelligence [as a whole], then he excels in conduct, and the disposition which previously only resembled Virtue, will now be Virtue in the true sense. Hence just as with the faculty of forming opinions [the calculative faculty] there are two qualities, Cleverness and Prudence, so also in the moral part of the soul there are two qualities, natural virtue and true Virtue; and true Virtue cannot exist without Prudence.
Therefore the good man ought to be a lover of self, since he will then both benefit himself by acting nobly and aid his fellows; but the bad man ought not to be a lover of self, since he will follow his base passions, and so injure both himself and his neighbors. With the bad man therefore, what he does is not in accord with what he ought to do, but the good man does what he ought, since intelligence always chooses for itself that which is best, and the good man obeys his intelligence.
To know what virtue is is not enough; we must endeavor to possess and to practice it, or in some other manner actually ourselves to become good.
We maintain, and have said in the Ethics, if the arguments there adduced are of any value, that happiness is the realization and perfect exercise of virtue, and this not conditional, but absolute. And I used the term ‘conditional’ to express that which is indispensable, and ‘absolute’ to express that which is good in itself.
Take the case of just actions; just punishments and chastisements do indeed spring from a good principle, but they are good only because we cannot do without them – it would be better that neither individuals nor states should need anything of the sort – but actions which aim at honor and advantage are absolutely the best. The conditional action is only the choice of a lesser evil; whereas these are the foundation and creation of good. A good man may make the best even of poverty and disease, and the other ills of life;
The good man is he for whom, because he is virtuous, the things that are absolutely good are good; it is also plain that his use of these goods must be virtuous and in the absolute sense good.
Of actions some aim at what is necessary and useful, and some at what is honorable. And the preference given to one or the other class of actions must necessarily be like the preference given to one or other part of the soul and its actions over the other; there must be war for the sake of peace, business for the sake of leisure, things useful and necessary for the sake of things honorable.
The state or political community, which is the highest of all, and which embraces all the rest, aims at good in a greater degree than any other, and at the highest good.
The proof that the state is a creation of nature and prior to the individual is that the individual, when isolated, is not self-sufficing;
In most constitutional states the citizens rule and are ruled by turns, for the idea of a constitutional state implies that the natures of the citizens are equal, and do not differ at all.
In the Laws it is maintained that the best constitution is made up of democracy and tyranny, which are either not constitutions at all, or are the worst of all. But they are nearer the truth who combine many forms; for the constitution is better which is made up of more numerous elements. The constitution proposed in the Laws has no element of monarchy at all; it is nothing but oligarchy and democracy, leaning rather to oligarchy.
That the equalization of property exercises an influence on political society was clearly understood even by some of the old legislators. Laws were made by Solon and others prohibiting an individual from possessing as much land as he pleased;
If the state cannot be entirely composed of good men, and yet each citizen is expected to do his own business well, and must therefore have virtue, still inasmuch as all the citizens cannot be alike, the virtue of the citizen and of the good man cannot coincide. All must have the virtue of the good citizen – thus, and thus only, can the state be perfect; but they will not have the virtue of a good man, unless we assume that in the good state all the citizens must be good.
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.
The true forms of government, therefore, are those in which the one, or the few, or the many, govern with a view to the common interest; but governments which rule with a view to the private interest, whether of the one or of the few, or of the many, are perversions. For the members of a state, if they are truly citizens, ought to participate in its advantages.
The perversions are as follows: of royalty, tyranny; of aristocracy, oligarchy; of constitutional government, democracy.
There is also a doubt as to what is to be the supreme power in the state: – Is it the multitude? Or the wealthy? Or the good? Or the one best man? Or a tyrant?
If the poor, for example, because they are more in number, divide among themselves the property of the rich,- is not this unjust? . . this law of confiscation clearly cannot be just.
But is it just then that the few and the wealthy should be the rulers? And what if they, in like manner, rob and plunder the people, – is this just?
A right election can only be made by those who have knowledge;
These, then, are the four kinds of royalty. First the monarchy of the heroic ages; this was exercised over voluntary subjects, but limited to certain functions; the king was a general and a judge, and had the control of religion The second is that of the barbarians, which is a hereditary despotic government in accordance with law. A third is the power of the so-called Aesynmete or Dictator; this is an elective tyranny. The fourth is the Lacedaemonian, which is in fact a generalship, hereditary and perpetual.
Just as a royal rule, if not a mere name, must exist by virtue of some great personal superiority in the king, so tyranny, which is the worst of governments, is necessarily the farthest removed from a well-constituted form; oligarchy is little better, for it is a long way from aristocracy, and democracy is the most tolerable of the three.
Of governments there are said to be only two forms – democracy and oligarchy. For aristocracy is considered to be a kind of oligarchy, as being the rule of a few, and the so-called constitutional government to be really a democracy.
Democracy is the form of government in which the free are rulers, and oligarchy in which the rich; it is only an accident that the free are the many and the rich are the few.
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.
There are still two forms besides democracy and oligarchy; one of them is universally recognized and included among the four principal forms of government, which are said to be (1) monarchy, (2) oligarchy, (3) democracy, and (4) the so-called aristocracy or government of the best. But there is also a fifth, which retains the generic name of polity or constitutional government;
In the perfect state the good man is absolutely the same as the good citizen; whereas in other states the good citizen is only good relatively to his own form of government.
In the many forms of government which have sprung up there has always been an acknowledgement of justice and proportionate equality, although mankind fail in attaining them, as indeed I have already explained. Democracy, for example, 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.
Equality is of two kinds, numerical and proportional; by the first I mean sameness of equality in number or size; by the second, equality of ratios.
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.
The only stable principle of government is equality according to proportion, and for every man to enjoy his own.
Of old, the demagogue was also a general, and then democracies changed into tyrannies. Most of the ancient tyrants were originally demagogues. They are not so now, but they were then; and the reason is that they were generals and not orators, for oratory had not yet come into fashion.
In all well-attempered governments there is nothing which should be more jealously maintained than the spirit of obedience to law, more especially in small matters; for transgression creeps in unperceived and at last ruins the state, just as the constant recurrence of small expenses in time eats up a fortune.
There are three qualifications required in those who have to fill the highest offices, – (1) first of all, loyalty to the established constitution; (2) the greatest administrative capacity; (3) virtue and justice of the kind proper to each form of government.
Neither should we forget the mean, which at the present day is lost sight of in perverted forms of government; for many practices which appear to be democratical are the ruin of democracies, . . 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.
Once more: there are three offices according to whose directions the highest magistrates are chosen in certain states – guardians of the law, probuli, councilors – of these, the guardians of the law are an aristocratical, the probuli an oligarchical, the council a democratical institution.
Now it is evident that the form of government is best in which every man, whoever he is, can act best and live happily.
The good lawgiver should inquire how states and races of men and communities may participate in a good life, and in the happiness which is attainable by them.
There is nothing grand or noble in having the use of a slave, in so far as he is a slave; or in issuing commands about necessary things. But it is an error to suppose that every sort of rule is despotic like that of a master over slaves, for there is as great a difference between the rule over freemen and the rule over slaves as there is between slavery by nature and freedom by nature . .
If, therefore, there is any one superior in virtue and in the power of performing the best actions, him we ought to follow and obey, but he must have the capacity for action as well as virtue.
Some things the legislator must find ready to his hand in a state, others he must provide. And therefore we can only say: May our state be constituted in such a manner as to be blessed with the goods of which fortune disposes (for we acknowledge her power): whereas virtue and goodness in the state are not a matter of chance but the result of knowledge and purpose. A city can be virtuous only when the citizens who have a share in the government are virtuous, and in our state all the citizens share in the government;
The government of freemen is nobler and implies more virtue than despotic government. Neither is a city to be deemed happy or a legislator to be praised because he trains his citizens to conquer and obtain dominion over their neighbors, for there is great evil in this.
Neither should men study war with a view to the enslavement of those who do not deserve to be enslaved; but first of all they should provide against their own enslavement, and in the second place obtain empire for the good of the governed, and not for the sake of exercising a general despotism, and in the third place they should seek to be masters only over those who deserve to be slaves.
A thing chosen always as an end and never as a means we call absolutely final. Now happiness above all else appears to be absolutely final in this sense, since we always choose it for its own sake and never as a means to something else.
It is our actions and the soul’s active exercise of its functions that we posit (as being Happiness);
Now if there is any gift of the gods to men, it is reasonable that happiness should be god-given, and most surely god-given of all human things inasmuch as it is the best. But this question would perhaps be more appropriate to another inquiry; happiness seems, however, even if it is not god-sent but comes as a result of virtue and some process of learning and training, to be among the most god-like things; for that which is the prize and end of virtue seems to be the best thing in the world, and something god-like and blessed.
It is the active exercise of our faculties in conformity with virtue that causes happiness, and the opposite activities its opposite.
The happy man . . . will be always or at least most often employed in doing and contemplating the things that are in conformity with virtue. And he will bear changes of fortunes most nobly, and with perfect propriety in every way.
No one praises happiness as one praises justice, but we call it a ‘blessing,’ deeming it something higher and more divine than things we praise.
Happiness is a thing honored and perfect. This seems to be borne out by the fact that it is a first principle or starting-point, since all other things that all men do are done for its sake; and that which is the first principle and cause of things good we agree to be something honorable and divine.
Happiness is a certain activity of soul in conformity with perfect goodness
Happiness is essentially perfect; so that the happy man requires in addition the goods of the body, external goods and the gifts of fortune, in order that his activity may not be impeded through lack of them.
It is the activity of the intellect that constitutes complete human happiness – provided it be granted a complete span of life, for nothing that belongs to happiness can be incomplete.
The activity of God, which is transcendent in blessedness, is the activity of contemplation; and therefore among human activities that which is most akin to the divine activity of contemplation will be the greatest source of happiness.
It must not be supposed that happiness will demand many or great possessions; for self-sufficiency does not depend on excessive abundance, nor does moral conduct, and it is possible to perform noble deeds even without being ruler of land and sea: one can do virtuous acts with quite moderate resources. This may be clearly observed in experience: private citizens do not seem to be less but more given to doing virtuous actions than princes and potentates. It is sufficient then if moderate resources are forthcoming; for a life of virtuous activity will be essentially a happy life.
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
Again, the male is by nature superior, and the female inferior; and the one rules, and the other is ruled; this principle, of necessity, extends to all mankind.
The avarice of mankind is insatiable; at one time two obols was pay enough; but now, when this sum has become customary, men always want more and more without end.
Although it may be difficult in theory to know what is just and equal, the practical difficulty of inducing those to forbear who can, if they like, encroach, is far greater, for the weaker are always asking for equality and justice, but the stronger care for none of these things.
Every man should be responsible to others, nor should any one be allowed to do just as he pleases; for where absolute freedom is allowed, there is nothing to restrain the evil which is inherent in every man.
Most men appear to think that the art of despotic government is statesmanship, and what men affirm to be unjust and inexpedient in their own case they are not ashamed of practicing towards others; they demand just rule for themselves, but where other men are concerned they care nothing about it. Such behavior is irrational; unless the one party is, and the other is not, born to serve, in which case men have a right to command, not indeed all their fellows, but only those who are intended to be subjects; just as we ought not to hunt mankind, whether for food or sacrifice . .
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.
No one chooses what does not rest with himself, but only what he thinks can be attained by his own act.
[Meanness] is more ingrained in man’s nature than Prodigality; the mass of mankind are avaricious rather than open-handed.
Those who merely possess the goods of fortune may be haughty and insolent; . . . they try to imitate the great-souled man without being really like him, and only copy him in what they can, reproducing his contempt for others but not his virtuous conduct. For the great-souled man is justified in despising other people – his estimates are correct; but most proud men have no good ground for their pride.
Man, as an originator of action, is a union of desire and intellect.
All are agreed that the various moral qualities are in a sense bestowed by nature: we are just, and capable of temperance, and brave, and possessed of the other virtues from the moment of our birth. But nevertheless we expect to find that true goodness is something different, and that the virtues in the true sense come to belong to us in another way. For even children and wild animals possess the natural dispositions, yet without Intelligence these may manifestly be harmful.
Both Self-restraint and Unrestraint are a matter of extremes as compared with the character of the mass of mankind; the restrained man shows more and the unrestrained man less steadfastness than most men are capable of.
As the pleasures of the body are the ones which we most often meet with, and as all men are capable of these, these have usurped the family title; and some men think these are the only pleasures that exist, because they are the only ones which they know.
All men, or most men, wish what is noble but choose what is profitable; and while it is noble to render a service not with an eye to receiving one in return, it is profitable to receive one. One ought therefore, if one can, to return the equivalent of services received, and to do so willingly; for one ought not to make a man one’s friend if one is unwilling to return his favors.
In the human species at all events there is a great diversity of pleasures. The same things delight some men and annoy others, and things painful and disgusting to some are pleasant and attractive to others.
Nor need it cause surprise that things disagreeable to the good man should seem pleasant to some men; for mankind is liable to many corruptions and diseases, and the things in question are not really pleasant, but only pleasant to these particular persons, who are in a condition to think them so.
Also our fellow competitors, who are indeed the people just mentioned – we do not compete with men who lived a hundred centuries ago, or those yet not born, or the dead, or those who dwell near the Pillars of Hercules, or those whom, in our opinion or that of others, we take to be far below us or far above us. So too we compete with those who follow the same ends as ourselves; we compete with our rivals in sport or in love, and generally with those who are after the same things; and it is therefore these whom we are bound to envy beyond all others. Hence the saying:
Even when laws have been written down, they ought not always to remain unaltered. As in other sciences, so in politics, it is impossible that all things should be precisely set down in writing; for enactments must be universal, but actions are concerned with particulars. Hence we infer that sometimes and in certain cases laws may be changed;
When we look at the matter from another point of view, great caution would seem to be required. For the habit of lightly changing the laws is an evil, and, when the advantage is small, some errors both of lawgivers and rulers had better be left; the citizen will not gain so much by making the change as he will lose by the habit of disobedience.
Even if you must have regard to wealth, in order to secure leisure, yet it is surely a bad thing that the greatest offices, such as those of kings and generals, should be bought. The law which allows this abuse makes wealth of more account than virtue, and the whole state becomes avaricious.
Laws, when good, should be supreme; and that the magistrate or magistrates should regulate those matters only on which the laws are unable to speak with precision owing to the difficulty of any general principle embracing all particulars.
The goodness or badness, justice or injustice, of laws varies of necessity with the constitution of states. This, however, is clear, that the laws must be adapted to the constitutions. But if so, true forms of government will of necessity have just laws, and perverted forms of government will have unjust laws.
Now what is just and right is to be interpreted in the sense of ‘what is equal’; and that which is right in the sense of being equal is to be considered with reference to the advantage of the state, and the common good of the citizens. And a citizen is one who shares in governing and being governed. He differs under different forms of government, but in the best state he is one who is able and willing to be governed and to govern with a view to the life of virtue.
In seeking for justice men seek for the mean or neutral, for the law is the mean. Again, customary laws have more weight, and relate to more important matters, than written laws, and a man may be a safer ruler than the written law, but not safer than the customary law.
Men agree that justice in the abstract is proportion, but they differ in that some think that if they are equal in any respect they are equal absolutely, others that if they are unequal in any respect they should be unequal in all. The only stable principle of government is equality according to proportion, and for every man to enjoy his own.
When couples have children in excess, let abortion be procured before sense and life have begun; what may or may not be lawfully done in these cases depends on the question of life and sensation.
As to adultery, let it be held disgraceful, in general, for any man or woman to be found in any way unfaithful when they are married, and called husband and wife. If during the time of bearing children anything of the sort occur, let the guilty person be punished with a loss of privileges in proportion to the offense.
Some persons hold that, while it is proper for the lawgiver to encourage and exhort men to virtue on moral grounds, in the expectation that those who have had a virtuous moral upbringing will respond, yet he is bound to impose chastisement and penalties on the disobedient and ill-conditioned, and to banish the incorrigible out of the state altogether. For (they argue) although the virtuous man, who guides his life by moral ideals, will be obedient to reason, the base, whose desires are fixed on pleasure, must be chastised by pain, like a beast of burden.
The knowledge of the soul admittedly contributes greatly to the advance of truth in general, and, above all, to our understanding of Nature, for the soul is in some sense the principle of animal life.
Two characteristic marks have above all others been recognized as distinguishing that which has soul in it from that which has not – movement and sensation.
What has soul in it differs from what has not, in that the former displays life. Now this word has more than one sense, and provided any one alone of these is found in a thing we say that thing is living. Living, that is, may mean thinking or perception or local movement and rest, or movement in the sense of nutrition, decay and growth. Hence we think of plants also as living, for they are observed to possess in themselves an originative power through which they increase or decrease in all spatial directions;
The ensouled is distinguished from the unsouled by its being alive. Now since being alive is spoken of in many ways, even if only one of these is present, we say that the thing is alive, if, for instance, there is intellect or perception or spatial movement and rest or indeed movement connected with nourishment and growth and decay. It is for this reason that all the plants are also held to be alive . . .
We have no evidence as yet about mind or the power to think; it seems to be a widely different kind of soul, differing as what is eternal from what is perishable; it alone is capable of existence in isolation from all other psychic powers.
But nothing is yet clear on the subject of the intellect and the contemplative faculty. However, it seems to be another kind of soul, and this alone admits of being separated, as that which is eternal from that which is perishable, while it is clear from these remarks that the other parts of the soul are not separable, as some assert them to be, though it is obvious that they are conceptually distinct.
The soul is the cause or source of the living body. The terms cause and source have many senses. But the soul is the cause of its body alike in all three senses which we explicitly recognize. It is (a) the source or origin of movement, it is (b) the end, it is (c) the essence of the whole living body.
All food must be capable of being digested, and that what produces digestion is warmth; that is why everything that has soul in it possesses warmth.
There are two distinctive peculiarities by reference to which we characterize the soul (1) local movement and (2) thinking, discriminating, and perceiving. Thinking both speculative and practical is regarded as akin to a form of perceiving; for in the one as well as the other the soul discriminates and is cognizant of something which is.
Thinking is different from perceiving and is held to be in part imagination, in part judgment
Opinion involves belief (for without belief in what we opine we cannot have an opinion), and in the brutes though we often find imagination we never find belief.
That in the soul which is called mind (by mind I mean that whereby the soul thinks and judges) is, before it thinks, not actually any real thing. For this reason it cannot reasonably be regarded as blended with the body
While the faculty of sensation is dependent upon the body, mind is separable from it
Actual knowledge is identical with its object: in the individual, potential knowledge is in time prior to actual knowledge, but in the universe as a whole it is not prior even in time. Mind is not at one time knowing and at another not. When mind is set free from its present conditions it appears as just what it is and nothing more: this alone is immortal and eternal (we do not, however, remember its former activity because, while mind in this sense is impassible, mind as passive is destructible), and without it nothing thinks.
The soul of animals is characterized by two faculties, (a) the faculty of discrimination which is the work of thought and sense, and (b) the faculty of originating local movement.
The student of politics therefore as well as the psychologist must study the nature of the soul.
The soul consists of two parts, one irrational and the other capable of reason. (Whether these two parts are really distinct in the sense that the parts of the body or of any other divisible whole are distinct, or whether though distinguishable in thought as two they are inseparable in reality, like the convex and concave of a curve, is a question of no importance for the matter in hand.)
Of the irrational part of the soul again one division appears to be common to all living things, and of a vegetative nature.
There also appears to be another element in the soul, which, though irrational, yet in a manner participates in rational principle.
[this element], the seat of the appetites and of desire in general, does in a sense participate in principle, as being amenable and obedient to it
A state of the soul is either (1) an emotion, (2) a capacity, or (3) a disposition; virtue therefore must be one of these three things.
We have divided the Virtues of the Soul into two groups, the Virtues of the Character and the Virtues of the Intellect.
The soul has two parts, one rational and the other irrational. Let us now similarly divide the rational part, and let it be assumed that there are two rational faculties, one whereby we contemplate those things whose first principles are invariable, and one whereby we contemplate those things which admit of variation.
These two rational faculties may be designated the Scientific Faculty and the Calculative Faculty respectively; since calculation is the same as deliberation, and deliberation is never exercised about things that are invariable, so that the Calculative Faculty is a separate part of the rational half of the soul.
The virtue of a faculty is related to the special function which that faculty performs. Now there are three elements in the soul which control action and the attainment of truth: namely, Sensation, Intellect, and Desire. Of these, Sensation never originates action, as is shown by the fact that animals have sensation but are not capable of action.
The attainment of truth is then the function of both the intellectual parts of the soul. Therefore their respective virtues are those dispositions which will best qualify them to attain truth.
In bad or corrupted natures the body will often appear to rule over the soul, because they are in an evil and unnatural condition. At all events we may firstly observe in living creatures both a despotical and a constitutional rule; for the soul rules the body with a despotical rule, whereas the intellect rules the appetites with a constitutional and royal rule. And it is clear that the rule of the soul over the body, and of the mind and the rational element over the passionate, is natural and expedient; whereas the equality of the two or the rule of the inferior is always hurtful.
In [the soul] one part naturally rules, and the other is subject, and the virtue of the ruler we maintain to be different from that of the subject; the one being the virtue of the rational, and the other of the irrational part. Now, it is obvious that the same principle applies generally, and therefore almost all things rule and are ruled according to nature.
Now the soul of man is divided into two parts, one of which has a rational principle in itself, and the other, not having a rational principle in itself, is able to obey such a principle. And we call a man in any way good because he has the virtues of these two parts.
The virtues [moral excellence] therefore are engendered in us neither by nature nor yet in violation of nature; nature gives us the capacity to receive them, and this capacity is brought to maturity by habit.
Moral qualities are so constituted as to be destroyed by excess and by deficiency . . .
Every formed disposition of the soul realizes its full nature in relation to and dealing with that class of objects by which it is its nature to be corrupted or improved.
We assume therefore that moral virtue is the quality of acting in the best way in relation to pleasures and pains, and that vice is the opposite.
We have next to consider the formal definition of virtue.
If then, as we say, good craftsmen look to the mean as they work, and if virtue, like nature, is more accurate and better than any form of art, it will follow that virtue has the quality of hitting the mean. I refer to moral virtue [not intellectual], for this is concerned with emotions and actions, in which one can have excess or deficiency or a due mean.
Not every action or emotion however admits of the observance of a due mean. Indeed the very names of some directly imply evil, for instance malice, shamelessness, envy, and, of actions, adultery, theft, murder. All these and similar actions and feelings are blamed as being bad in themselves; it is not the excess or deficiency of them that we blame. It is impossible therefore ever to go right in regard to them – one must always be wrong;
Moral virtue is a mean . . . between two vices, one of excess and the other of defect; . . . it is such a mean because it aims at hitting the middle point in feelings and in actions. This is why it is a hard task to be good, for it is hard to find the middle point in anything.
Virtue also depends on ourselves. And so also does vice. For where we are free to act we are also free to refrain from acting, and where we are able to say No we are also able to say Yes; if therefore we are responsible for doing a thing when to do it right, we are also responsible for not doing it when not to do it is wrong, and if we are responsible for rightly not doing a thing, we are also responsible for wrongly doing it.
Our virtues are voluntary (and in fact we are in a sense ourselves partly the cause of our moral dispositions, and it is our having a certain character that makes us set up an end of a certain kind), it follows that our vices are voluntary also; they are voluntary in the same manner as our virtues.
Greatness of Soul seems therefore to be as it were a crowning ornament of the virtues; it enhances their greatness, and it cannot exist without them. Hence it is hard to be truly great-souled, for greatness of soul is impossible without moral nobility.
Of cases where a man is truthful both in speech and conduct when no considerations of honesty come in, from an habitual sincerity of disposition. Such sincerity may be esteemed a moral excellence; for the lover of truth, who is truthful even when nothing depends on it, will a fortiori be truthful when some interest is at stake, since having all along avoided falsehood for its own sake, he will assuredly avoid it when it is morally base; and this is a disposition that we praise.
Prudence as well as Moral Virtue determines the complete performance of a man’s proper function: Virtue ensures the rightness of the end we aim at, Prudence ensures the rightness of the means we adopt to gain that end.
Rightness in our choice of an end is secured by [Moral] Virtue;
[the virtues] cannot exist without Prudence. A proof of this is that everyone, even at the present day, in defining Virtue, after saying what disposition it is [i.e. moral virtue] and specifying the things with which it is concerned, adds that it is a disposition determined by the right principle; and the right principle is the principle determined by Prudence.
[Prudence] is the virtue of that part of the intellect [the calculative] to which it belongs; and . . . our choice of actions will not be right without Prudence any more than without Moral Virtue, since, while Moral Virtue enables us to achieve the end, Prudence makes us adopt the right means to the end.
The virtue of the good man is necessarily the same as the virtue of the citizen of the perfect state.
Even if we could suppose the citizen body to be virtuous, without each of them being so, yet the latter would be better, for in the virtue of each the virtue of all is involved.
For well-being and health, again, the homestead should be airy in summer, and sunny in winter. A homestead possessing these qualities would be longer than it is deep; and its main front would face the south.
Revolutions are effected in two ways, by force and by fraud.
In part, art completes what nature cannot elaborate; and in part it imitates nature.
There’s many a slip between the cup and the lip.
Finally, if nothing can be truly asserted, even the following claim would be false, the claim that there is no true assertion.
The real difference between democracy and oligarchy is poverty and wealth. Wherever men rule by reason of their wealth, whether they be few or many, that is an oligarchy, and where the poor rule, that is a democracy.
Aristocracy is that form of government in which education and discipline are qualifications for suffrage and office holding.
Fine friendship requires duration rather than fitful intensity.
The continuum is that which is divisible into indivisibles that are infinitely divisible.
A man’s happiness consists in the free exercise of his highest faculties.
Wicked men obey out of fear. good men, out of love
For good is simple, evil manifold.
Rhetoric may be defined as the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion.
Man first begins to philosophize when the necessities of life are supplied.
Soul and body, I suggest react sympathetically upon each other. A change in the state of the soul produces a change in the shape of the body and conversely, a change in the shape of the body produces a change in the state of the soul.
The misanthrope, as an essentially solitary man, is not a man at all: he must be a beast or a god…
The first principle of all action is leisure.
Madness is badness of spirit, when one seeks profit from all sources.
The greatest injustices proceed from those who pursue excess, not by those who are driven by necessity.
The high-minded man is fond of conferring benefits, but it shames him to receive them.
No state will be well administered unless the middle class holds sway.
A poet’s object is not to tell what actually happened but what could or would happen either probably or inevitably…. For this reason poetry is something more scientific and serious than history, because poetry tends to give general truths while history gives particular facts.
If thinking is like perceiving, it must be either a process in which the soul is acted upon by what is capable of being thought, or a process different from but analogous to that. The thinking part of the soul must therefore be, while impassable, capable of receiving the form of an object; that is, must be potentially identical in character with its object without being the object. Mind must be related to what is thinkable, as sense is to what is sensible.
If happiness, then, is activity expressing virtue, it is reasonable for it to express the supreme virtue, which will be the virtueof the best thing.
For it is owing to their wonder that men both now begin and at first began to philosophize…. And a man who is puzzled and wonders thinks himself ignorant …; therefore since they philosophized in order to escape from ignorance, evidently they were pursuing science in order to know, and not for any utilitarian end.
What we know is not capable of being otherwise; of things capable of being otherwise we do not know, when they have passed outsideour observation, whether they exist or not. Therefore the object of knowledge is of necessity. Therefore it is eternal; for things that are of necessity in the unqualified sense are all eternal; and things that are eternal are ungenerated and imperishable.
A young man is not a proper hearer of lectures on political science; for he is inexperienced in the actions that occur in life, but its discussions start from these and are about these; and, further, since he tends to follow his passions, his study will be vain and unprofitable, because the end that is aimed at is not knowledge but action. And it makes no difference whether he is young in years or youthful in character.
Every community is an association of some kind and every community is established with a view to some good; for everyone always acts in order to obtain that which they think good. But, if all communities aim at some good, the state or political community, which is the highest of all, and which embraces all the rest, aims at good in a greater degree than any other, and at the highest good.
Of the modes of persuasion furnished by the spoken word there are three kinds. The first kind depends on the personal character ofthe speaker; the second on putting the audience into a certain frame of mind; the third on the proof, provided by the words of the speech itself.
Everything necessarily is or is not, and will be or will not be; but one cannot divide and say that one or the other is necessary.I mean, for example: it is necessary for there to be or not to be a sea-battle tomorrow; but it is not necessary for a sea-battle to take place tomorrow, or for one not to take place-though it is necessary for one to take place or not to take place.
So, if we must give a general formula applicable to all kinds of soul, we must describe it as the first actuality [entelechy] of anatural organized body.
Governments which have a regard to the common interest are constituted in accordance with strict principles of justice, and are therefore true forms; but those which regard only the interest of the rulers are all defective and perverted forms, for they are despotic, whereas a state is a community of freemen.
Something is infinite if, taking it quantity by quantity, we can always take something outside.
But then in what way are things called good? They do not seem to be like the things that only chance to have the same name. Are goods one then by being derived from one good or by all contributing to one good, or are they rather one by analogy? Certainly as sight is in the body, so is reason in the soul, and so on in other cases.
Young men have strong passions and tend to gratify them indiscriminately. Of the bodily desires, it is the sexual by which they are most swayed and in which they show absence of control…They are changeable and fickle in their desires which are violent while they last, but quickly over: their impulses are keen but not deep rooted.
A human being is a naturally political [animal].
Rising before daylight is also to be commended; it is a healthy habit, and gives more time for the management of the household as well as for liberal studies.
Speeches are like babies-easy to conceive but hard to deliver.
All art is concerned with coming into being.
In justice is all virtues found in sum.
Where your talents and the needs of the world cross; there lies your vocation.
It is possible to fail in many ways . . . while to succeed is possible only in one way (for which reason also one is easy and the other difficult – to miss the mark easy, to hit it difficult).
We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence. But they hesitate, waiting for the other fellow to make the first move-and he, in turn, waits for you.
Therefore, even the lover of myth is a philosopher; for myth is composed of wonder.
At the intersection where your gifts, talents, and abilities meet a human need; therein you will discover your purpose
With the truth, all given facts harmonize; but with what is false, the truth soon hits a wrong note.
The greatest of all pleasures is the pleasure of learning.
Before you heal the body you must first heal the mind
Evil brings men together.
Whatsoever that be within us that feels, thinks, desires, and animates, is something celestial, divine, and, consequently, imperishable.
Have a definite, clear, practical ideal – a goal, an objective.
When…we, as individuals, obey laws that direct us to behave for the welfare of the community as a whole, we are indirectly helping to promote the pursuit of happiness by our fellow human beings.
Nature of man is not what he was born as, but what he is born for.
The soul is characterized by these capacities; self-nutrition, sensation, thinking, and movement.
Yellow-colored objects appear to be gold
It is this simplicity that makes the uneducated more effective than the educated when addressing popular audiences-makes them, as the poets tell us, ‘charm the crowd’s ears more finely.’ Educated men lay down broad general principles; uneducated men argue from common knowledge and draw obvious conclusions.
Plato is my friend, but truth is a better friend.
Youth loves honor and victory more than money.
Happiness is an activity of the soul in accordance with virtue
It may be argued that peoples for whom philosophers legislate are always prosperous.
Happiness is a quality of the soul…not a function of one’s material circumstances.
Good moral character is not something that we can achieve on our own. We need a culture that supports the conditions under which self-love and friendship flourish.
The soul suffers when the body is diseased or traumatized, while the body suffers when the soul is ailing.
Every realm of nature is marvelous.
It is absurd to hold that a man should be ashamed of an inability to defend himself with his limbs, but not ashamed of an inability to defend himself with speech and reason; for the use of rational speech is more distinctive of a human being than the use of his limbs.
Virtue is the golden mean between two vices, the one of excess and the other of deficiency.
Money is a guarantee that we can have what we want in the future
The weak are always anxious for justice and equality. The strong pay no heed to either.
Doubt is the beginning of wisdom
Happiness seems to require a modicum of external prosperity.
The purpose of the present study is not as it is in other inquiries, the attainment of knowledge, we are not conducting this inquiry in order to know what virtue is, but in order to become good, else there would be no advantage in studying it. For that reason, it becomes necessary to examine the problem of our actions and to ask how they are to be performed. For as we have said, the actions determine what kind of characteristics are developed.
Every science and every inquiry, and similarly every activity and pursuit, is thought to aim at some good.
The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.
If purpose, then, is inherent in art, so is it in Nature also. The best illustration is the case of a man being his own physician, for Nature is like that – agent and patient at once.
The angry man wishes the object of his anger to suffer in return; hatred wishes its object not to exist.
Each human being is bred with a unique set of potentials that yearn to be fulfilled as surely as the acorn yearns to become the oak within it.
It is a part of probability that many improbable things will happen.
The young are heated by Nature as drunken men by wine.
It is likely that unlikely things should happen
Quid quid movetur ab alio movetur”(nothing moves without having been moved).
All men agree that a just distribution must be according to merit in some sense; they do not all specify the same sort of merit, but democrats identify it with freemen, supporters of oligarchy with wealth (or noble birth), and supporters of aristocracy with excellence.
Music directly represents the passions of the soul. If one listens to the wrong kind of music, he will become the wrong kind of person.
A goal gets us motivated,while a good habit keeps us stay motivated.
When the storytelling goes bad in a society, the result is decadence.
Courage is the mother of all virtues because without it, you cannot consistently perform the others.
Our problem is not that we aim too high and miss, but that we aim too low and hit.
Money originated with royalty and slavery, it has nothing to do with democracy or the struggle of the empoverished enslaved majority.
Those who have been eminent in philosophy, politics, poetry, and the arts have all had tendencies toward melancholia.
Peace is more difficult than war.
The senses are gateways to the intelligence. There is nothing in the intelligence which did not first pass through the senses.
We become just by the practice of just actions.
And this lies in the nature of things: What people are potentially is revealed in actuality by what they produce.
Friends enhance our ability to think and act.
Nothing is what rocks dream about
For those who possess and can wield arms are in a position to decide whether the constitution is to continue or not
Men are marked from the moment of birth to rule or be ruled.
All communication must lead to change
Let us be well persuaded that everyone of us possesses happiness in proportion to his virtue and wisdom, and according as he acts in obedience to their suggestion.
Education and morals will be found almost the whole that goes to make a good man.
No man of high and generous spirit is ever willing to indulge in flattery; the good may feel affection for others, but will not flatter them.
The ridiculous is produced by any defect that is unattended by pain, or fatal consequences; thus, an ugly and deformed countenance does not fail to cause laughter, if it is not occasioned by pain.
One kind of justice is that which is manifested in distributions of honour or money or the other things that fall to be divided among those who have a share in the constitution … and another kind is that which plays a rectifying part in transactions.
Excellence or virtue is a settled disposition of the mind that determines our choice of actions and emotions and consists essentially in observing the mean relative to us … a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
I have gained this by 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 the government to the utmost.
What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.
Just as at the Olympic games it is not the handsomest or strongest men who are crowned with victory but the successful competitors, so in life it is those who act rightly who carry off all the prizes and rewards.
Happiness does not consist in pastimes and amusements but in virtuous activities.
Where perception is, there also are pain and pleasure, and where these are, there, of necessity, is desire.
In revolutions the occasions may be trifling but great interest are at stake.
The so-called Pythagoreans, who were the first to take up mathematics, not only advanced this subject, but saturated with it, they fancied that the principles of mathematics were the principles of all things.
Now that practical skills have developed enough to provide adequately for material needs, one of these sciences which are not devoted to utilitarian ends [mathematics] has been able to arise in Egypt, the priestly caste there having the leisure necessary for disinterested research.
Everybody loves a thing more if it has cost him trouble: for instance those who have made money love money more than those who have inherited it.
Greatness of spirit is to bear finely both good fourtune and bad, honor and disgrace, and not to think highly of luxury or attention or power or victories in contests, and to possess a certain depth and magnitude of spirit.
It belongs to small-mindedness to be unable to bear either honor or dishonor, either good fortune or bad, but to be filled with conceit when honored and puffed up by trifling good fortune, and to be unable to bear even the smallest dishonor and to deem any chance failure a great misfortune, and to be distressed and annonyed at everything. Moreover the small-minded man is the sort of person to call all slights an insult and dishonor, even those that are due to ignorance or forgetfulness. Small-mindedness is accompanied by pettiness, querulousness, pessimism and self-abasement.
Anything that we have to learn to do we learn by the actual doing of it; People become builders by building and instrumentalists by playing instruments. Similarily, we become just by performing just acts, temperate by performing temperate ones, brave by performing brave ones.
Our youth should also be educated with music and physical education.
If men are given food, but no chastisement nor any work, they become insolent.
Memory is therefore, neither Perception nor Conception, but a state or affection of one of these, conditioned by lapse of time. As already observed, there is no such thing as memory of the present while present, for the present is object only of perception, and the future, of expectation, but the object of memory is the past. All memory, therefore, implies a time elapsed; consequently only those animals which perceive time remember, and the organ whereby they perceive time is also that whereby they remember.
Friendship is a thing most necessary to life, since without friends no one would choose to live, though possessed of all other advantages.
Time is the measurable unit of movement concerning a before and an after.
You’ll understand what life is if you think about the act of dying. When I die, how will I be different from the way I am right now? In the first moments after death, my body will be scarcely different in physical terms than it was in the last seconds of life, but I will no longer move, no longer sense, nor speak, nor feel, nor care. It’s these things that are life. At that moment, the psyche takes flight in the last breath.
It concerns us to know the purposes we seek in life, for then, like archers aiming at a definite mark, we shall be more likely to attain what we want.
The actuality of thought is life.
Aristotle suggests that the rotating Earth was a generally accepted tenet of Pythagorism: “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.”
For both excessive and insufficient exercise destroy one’s strength, and both eating and drinking too much or too little destroy health, whereas the right quantity produces, increases and preserves it. So it is the same with temperance, courage and the other virtues. This much then, is clear: in all our conduct it is the mean that is to be commended.
Suppose, then, that all men were sick or deranged, save one or two of them who were healthy and of right mind. It would then be the latter two who would be thought to be sick and deranged and the former not!
It is clear, then, that wisdom is knowledge having to do with certain principles and causes. But now, since it is this knowledge that we are seeking, we must consider the following point: of what kind of principles and of what kind of causes is wisdom the knowledge?
…The entire preoccupation of the physicist is with things that contain within themselves a principle of movement and rest.
… There must then be a principle of such a kind that its substance is activity.
Demonstration is also something necessary, because a demonstration cannot go otherwise than it does, … And the cause of this lies with the primary premises/principles.
… a science must deal with a subject and its properties.
… the science we are after is not about mathematicals either none of them, you see, is separable.
But also philosophy is not about perceptible substances they, you see, are prone to destruction.
Metaphysics involves intuitive knowledge of unprovable starting-points concepts and truth and demonstrative knowledge of what follows from them.
The life of theoretical philosophy is the best and happiest a man can lead. Few men are capable of it and then only intermittently. For the rest there is a second-best way of life, that of moral virtue and practical wisdom.
To say of what is that it is not, or of what is not that it is, is false, while to say of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not, is true.
The final cause, then, produces motion through being loved.
The two qualities which chiefly inspire regard and affection are that a thing is your own and that it is your only one.
Whereas young people become accomplished in geometry and mathematics, and wise within these limits, prudent young people do not seem to be found. The reason is that prudence is concerned with particulars as well as universals, and particulars become known from experience, but a young person lacks experience, since some length of time is needed to produce it.
There is only one condition in which we can imagine managers not needing subordinates, and masters not needing slaves. This condition would be that each (inanimate) instrument could do its own work.
You can never learn anything that you did not already know
All that one gains by falsehood is, not to be believed when he speaks the truth.
For even they who compose treatises of medicine or natural philosophy in verse are denominated Poets: yet Homer and Empedocles have nothing in common except their metre; the former, therefore, justly merits the name of the Poet; while the other should rather be called a Physiologist than a Poet.
It is evidently equally foolish to accept probable reasoning from a mathematician and to demand from a rhetorician demonstrative proofs.
It is in justice that the ordering of society is centered.
We should behave to our friends as we would wish our friends behave to us
Evils draw men together.
The body is at its best between the ages of thirty and thirty-five.
A courageous person is one who faces fearful things as he ought and as reason directs for the sake of what is noble.
The shape of the heaven is of necessity spherical; for that is the shape most appropriate to its substance and also by nature primary.
The legislator should direct his attention above all to the education of youth; for the neglect of education does harm to the constitution. The citizen should be molded to suit the form of government under which he lives. For each government has a peculiar character which originally formed and which continues to preserve it. The character of democracy creates democracy, and the character of oligarchy creates oligarchy.
The true nature of a thing is the highest it can become.
Choice not chance determines your destiny [my family motto…credited to Aristotle]
A democracy is a government in the hands of men of low birth, no property, and vulgar employments.
Dissimilarity of habit tends more than anything to destroy affection.
Art completes what nature cannot bring to finish. The artist gives us knowledge of nature’s unrealized ends.
The guest will judge better of a feast than the cook
He who cannot be a good follower cannot be a good leader.
Boundaries don’t protect rivers, people do.
If you would understand anything, observe its beginning and its development
To love someone is to identify with them.
Sophocles said he drew men as they ought to be, and Euripides as they were.
Evil draws men together.
What we expect, that we find.
Victory is plesant, not only to those who love to conquer, bot to all; for there is produced an idea of superiority, which all with more or less eagerness desire.
Youth should stay away from all evil, especially things that produce wickedness and ill-will.
There are no experienced young people. Time makes experience.
All men desire by nature to know.
It is of the nature of desire not to be satisfied, and most men live only for the gratification of it.
I say that habit’s but a long practice, friend, and this becomes men’s nature in the end.
. . . the man is free, we say, who exists for his own sake and not for another’s.
. . . Political society exists for the sake of noble actions, and not of mere companionship.
The life of money-making is one undertaken under compulsion, and wealth is evidently not the good we are seeking; for it is merely useful and for the sake of something else.
Health is a matter of choice, not a mystery of chance
A change in the shape of the body creates a change in the state of the soul.
Only an armed people can be truly free. Only an unarmed people can ever be enslaved.
Even the best of men in authority are liable to be corrupted by passion. We may conclude then that the law is reason without passion, and it is therefore preferable to any individual.
Justice is that virtue of the soul which is distributive according to desert.
We can do noble acts without ruling the earth and sea.
Hence intellect[ual perception] is both a beginning and an end, for the demonstrations arise from these, and concern them. As a result, one ought to pay attention to the undemonstrated assertions and opinions of experienced and older people, or of the prudent, no less than to demonstrations, for, because the have an experienced eye, they see correctly.
Education begins at the level of the learner.
A friend is another I.
Of ill-temper there are three kinds: irascibility, bitterness, sullenness. It belongs to the ill-tempered man to be unable to bear either small slights or defeats but to be given to retaliation and revenge, and easily moved to anger by any chance deed or word. Ill-temper is accompanied by excitability of character, instability, bitter speech, and liability to take offence at trifles and to feel these feelings quickly and on slight occasions.
If the art of ship-building were in the wood, ships would exist by nature.
In order to be effective you need not only virtue but also mental strength.
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.
Goodness is to do good to the deserving and love the good and hate the wicked, and not to be eager to inflict punishment or take vengeance, but to be gracious and kindly and forgiving.
This world is inescapably linked to the motions of the worlds above. All power in this world is ruled by these options.
Talent is culture with insolence.
There is honor in being a dog.
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.
It will contribute towards one’s object, who wishes to acquire a facility in the gaining of knowledge, to doubt judiciously.
Authority is no source for Truth.
Melancholy men of all others are most witty, which causeth many times a divine ravishment, and a kinde of Enthusiasmus, which stirreth them up to bee excellent Philosophers, Poets, Prophets, etc.
By ‘life,’ we mean a thing that can nourish itself and grow and decay.
Anybody can get hit over the head.
If you see a man approaching with the obvious intent of doing you good, run for your life. Consider pleasures as they depart, not as they come.
Masculine republics give way to feminine democracies, and feminine democracies give way to tyranny.
All flatterers are mercenary, and all low-minded men are flatterers.
Justice is Equality…but equality of what?
No science ever defends its first principles.
One may go wrong in many different ways, but right only in one, which is why it is easy to fail and difficult to succeed.
The high-minded man does not bear grudges, for it is not the mark of a great soul to remember injuries, but to forget them.
There is only one good, that is knowledge; there is only one evil, that is ignorance.
There is simple ignorance, which is the source of lighter offenses, and double ignorance, which is accompanied by a conceit of wisdom.
To Unlearn is as hard as to Learn
People never know each other until they have eaten a certain amount of salt together.
The good of man is the active exercise of his soul’s faculties. This exercise must occupy a complete lifetime. One swallow does make a spring, nor does one fine day. Excellence is a habit, not an event.
What is the highest of all goods achievable by action? …both the general run of man and people of superior refinement say that it is happiness …but with regard to what happiness is they differ.
In inventing a model we may assume what we wish, but should avoid impossibilities.
Patience s bitter, but it’s fruit is sweet.
It is the mark of an educated man to look for precision in each class of things just so far as the nature of the subject admits
The wise man knows of all things, as far as possible, although he has no knowledge of each of them in detail
All people by nature desire to know. An example of this is the delight we take in our senses; for even apart from their usefulness they are loved for themselves.
The true friend of the people should see that they be not too poor, for extreme poverty lowers the character of the democracy.
Nothing in life is more necessary than friendship.
Man by Nature desires to know.
In a race, the quickest runner can never overtake the slowest, since the pursuer must first reach the point whence the pursued started, so that the slower must always hold a lead.
That which is in locomotion must arrive at the half-way stage before it arrives at the goal. (Travel over any finite distance can neither be completed nor begun, and so all motion must be an illusion.)
If everything when it occupies an equal space is at rest, and if that which is in locomotion is always occupying such a space at any moment, the flying arrow is therefore motionless.
I seek to bring forth what you almost already know.
Our actions determine our dispositions.
The aim of education is to make the pupil like and dislike what he ought….The little human animal will not at first have the right responses. It must be trained to feel pleasure, liking, disgust, and hatred at those things which really are pleasant, likable, disgusting, and hateful.
Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, therein lies your vocation. These two, your talents and the needs of the world, are the great wake up calls to your true vocation in life… to ignore this, is in some sense, is to lose your soul.
The science that studies the supreme good for man is politics.
But the virtues we get by first exercising them, as also happens in the case of the arts as well. For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them, e.g. men become builders by building and lyre players by playing the lyre; so too we become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.
Some believe it to be just friends wanting, as if to be healthy enough to wish health.
Pleasure causes us to do base actions and pain causes us to abstain from doing noble actions.
No democracy can exist unless each of its citizens is as capable of outrage at injustice to another as he is of outrage at unjustice to himself.
It is no part of a physician’s business to use either persuasion or compulsion upon the patients.
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.
We are what we reblog.
Why do they call it proctology? Is it because analogy was already taken?
When a draco has eaten much fruit, it seeks the juice of the bitter lettuce; it has been seen to do this.
Truth is a remarkable thing. We cannot miss knowing some of it. But we cannot know it entirely.
Freedom is obedience to self-formulated rules.
[I]t is rather the case that we desire something because we believe it to be good than that we believe a thing to be good because we desire it. It is the thought that starts things off.
Distance does not break off the friendship absolutely, but only the activity of it.
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.
It is also in the interests of the tyrant to make his subjects poor… the people are so occupied with their daily tasks that they have no time for plotting.
The self-indulgent man craves for all pleasant things… and is led by his appetite to choose these at the cost of everything else.
Virtue is more clearly shown in the performance of fine ACTIONS than in the non-performance of base ones.
Wonder implies the desire to learn.
Experience has shown that it is difficult, if not impossible, for a populous state to be run by good laws.
To the sober person adventurous conduct often seems insanity.
Such an event is probable in Agathon’s sense of the word: ‘it is probable,’ he says, ‘that many things should happen contrary to probability.’
If the consequences are the same it is always better to assume the more limited antecedent, since in things of nature the limited, as being better, is sure to be found, wherever possible, rather than the unlimited.
To Thales the primary question was not what do we know, but how do we know it.
It is impossible, or not easy, to alter by argument what has long been absorbed by habit
Those who assert that the mathematical sciences say nothing of the beautiful or the good are in error. For these sciences say and prove a great deal about them; if they do not expressly mention them, but prove attributes which are their results or definitions, it is not true that they tell us nothing about them. The chief forms of beauty are order and symmetry and definiteness, which the mathematical sciences demonstrate in a special degree.
The beauty of the soul shines out when a man bears with composure one heavy mischance after another, not because he does not feel them, but because he is a man of high and heroic temper.
To be angry is easy. But to be angry with the right man at the right time and in the right manner, that is not easy.
Meanness is incurable; it cannot be cured by old age, or by anything else.
In cases of this sort, let us say adultery, rightness and wrongness do not depend on committing it with the right woman at the right time and in the right manner, but the mere fact of committing such action at all is to do wrong.
Human good turns out to be activity of soul exhibiting excellence, and if there is more than one sort of excellence, in accordance with the best and most complete.Foroneswallowdoesnot makea summer, nor does one day; and so too one day, or a short time, does not make a man blessed and happy.
Remember that time slurs over everything, let all deeds fade, blurs all writings and kills all memories. Exempt are only those which dig into the hearts of men by love.
First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.
Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.
We are what we repeatedly do.
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.
Happiness is something final and complete in itself, as being the aim and end of all practical activities whatever …. Happiness then we define as the active exercise of the mind in conformity with perfect goodness or virtue.
Happiness is an expression of the soul in considered actions.
He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander.
The coward calls the brave man rash, the rash man calls him a coward.
The habits we form from childhood make no small difference, but rather they make all the difference.
The best way to teach morality is to make it a habit with children.
Equality consists in the same treatment of similar persons.
Neither old people nor sour people seem to make friends easily; for there is little that is pleasant in them…
He is his own best friend, and takes delight in privacy whereas the man of no virtue or ability is his own worst enemy and is afraid of solitude.
As often as we do good, we offer sacrifice to God.
To become an able man in any profession, there are three things necessary, – nature, study, and practice.
Personal beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of introduction.
All that one gains by falsehood is, not to be believed when he speaks the truth.
Therefore Agathon rightly says: Of this alone even God is deprived, the power of making things that are past never to have been.
The proof that you know something is that you are able to teach it.
Well does Agathon say: Of this alone is even God deprived – the power of making that which is past never to have been.
Whatsoever that be within us that feels, thinks, desires, and animates, is something celestial, divine, and consequently imperishable.
Some men are just as firmly convinced of what they think as others of what they know.
Those who educate children well are more to be honored than parents, for these only gave life, those the art of living well.
Teachers who educate children deserve more honor than parents who merely gave birth; for bare life is furnished by the one, the other ensures a good life.
Shame is an ornament of the young; a disgrace of the old.
Democracy arose from men’s thinking that if they were equal in any respect, they were equal absolutely.
The end of labor is to gain leisure. It is a great saying.
The mathematical sciences particularly exhibit order, symmetry, and limitation; and these are the greatest forms of the beautiful.
All Earthquakes and Disasters are warnings; there’s too much corruption in the world
Some men turn every quality or art into a means of making money; this they conceive to be the end, and to the promotion of the end all things must contribute.
By myth I mean the arrangement of the incidents
Walked right by an ex-girlfriend today. Not on purpose, I just didn’t recognize her with her mouth closed.
PLOT is CHARACTER revealed by ACTION.
Man is a goal-seeking animal. His life only has meaning if he is reaching out and striving for his goals.
While fiction is often impossible, it should not be implausible.
Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god.
And what has come to prevail in democracies is the very reverse of beneficial, in those, that is, which are regarded as the most democratically run. The reason for this lies in the failure properly to define liberty. For there are two marks by which democracy is thought to be defined: “sovereignty of the majority” and “liberty.” “Just” is equated with what is equal, and the decision of the majority as to what is equal is regarded as sovereign; and liberty is seen in terms of doing what one wants.
Every effort therefore must be made to perpetuate prosperity. And, since that is to the advantage of the rich as well as the poor, all that accrues from the revenues should be collected into a single fund and distributed in block grants to those in need, if possible in lump sums large enough for the acquisition of a small piece of land, but if not, enough to start a business, or work in agriculture. And if that cannot be done for all, the distribution might be by tribes or some other division each in turn.
Men pay most attention to what is their own: they care less for what is common; or, at any rate, they care for it only to the extent to which each is individually concerned.
Now property is part of a household, and the acquisition of property part of household-management; for neither life itself nor the good life is possible without a certain minimum supply of the necessities.
Property should be in a general sense common, but as a general rule private… In well-ordered states, although every man has his own property, some things he will place at the disposal of his friends, while of others he shares the use of them.
The first essential responsibility of the state is control of the market-place: there must be some official charged with the duty of seeing that honest dealing and good order prevail. For one of the well-nigh essential activities of all states is the buying and selling of goods to meet their mutual basic needs; this is the quickest way to self-sufficiency, which seems to be what moves men to combine under a single constitution.
Tools may be animate as well as inanimate; for instance, a ship’s captain uses a lifeless rudder, but a living man for watch; for a servant is, from the point of view of his craft, categorized as one of its tools. So any piece of property can be regarded as a tool enabling a man to live, and his property is an assemblage of such tools; a slave is a sort of living piece of property; and like any other servant is a tool in charge of other tools.
For suppose that every tool we had could perform its task, either at our bidding or itself perceiving the need, and if-like the statues made by Daedalus or the tripods of Hephaestus, of which the poet says that “self-moved they enter the assembly of the gods” – shuttles in a loom could fly to and fro and a plectrum play a lyre all self-moved, then master-craftsmen would have no need of servants nor masters of slaves.
We must speak first about the division of land and about those who cultivate it: who should they be and what kind of person? We do not agree with those who have said that property should be communally owned, but we do believe that there should be a friendly arrangement for its common use, and that none of the citizens should be without means of support.
Prayers and sacrifices are of no avail.
We may assume the superiority ceteris paribus of the demonstration which derives from fewer postulates or hypotheses – in short, from fewer premises.
If the hammer and the shuttle could move themselves, slavery would be unnecessary.
Those who cannot bravely face danger are the slaves of their attackers.
Comedy has had no history, because it was not at first treated seriously.
…perhaps there is some element of good even in the simple act of living, so long as the evils of existence do not preponderate too heavily.
God and nature create nothing that does not fulfill a purpose
For the more limited, if adequate, is always preferable.
The soul is the form of the body
95% of everything you do is the result of habit.
It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.
Friends are an aid to the young, to guard them from error; to the elderly, to attend to their wants and to supplement their failing power of action; to those in the prime of life, to assist them to noble deeds.
Wicked me obey from fear; good men,from love.
We must not listen to those who advise us ‘being men to think human thoughts, and being mortal to think mortal thoughts’ but must put on immortality as much as possible and strain every nerve to live according to that best part of us, which, being small in bulk, yet much more in its power and honour surpasses all else.
In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge.
Anything whose presence or absence makes no discernible difference is no essential part of the whole.
The best political community is formed by citizens of the middle class.
The man who confers a favour would rather not be repaid in the same coin.
The worst thing about slavery is that the slaves eventually get to like it.
Men are divided between those who are as thrifty as if they would live forever, and those who are as extravagant as if they were going to die the next day.
It would be wrong to put friendship before the truth.
When several villages are united in a single complete community, large enough to be nearly or quite self-sufficing, the state comes into existence, originating in the bare needs of life, and continuing in existence for the sake of a good life.
The argument of Alcidamas: Everyone honours the wise. Thus the Parians have honoured Archilochus, in spite of his bitter tongue; the Chians Homer, though he was not their countryman; the Mytilenaeans Sappho, though she was a woman; the Lacedaemonians actually made Chilon a member of their senate, though they are the least literary of men; the inhabitants of Lampsacus gave public burial to Anaxagoras, though he was an alien, and honour him even to this day.
Anger is always concerned with individuals, … whereas hatred is directed also against classes: we all hate any thief and any informer. Moreover, anger can be cured by time; but hatred cannot. The one aims at giving pain to its object, the other at doing him harm; the angry man wants his victim to feel; the hater does not mind whether they feel or not.
That which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it. Every one thinks chiefly of his own, hardly at all of the common interest; and only when he is himself concerned as an individual. For besides other considerations, everybody is more inclined to neglect the duty which he expects another to fulfill.
Those who are not angry at the things they should be angry at are thought to be fools, and so are those who are not angry in the right way, at the right time, or with the right persons.
Art is identical with a state of capacity to make, involving a true course of reasoning.
Either a beast or a god.
One thing alone not even God can do,To make undone whatever hath been done.
Female cats are very Lascivious, and make advances to the male.
Anyone who has no need of anybody but himself is either a beast or a God.
Every great genius has an admixture of madness.
The greatest crimes are caused by surfeit, not by want.
A whole is that which has a beginning, a middle and an end.
The beginning, as the proverb says, is half the whole.
In educating the young we steer them by the rudders of pleasure and pain
The goal of war is peace, of business, leisure
Tragedy is an imitation not of men but of a life, an action
The specific excellence of verbal expression in poetry is to be clear without being low.
Law is order, and good law is good order.
I will not allow the Athenians to sin twice against philosophy,
You are what you do repeatedly,
How many a dispute could have been deflated into a single paragraph if the disputants had dared to define their terms
We are what we do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.
Memory is the scribe of the soul.
The true end of tragedy is to purify the passions.
The most perfect political community must be amongst those who are in the middle rank, and those states are best instituted wherein these are a larger and more respectable part, if possible, than both the other; or, if that cannot be, at least than either of them separate.
The business of every art is to bring something into existence, and the practice of an art involves the study of how to bring into existence something which is capable of having such an existence and has its efficient cause in the maker and not in itself.
Beauty is a gift of God.
Personal beauty requires that one should be tall; little people may have charm and elegance, but beauty-no.
Quite often good things have hurtful consequences. There are instances of men who have been ruined by their money or killed by their courage.
The life of children, as much as that of intemperate men, is wholly governed by their desires.
A very populous city can rarely, if ever, be well governed.
Democracy is the form of government in which the free are rulers.
The democrats think that as they are equal they ought to be equal in all things.
Friends are much better tried in bad fortune than in good.
As often as we do good, we offer sacrifices to God.
That rule is the better which is exercised over better subjects.
When there is no middle class, and the poor greatly exceed in number, troubles arise, and the state soon comes to an end.
Good laws, if they are not obeyed, do not constitute good government.
All that we do is done with an eye to something else.
We are better able to study our neighbors than ourselves, and their actions than our own.
When Pleasure is at the bar the jury is not impartial.
The ideal man is his own best friend and takes delight in privacy.
It is evident that the state is a creation of nature, and that man is by nature a political animal.
The man with a host of friends who slaps on the back everybody he meets is regarded as the friend of nobody.
Great is the good fortune of a state in which the citizens have a moderate and sufficient property.
It is not the possessions but the desires of mankind which require to be equalized.
It is not easy for a person to do any great harm when his tenure of office is short, whereas long possession begets tyranny.
Nowadays, for the sake of the advantage which is to be gained from the public revenues and from office, men want to be always in office.
Reason is a light that God has kindled in the soul.
If men think that a ruler is religious and has a reverence for the Gods, they are less afraid of suffering injustice at his hands.
Every virtue is a mean between two extremes, each of which is a vice.
We are what we frequently do.
All men are alike when asleep.
Hippocrates is an excellent geometer but a complete fool in everyday affairs.
The chief forms of beauty are order and symmetry and definiteness, which the mathematical sciences demonstrate in a special degree.
The unfortunate need people who will be kind to them; the prosperous need people to be kind to.
No one will dare maintain that it is better to do injustice than to bear it.
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, and so there will be no unity and completeness.
Music directly imitates the passions or states of the soul…when one listens to music that imitates a certain passion, he becomes imbued withthe same passion; and if over a long time he habitually listens to music that rouses ignoble passions, his whole character will be shaped to an ignoble form.
And so long as they were at war, their power was preserved, but when they had attained empire they fell, for of the arts of peace they knew nothing, and had never engaged in any employment higher than war.
Music has a power of forming the character, and should therefore be introduced into the education of the young.
The fire at Lipara, Xenophanes says, ceased once for sixteen years, and came back in the seventeenth. And he says that the lavastream from Aetna is neither of the nature of fire, nor is it continuous, but it appears at intervals of many years.
So it is naturally with the male and the female; the one is superior, the other inferior; the one governs, the other is governed; and the same rule must necessarily hold good with respect to all mankind.
He who confers a benefit on anyone loves him better than he is beloved.
Happiness is a sort of action.
Anaximenes and Anaxagoras and Democritus say that its [the earth’s] flatness is responsible for it staying still: for it does not cut the air beneath but covers it like a lid, which flat bodies evidently do: for they are hard to move even for the winds, on account of their resistance.
But the whole vital process of the earth takes place so gradually and in periods of time which are so immense compared with the length of our life, that these changes are not observed, and before their course can be recorded from beginning to end whole nations perish and are destroyed.
It is clear that the earth does not move, and that it does not lie elsewhere than at the center.
If there is any kind of animal which is female and has no male separate from it, it is possible that this may generate a young one from itself. No instance of this worthy of any credit has been observed up to the present at any rate, but one case in the class of fishes makes us hesitate. No male of the so-called erythrinus has ever yet been seen, but females, and specimens full of roe, have been seen. Of this, however, we have as yet no proof worthy of credit.
Plants, again, inasmuch as they are without locomotion, present no great variety in their heterogeneous pacts. For, when the functions are but few, few also are the organs required to effect them. … Animals, however, that not only live but perceive, present a great multiformity of pacts, and this diversity is greater in some animals than in others, being most varied in those to whose share has fallen not mere life but life of high degree. Now such an animal is man.
Actions determine what kind of characteristics are developed.
Why is it that all those who have become eminent in philosophy, politics, poetry, or the arts are clearly of an atrabilious temperament and some of them to such an extent as to be affected by diseases caused by black bile?
Shipping magnate of the 20th century If women didn’t exist, all the money in the world would have no meaning.
There is nothing strange in the circle being the origin of any and every marvel.
Prosperity makes friends and adversity tries them. A true friend is one soul in two bodies
A proper wife should be as obedient as a slave… The female is a female by virtue of a certain lack of qualities – a natural defectiveness.
It is through wonder that men now begin and originally began to philosophize; wondering in the first place at obvious perplexities, and then by gradual progression raising questions about the greater matters too.
If we state the function of man to be a certain kind of life, and this to be an activity or actions of the soul implying a rational principle, and the function of a good man to be the good and noble performance of these, and if any action is well performed when it is performed in accordance with the appropriate excellence human good turns out to be activity of the soul in accordance with virtue, and if there are more than one virtue, in accordance with the best and most complete.
Again, it is possible to fail in many ways (for evil belongs to the class of the unlimited and good to that of the limited), while to succeed is possible only in one way (for which reason also one is easy and the other difficult-to miss the mark easy, to hit it difficult); for these reasons also, then, excess and defect are characteristic of vice, and the mean of virtue; For men are good in but one way, but bad in many.
The vices respectively fall short of or exceed what is right in both passions and actions, while virtue both finds and chooses that which is intermediate.
Poetry demands a man with a special gift for it, or else one with a touch of madness in him.
My lectures are published and not published; they will be intelligible to those who heard them, and to none beside.
The probable is what usually happens.
We must as second best, as people say, take the least of the evils.
In a word, acts of any kind produce habits or characters of the same kind. Hence we ought to make sure that our acts are of a certain kind; for the resulting character varies as they vary. It makes no small difference, therefore, whether a man be trained in his youth up in this way or that, but a great difference, or rather all the difference.
Knowledge of the fact differs from knowledge of the reason for the fact.
For just as for a flute-player, a sculptor, or an artist, and, in general, for all things that have a function or activity, the good and the well is thought to reside in the function, so would it seem to be for man, if he has a function.
Concerning the generation of animals akin to them, as hornets and wasps, the facts in all cases are similar to a certain extent, but are devoid of the extraordinary features which characterize bees; this we should expect, for they have nothing divine about them as the bees have.
One would have thought that it was even more necessary to limit population than property; and that the limit should be fixed by calculating the chances of mortality in the children, and of sterility in married persons. The neglect of this subject, which in existing states is so common, is a never-failing cause of poverty among the citizens; and poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.
For legislators make the citizens good by forming habits in them, and this is the wish of every legislator, and those who do not effect it miss their mark, and it is in this that a good constitution differs from a bad one.
We should venture on the study of every kind of animal without distaste; for each and all will reveal to us something natural and something beautiful.
The best friend is he that, when he wishes a person’s good, wishes it for that person’s own sake.
The law is reason unaffected by desire.
Money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of all modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural.
Evidence from torture may be considered completely untrustworthy
Men come together in cities in order to live: they remain together in order to live the good life
When you ask a dumb question, you get a smart answer.
Praise invariably implies a reference to a higher standard.
Quitting smoking is rather a marathon than a sprint. It is not a one-time attempt, but a longer effort
Today you can start forming habits for overcoming all obstacles in life… even nicotine cravings
Life is full of chances and changes, and the most prosperous of men may in the evening of his days meet with great misfortunes.
Humility is a flower which does not grow in everyone’s garden.
Modesty is hardly to be described as a virtue. It is a feeling rather than a disposition. It is a kind of fear of falling into disrepute.
Happiness is the highest good
Happiness lies in virtuous activity, and perfect happiness lies in the best activity, which is contemplative
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
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.
Emotions of any kind can be evoked by melody and rhythm; therefore music has the power to form character.
Every rascal is not a thief, but every thief is a rascal.
You are what you repeatedly do
He is courageous who endures and fears the right thing, for the right motive, in the right way and at the right times.
Happiness itself is sufficient excuse. Beautiful things are right and true; so beautiful actions are those pleasing to the gods. Wise men 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 man’s own breast. Trust thyself.
Earthworms are the intenstines of the soil.
Happiness, then, is found to be something perfect and self-sufficient, being the end to which our actions are directed.
… the good for man is an activity of the soul in accordance with virtue, or if there are more kinds of virtue than one, in accordance with the best and most perfect kind.
So virtue is a purposive disposition, lying in a mean that is relative to us and determined by a rational principle, and by that which a prudent man would use to determine it. It is a mean between two kinds of vice, one of excess and the other of deficiency…
It [Justice] is complete virtue in the fullest sense, because it is the active exercise of complete virtue; and it is complete because its possessor can exercise it in relation to another person, and not only by himself.
…virtue is not merely a state in conformity with the right principle, but one that implies the right principle; and the right principle in moral conduct is prudence.
Between friends there is no need for justice, but people who are just still need the quality of friendship; and indeed friendliness is considered to be justice in the fullest sense.
But a man’s best friend is the one who not only wishes him well but wishes it for his own sake (even though nobody will ever know it): and this condition is best fulfilled by his attitude towards himself – and similarly with all the other attributes that go to define a friend. For we have said before that all friendly feelings for others are extensions of a man’s feelings for himself.
… the friendship of worthless people has a bad effect (because they take part, unstable as they are, in worthless pursuits, and actually become bad through each other’s influence). But the friendship of the good is good, and increases in goodness because of their association. They seem even to become better men by exercising their friendship and improving each other; for the traits that they admire in each other get transferred to themselves.
For contemplation is both the highest form of activity (since the intellect is the highest thing in us, and the objects that it apprehends are the highest things that can be known), and also it is the most continuous, because we are more capable of continuous contemplation than we are of any practical activity.
Happiness, then, is co-extensive with contemplation, and the more people contemplate, the happier they are; not incidentally, but in virtue of their contemplation, because it is in itself precious. Thus happiness is a form of contemplation.
It makes no difference whether a good man has defrauded a bad man, or a bad man defrauded a good man, or whether a good or bad man has committed adultery: the law can look only to the amount of damage done.
Character gives us qualities, but it is in actions – what we do – that we are happy or the reverse. … All human happiness and misery take the form of action.
Tragedy is an imitation not only of a complete action, but of events inspiring fear and pity. Such an effect is best produced when the events come on us by surprise; and the effect is heightened when, at the same time, they follow as cause and effect. The tragic wonder will then be great than if they happened of themselves or by accident; for even coincidences are most striking when they have an air of design.
Men in general desire the good and not merely what their fathers had.
Being a father is the most rewarding thing a man whose career has plateaued can do.
Of the tyrant, spies and informers are the principal instruments. War is his favorite occupation, for the sake of engrossing the attention of the people, and making himself necessary to them as their leader.
Beauty is the gift of God
Those that deem politics beneath their dignity are doomed to be governed by those of lesser talents.
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.
The greatest thing by far is to have a command of metaphor. This alone cannot be imparted by another; it is the mark of genius, for to make good metaphors implies an eye for resemblances.
In general, what is written must be easy to read and easy to speak; which is the same.
“I was not alone when I was in Goofy hell”
They should rule who are able to rule best.
A state is not a mere society, having a common place, established for the prevention of mutual crime and for the sake of exchange. . . .Political society exists for the sake of noble actions, and not mere companionship.
When you are lonely, when you feel yourself an alien in the world, play Chess. This will raise your spirits and be your counselor in war
Nature makes nothing incomplete, and nothing in vain.
There is more both of beauty and of raison d’etre in the works of nature- than in those of art.
Those whose days are consumed in the low pursuits of avarice, or the gaudy frivolties of fashion, unobservant of nature’s lovelinessof demarcation, nor on which side thereof an intermediate form should lie.
Pay attention to the young, and make them just as good as possible.
When people are friends, they have no need of justice, but when they are just, they need friendship in addition.
Conscientious and careful physicians allocate causes of disease to natural laws, while the ablest scientists go back to medicine for their first principles.
Why is it that all men who are outstanding in philosophy, poetry or the arts are melancholic?
The true nature of anything is what it becomes at its highest.
In a polity, each citizen is to possess his own arms, which are not supplied or owned by the state.
A good character carries with it the highest power of causing a thing to be believed.
It is our choice of good or evil that determines our character, not our opinion about good or evil.
A tragedy is the imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself . . . with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish its catharsis of such emotions.
Love is the cause of unity in all things.
Life cannot be lived, and understood, simultaneously.
The society that loses its grip on the past is in danger, for it produces men who know nothing but the present, and who are not aware that life had been, and could be, different from what it is.
For the real difference between humans and other animals is that humans alone have perception of good and evil, just and unjust, etc. It is the sharing of a common view in these matters that makes a household and a state.
To leave the number of births unrestricted, as is done in most states, inevitably causes poverty among the citizens, and poverty produces crime and faction.
Phronimos, possessing practical wisdom . But the only virtue special to a ruler is practical wisdom; all the others must be possessed, so it seems, both by rulers and ruled. The virtue of a person being ruled is not practical wisdom but correct opinion; he is rather like a person who makes the pipes, while the ruler is the one who can play them.
It is clear that those constitutions which aim at the common good are right, as being in accord with absolute justice; while those which aim only at the good of the rulers are wrong.
A man who examines each subject from a philosophical standpoint cannot neglect them: he has to omit nothing, and state the truth about each topic.
Thus it is thought that justice is equality; and so it is, but not for all persons, only for those that are equal. Inequality also is thought to be just; and so it is, but not for all, only for the unequal. We make bad mistakes if we neglect this for whom when we are deciding what is just. The reason is that we are making judgements about ourselves, and people are generally bad judges where their own interests are involved.
So we must lay it down that the association which is a state exists not for the purpose of living together but for the sake of noble actions.
But it is not at all certain that this superiority of the many over the sound few is possible in the case of every people and every large number. There are some whom it would be impossible: otherwise the theory would apply to wild animals- and yet some men are hardly any better than wild animals.
To let them share in the highest offices is to take a risk; inevitably, their unjust standards will cause them to commit injustice, and their lack of judgement will lead them into error. On the other hand there is a risk in not giving them a share, and in their non participation, for when there are many who have no property and no honours they inevitably constitute a huge hostile element in the state. But it can still remain open to them to participate in deliberating and judging.
Perhaps here we have a clue to the reason why royal rule used to exist formerly, namely the difficulty of finding enough men of outstanding virtue ..
. .we would have to say that hereditary succession is harmful. You may say the king, having sovereign power, will not in that case hand over to his children. But it is hard to believe that: it is a difficult achievement, which expects too much virtue of human nature.
.. for desire is like a wild beast, and anger perverts rulers and the very best of men. Hence law is intelligence without appetition.
The right constitutions, three in number- kingship, aristocracy, and polity- and the deviations from these, likewise three in number – tyranny from kingship, oligarchy from aristocracy, democracy from polity.
A democracy exists whenever those who are free and are not well-off, being in the majority, are in sovereign control of government, an oligarchy when control lies with the rich and better-born, these being few.
For this reason poetry is something more philosophical and more worthy of serious attention than history.
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.
A common danger unites even the bitterest enemies.
We must not feel a childish disgust at the investigations of the meaner animals. For there is something marvelous in all natural things.
He who thus considers things in their first growth and origin … will obtain the clearest view of them.
Here and elsewhere we shall not obtain the best insight into things until we actually see them growing from the beginning.
For any two portions of fire, small or great, will exhibit the same ratio of solid to void; but the upward movement of the greater is quicker than that of the less, just as the downward movement of a mass of gold or lead, or of any other body endowed with weight, is quicker in proportion to its size.
We, on the other hand, must take for granted that the things that exist by nature are, either all or some of them, in motion.
A line is not made up of points. … In the same way, time is not made up parts considered as indivisible ‘nows.’ Part of Aristotle’s reply to Zeno’s paradox concerning continuity.
And this activity alone would seem to be loved for its own sake; for nothing arises from it apart from the contemplating, while from practical activities we gain more or less apart from the action. And happiness is thought to depend on leisure; for we are busy that we may have leisure, and make war that we may live in peace.
The Eyes are the organs of temptation, and the Ears are the organs of instruction.
If you prove the cause, you at once prove the effect; and conversely nothing can exist without its cause.
Obstinate people can be divided into the opinionated, the ignorant, and the boorish.
Ancient laws remain in force long after the people have the power to change them.
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.
People become house builders through building houses, harp players through playing the harp. We grow to be just by doing things which are just.
Greed has no boundaries
Thus every action must be due to one or other of seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reasoning, anger, or appetite.
When their adventures do not succeed, however, they run away; but it was the mark of a brave man to face things that are, and seem, terrible for a man, because it is noble to do so and disgraceful not to do so.
The Life of the intellect is the best and pleasantest for man, because the intellect more than anything else is the man. Thus it will be the happiest life as well.
Happiness is at once the best, the noblest, and the pleasantest of things.
True happiness flows from the possession of wisdom and virtue and not from the possession of external goods.
The saying of Protagoras is like the views we have mentioned; he said that man is the measure of all things, meaning simply that that which seems to each man assuredly is. If this is so, it follows that the same thing both is and is not, and is bad and good, and that the contents of all other opposite statements are true, because often a particular thing appears beautiful to some and ugly to others, and that which appears to each man is the measure
In all things which have a plurality of parts, and which are not a total aggregate but a whole of some sort distinct from the parts, there is some cause.
The same thing may have all the kinds of causes, e.g. the moving cause of a house is the art or the builder, the final cause is the function it fulfils, the matter is earth and stones, and the form is the definitory formula.
Since we think we understand when we know the explanation, and there are four types of explanation (one, what it is to be a thing; one, that if certain things hold it is necessary that this does; another, what initiated the change; and fourth, the aim), all these are proved through the middle term.
As for the story, whether the poet takes it ready made or constructs it for himself, he should first sketch its general outline, and then fill in the episodes and amplify in detail.
Marriage is like retiring as a bachelor and getting a sexual pension. You don’t have to work for the sex any more, but you only get 65% as much.
The happy life is thought to be one of excellence; now an excellent life requires exertion, and does not consist in amusement.
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.
Virtue makes us aim at the right end, and practical wisdom makes us take the right means.
The avarice of mankind is insatiable.
A bad man can do a million times more harm than a beast.
A brave man is clear in his discourse, and keeps close to truth.
To die, and thus avoid poverty or love, or anything painful, is not the part of a brave man, but rather of a coward; for it is cowardice to avoid trouble, and the suicide does not undergo death because it is honorable, but in order to avoid evil.
People generally despise where they flatter.
Friendship is communion.
We should aim rather at leveling down our desires than leveling up our means.
For imitation is natural to man from his infancy. Man differs from other animals particularly in this, that he is imitative, and acquires his rudiments of knowledge in this way; besides, the delight in it is universal.
Time past, even God is deprived of the power of recalling.
There are, then, these three means of effecting persuasion. The man who is to be in command of them must, it is clear, be able (1) to reason logically, (2) to understand human character and goodness in their various forms, and (3) to understand the emotions-that is, to name them and describe them, to know their causes and the way in which they are excited.
Consider pleasures as they depart, not as they come.
It is better for a city to be governed by a good man than by good laws.
Happiness may be defined as good fortune joined to virtue, or a independence, or as a life that is both agreeable and secure.
The activity of happiness must occupy an entire lifetime; for one swallow does not a summer make.
Man is the metre of all things, the hand is the instrument of instruments, and the mind is the form of forms.
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.
All art, all education, can be merely a supplement to nature.
There must be in prudence also some master virtue.
The best things are placed between extremes.
The mass of mankind are evidently slavish in their tastes, preferring a life suitable to beasts.
A king ruleth as he ought, a tyrant as he lists, a king to the profit of all, a tyrant only to please a few.
No tyrant need fear till men begin to feel confident in each other.
If some animals are good at hunting and others are suitable for hunting, then the Gods must clearly smile on hunting.
Law is mind without reason.
Wretched, ephemeral race, children of chance and tribulation, why do you force me to tell you the very thing which it would be most profitable for you not to hear? The very best thing is utterly beyond your reach: not to have been born, not to be, to be nothing. However, the second best thing for you is: to die soon.
Fate of empires depends on the education of youth
A good style must have an air of novelty, at the same time concealing its art.
It was through the feeling of wonder that men now and at first began to philosophize.
That in the soul which is called the mind is, before it thinks, not actually any real thing.
He overcomes a stout enemy who overcomes his own anger.
Good has two meanings: it means that which is good absolutely and that which is good for somebody.
There are some jobs in which it is impossible for a man to be virtuous.
Music has the power of producing a certain effect on the moral character of the soul, and if it has the power to do this, it is clear that the young must be directed to music and must be educated in it.
To appreciate the beauty of a snow flake, it is necessary to stand out in the cold.
The family is the association established by nature for the supply of man’s everyday wants.
That which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it
The man who is content to live alone is either a beast or a god.
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.
Philosophy begins with wonder.
A friend of everyone is a friend of no one
Cruel is the strife of brothers.
Happiness belongs to the self sufficient.
Young people are in a condition like permanent intoxication, because life is sweet and they are growing.
Whatever we learn to do, we learn by actually doing it; men come to be builders, for instance, by building, and harp players by playing the harp. In the same way, by doing just acts we come to be just; by doing self-controlled acts, we come to be self-controlled ; and by doing brave acts, we become brave.
The heart is the perfection of the whole organism. Therefore the principles of the power of perception and the souls ability to nourish itself must lie in the heart.
We ought not to listen to those who exhort us, because we are human, to think of human things….We ought rather to take on immortality as much as possible, and do all that we can to live in accordance with the highest element within us; for even if its bulk is small, in its power and value it far exceeds everything.
Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education.
The greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor.
The investigation of the truth is in one way hard, in another easy. An indication of this is found in the fact that no one is able to attain the truth adequately, while, on the other hand, no one fails entirely, but everyone says something true about the nature of all things, and while individually they contribute little or nothing to the truth, by the union of all a considerable amount is amassed.
A person’s life persuades better than his word.
Today, see if you can stretch your heart and expand your love so that it touches not only those to whom you can give it easily, but also to those who need it so much.
The greatest threat to the state is not faction but distraction
The happy life is regarded as a life in conformity with virtue. It is a life which involves effort and is not spent in amusement.
Nature does nothing in vain. Therefore, it is imperative for persons to act in accordance with their nature and develop their latent talents, in order to be content and complete.
Happiness is prosperity combined with virtue.
The proof that you know something is that you are able to teach it
Laughter is a bodily exercise, precious to Health
You should never think without an image.
It is the mark of an educated mind to expect that amount of exactness which the nature of the particular subject admits. It is equally unreasonable to accept merely probable conclusions from a mathematician and to demand strict demonstration from an orator.
To be ignorant of motion is to be ignorant of nature
The most important relationship we can all have is the one you have with yourself, the most important journey you can take is one of self-discovery. To know yourself, you must spend time with yourself, you must not be afraid to be alone. Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.
Melancholy men, of all others, are the most witty.
Temperance and bravery, then, are ruined by excess and deficiency, but preserved by the mean.
Tolerance and apathy are the last virtues of a dying society.
Self-sufficiency is both a good and an absolute good.
Courage is the first virtue that makes all other virtues possible.
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.
Tyrants preserve themselves by sowing fear and mistrust among the citizens by means of spies, by distracting them with foreign wars, by eliminating men of spirit who might lead a revolution, by humbling the people, and making them incapable of decisive action…
Even that some people try deceived me many times … I will not fail to believe that somewhere, someone deserves my trust.
If something’s bound to happen, it will happen.. Right time, right person, and for the best reason.
Some vices miss what is right because they are deficient, others because they are excessive, in feelings or in actions, while virtue finds and chooses the mean.
The pleasures arising from thinking and learning will make us think and learn all the more. 1153a 23
That which is impossible and probable is better than that which is possible and improbable.
Worms are the intestines of the earth.
Happiness is the reward of virtue.
A gentleman is not disturbed by anything
Since music has so much to do with the molding of character, it is necessary that we teach it to our children.
Neither by nature, then, nor contrary to nature do the virtues arise in us; rather we are adapted by nature to receive them, and are made perfect by habit.
A period may be defined as a portion of speech that has in itself a beginning and an end, being at the same time not too big to be taken in at a glance
For we do not think that we know a thing until we are acquainted with its primary conditions or first principles, and have carried our analysis as far as its simplest elements.
One cannot say of something that it is and that it is not in the same respect at the same time.
People do not naturally become morally excellent or practically wise. They become so, if at all, only as the result of lifelong personal and community effort.
Think as the wise men think, but talk like the simple people do.
The intelligence consists not only in the knowledge but also in the skill to apply the knowledge into practice.
When you feel yourself lacking something, send your thoughts towards your Intimate and search for the Divinity that lives within you.
The virtue as the art consecrates itself constantly to what’s difficult to do, and the harder the task, the shinier the success.
Think as wise men do, but speak as the common people do.
We can’t learn without pain.
Try is a noisy way of doing nothing.
A tragedy is that moment where the hero comes face to face with his true identity.
One has no friend who has many friends.
The soul becomes prudent by sitting and being quiet.
A city is composed of different kinds of men; similar people cannot bring a city into existence.
…for all men do their acts with a view to achieving something which is, in their view, a good.
A man is his own best friend; therefore he ought to love himself best.
We work to earn our leisure.
The ultimate end…is not knowledge, but action. To be half right on time may be more important than to obtain the whole truth too late.
The principle aim of gymnastics is the education of all youth and not simply that minority of people highly favored by nature.
So the good has been well explained as that at which all things aim.
Metaphor is halfway between the unintelligible and the commonplace.
Happiness is self-connectedness.
Injustice results as much from treating unequals equally as from treating equals unequally.
A democracy when put to the strain grows weak, and is supplanted by Oligarchy.
A promise made must be a promise kept.
Find the good. Seek the Unity. Ignore the divisions among us.
The souls ability to nourish itself lies in the heart.
The difference between a learned man and an ignorant one is the same as that between a living man and a corpse.
We laugh at that which we cannot bear to face.
The fool tells me his reason; the wise man persuades me with my own.
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.
The complete man must work, study and wrestle.
Greatness of spirit is accompanied by simplicity and sincerity.
Let us first understand the facts and then we may seek the cause.
Imagination is a sort of faint perception.
There is nothing unequal as the equal treatment of unequals.
Those who act receive the prizes.
It is true, indeed, that the account Plato gives in ‘Timaeus’ is different from what he says in his so-called ‘unwritten teachings.’
It is the repeated performance of just and temperate actions that produces virtue.
All things are full of gods.
Men become richer not only by increasing their existing wealth but also by decreasing their expenditure.
The purpose of art is to represent the meaning of things. This represents the true reality, not external aspects.
Happiness involves engagement in activities that promote one’s highest potentials.
The greatest victory is over self.
Rhetoric is useful because the true and the just are naturally superior to their opposites, so that, if decisions are improperly made, they must owe their defeat to their own advocates; which is reprehensible. Further, in dealing with certain persons, even if we possessed the most accurate scientific knowledge, we should not find it easy to persuade them by the employment of such knowledge. For scientific discourse is concerned with instruction, but in the case of such persons instruction is impossible.
Speech is the representation of the mind, and writing is the representation of speech.
Whether we will philosophize or we won’t philosophize, we must philosophize.
A true friend is one soul divided into two people.
Definition of tragedy: A hero destroyed by the excess of his virtues
For through wondering human beings now and in the beginning have been led to philosophizing.
A man becomes a friend whenever being loved he loves in return.
A friend is simply one soul in two bodies.
Be a free thinker and don’t accept everything you hear as truth. Be critical and evaluate what you believe in.
There is always something new coming out of Africa.
The character which results from wealth is that of a prosperous fool.
It is not sufficient to know what one ought to say, but one must also know how to say it.
Art is a higher type of knowledge than experience.
That which is excellent endures.
A life of wealth and many belongings is only a means to happiness. Honor, power, and success cannot be happiness because they depend on the whims of others, and happiness should be self-contained, complete in itself.
When the looms spin by themselves, we’ll have no need for slaves.
The rattle is a toy suited to the infant mind, and education is a rattle or toy for children of larger growth.
Hippodamus, son of Euryphon, a native of Miletus, invented the art of planning and laid out the street plan of Piraeus.
Excellence is not an art. It is the habit of practice.
It seems that ambition makes most people wish to be loved rather than to love others.
There is no such thing as committing adultery with the right woman, at the right time, and in the right way, for it is simply WRONG.
We are what we repeatedly do… excellence, therefore, isn’t just an act, but a habit and life isn’t just a series of events, but an ongoing process of self-definition.
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.
Melancholy men are of all others the most witty.
Homer has taught all other poets the are of telling lies skillfully.
Emotions of any kind are produced by melody and rhythm; therefore by music a man becomes accustomed to feeling the right emotions; music has thus the power to form character, and the various kinds of music based on various modes may be distinguished by their effects on character.
Music imitates (represents) the passions or states of the soul, such as gentleness, anger, courage, temperance, and their opposites.
Hence both women and children must be educated with an eye to the constitution, if indeed it makes any difference to the virtue of a city-state that its children be virtuous, and its women too. And it must make a difference, since half the free population are women, and from children come those who participate in the constitution.
Selfishness doesn’t consist in a love to yourself, but in a big degree of such love.
The best way to avoid envy is to deserve the success you get.
The bad man is continually at war with, and in opposition to, himself.
Accordingly, the poet should prefer probable impossibilities to improbable possibilities. The tragic plot must not be composed of irrational parts.
Friendship also seems to be the bond that hold communities together.
Friendship is two souls inhabiting one body.
Love well, be loved and do something of value.
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.
Nature operates in the shortest way possible.
Everyone honors the wise.
The best tragedies are conflicts between a hero and his destiny.
Our feelings towards our friends reflect our feelings towards ourselves.
Happiness comes from theperfect practice of virtue.
Money was established for exchange, but interest causes it to be reproduced by itself. Therefore this way of earning money is greatly in conflict with the natural law.
Maybe crying is a means of cleaning yourself out emotionally. Or maybe it’s your last resort; the only way to express yourself when words fail, the same as when you were a baby and had no words.
Education and morals make the good man, the good statesman, the good ruler.
True happiness comes from gaining insight and growing into your best possible self. Otherwise all you’re having is immediate gratification pleasure, which is fleeting and doesn’t grow you as a person.
1 is not prime, by definition. 2 is an unnatural prime, 4 is an unnatural prime, and 6 is an unnatural prime. All other natural primes cannot be unnatural primes.
Man by nature wants to know.
Character is made by many acts; it may be lost by a single one.
So that the lover of myths, which are a compact of wonders, is by the same token a lover of wisdom.
Worthless persons appointed to have supreme control of weighty affairs do a lot of damage.
He who cannot see the truth for himself, nor, hearing it from others, store it away in his mind, that man is utterly worthless.
What you have to learn to do, you learn by doing.
In the works of Nature, purpose, not accident, is the main thing.
Dignity consists not in possessing honors, but in the consciousness that we deserve them.
Education is the best provision for the journey to old age.
How many a dispute could have been deflated into a single paragraph if the disputants had dared to define their terms.
Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a particular way… you become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions.
One swallow does not make a summer, neither does one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.
In the arena of human life the honours and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action.
When several villages are united in a single complete community, large enough to nearly or quite self-sufficing, the state comes into existence, originating in the bare needs of life, and continuing in existence for the sake of a good life.
It is better to rise from life as from a banquet – neither thirsty nor drunken.
The heart is the perfection of the whole organism. Therefore the principles of the power of perception and the soul’s ability to nourish itself must lie in the heart.
And this activity alone would seem to be loved for its own sake; for nothing arises from it apart from the contemplating, while from practical activities we gain more or less apart from the action. And happiness is thought to depend on leisure; for we are busy that we may have leisure, and make war that we may live in peace.
The distinction between historian and poet is not in the one writing prose and the other verse… the one describes the thing that has been, and the other a kind of thing that might be. Hence poetry is something more philosophic and of graver import than history, since its statements are of the nature rather of universals, whereas those of history are singulars.
The whole is not, as it were, a mere heap, but the totality is something besides the parts.
A tragedy, then, is the imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself; in language with pleasurable accessories, each kind brought in separately in the parts of the work; in a dramatic, not in a narrative form; with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish its catharsis of such emotions.
That man is more of a political animal than bees or any other gregarious animals is evident. Nature, as we often say, makes nothing in vain, and man is the only animal who has the gift of speech.
We should behave to our friends as we would wish our friends to behave to us.
The quality of a life is determined by its activities.
It is easy to fly into a passion – anybody can do that – but to be angry with the right person to the right extent and at the right time and with the right object and in the right way – that is not easy, and it is not everyone who can do it.
Personal beauty requires that one should be tall; little people may have charm and elegance, but beauty – no.
Beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of introduction.
Why do men seek honour? Surely in order to confirm the favourable opinion they have formed of themselves.
The impulses of an incontinent man carry him in the opposite direction from that towards which he was aiming.
This is the reason why mothers are more devoted to their children than fathers: it is that they suffer more in giving them birth and are more certain that they are their own.
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.
It is not easy for a person to do any great harm when his tenure of office is short, whereas long possession begets tyranny
That which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it.
Men regard it as their right to return evil for evil – and, if they cannot, feel they have lost their liberty.
He who is by nature not his own but another’s man, is by nature a slave.
The state exists for the sake of a good life, and not for the sake of life only.
Teachers, who educate children, deserve more honor than parents, who merely gave them birth; for the latter provided mere life, while the former ensure a good life.
Knowing what is right does not make sagacious man.
The young are permanently in a state resembling intoxication; for youth is sweet and they are growing.
The things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.
One swallow does not make a spring.
Now a whole is that which has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
The flute is not an instrument that has a good moral effect; it is too exciting.
The greatest thing is style… a mark of genius, for to make good metaphors implies an eye for resemblances.
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.
For as the interposition of a rivulet, however small, will occasion the line of the phalanx to fluctuate, so any trifling disagreement will be the cause of seditions; but they will not so soon flow from anything else as from the disagreement between virtue and vice, and next to that between poverty and riches.
Law means good order.
A good style must, first of all, be clear. It must… be appropriate.
Art not only imitates nature, but also completes it deficiencies.
No great genius is without an admixture of madness.
Even when the laws have been written down, they ought not always remain unchanged.
Beauty is the gift of God.
Educated men are as much superior to uneducated men as the living are to the dead.
Character is that which reveals moral purpose, exposing the class of things a man chooses or avoids.
For what is the best choice, for each individual is the highest it is possible for him to achieve.
Man is a goal seeking animal. His life only has meaning if he is reaching out and striving for his goals.
It is the mark of an instructed mind to rest satisfied with the degree of precision which the nature of the subject admits and not to seek exactness when only an approximation of the truth is possible.
The two qualities which chiefly inspire regard and affection [Are] that a thing is your own and that it is your only one.
To write well, express yourself like common people, but think like a wise man. Or, think as wise men do, but speak as the common people do.
Without friends, no one would want to live, even if he had all other goods.
…one Greek city state had a fundamental law: anyone proposing revisions to the constitution did so with a noose around his neck. If his proposal lost he was instantly hanged.
Nature flies from the infinite, for the infinite is unending or imperfect, and Nature ever seeks amend.
Just as it sometimes happens that deformed offspring are produced by deformed parents, and sometimes not, so the offspring produced by a female are sometimes female, sometimes not, but male, because the female is as it were a deformed male.
It is absurd to hold that a man ought to be ashamed of being unable to defend himself with his limbs but not of being unable to defend himself with speech and reason, when the use of reason is more distinctive of a human being than the use of his limbs.
The proof that the state is a creation of nature and prior to the individual is that the individual, when isolated, is not self-sufficing; and therefore he is like a part in relation to the whole.
Man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all.
Again, men in general desire the good, and not merely what their fathers had.
That judges of important causes should hold office for life is a disputable thing, for the mind grows old as well as the body.
A state is not a mere society, having a common place, established for the prevention of mutual crime and for the sake of exchange…. Political society exists for the sake of noble actions, and not of mere companionship.
The basis of a democratic state is liberty.
The appropriate age for marriage is around eighteen for girls and thirty-seven for men.
It is not easy to determine the nature of music, or why anyone should have a knowledge of it.
All paid employments… absorb and degrade the mind.
The single harmony produced by all the heavenly bodies singing and dancing together springs from one source and ends by achieving one purpose, and has rightly bestowed the name not of disordered but of ordered universe upon the whole.
It is the mark of an educated man to look for precision in each class of things just so far as the nature of the subject admits; it is evidently equally foolish to accept probable reasoning from a mathematician and to demand from a rhetorician scientific proofs.
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.
Everything that depends on the action of nature is by nature as good as it can be, and similarly everything that depends on art or any rational cause, and especially if it depends on the best of all causes. To entrust to chance what is greatest and most noble would be a very defective arrangement.
The truly good and wise man will bear all kinds of fortune in a seemly way, and will always act in the noblest manner that the circumstances allow.
For the things we have to learn before we can do, we learn by doing.
Any one can get angry – that is easy – or give or spend money; but to do this to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, with the right motive, and in the right way, that is not for every one, nor is it easy.
Therefore only an utterly senseless person can fail to know that our characters are the result of our conduct.
And happiness is thought to depend on leisure; for we are busy that we may have leisure, and make war that we may live in peace.
With regard to excellence, it is not enough to know, but we must try to have and use it.
Young people are in a condition like permanent intoxication, because youth is sweet and they are growing.
A tragedy, then, is the imitation of an action… with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish its catharsis of such emotions.
A whole is that which has beginning, middle, and end.
But the greatest thing by far is to have a command of metaphor. This alone cannot be imparted by another; it is the mark of genius, for to make good metaphors implies an eye for resemblances.
For the purposes of poetry a convincing impossibility is preferable to an unconvincing possibility.
To the query, What is a friend? his reply was A single soul dwelling in two bodies.
For example, justice is considered to mean equality, It does mean equality- but equality for those who are equal, and not for all.
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.
One thing alone not even God can do, To make undone whatever hath been done.
Anger is always concerned with individuals,… whereas hatred is directed also against classes: we all hate any thief and any informer. Moreover, anger can be cured by time; but hatred cannot. The one aims at giving pain to its object, the other at doing him harm; the angry man wants his victim to feel; the hater does not mind whether they feel or not.
…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…
Wicked men obey from fear; good men, from love.
It’s best to rise from life like a banquet, neither thirsty or drunken.
All men by nature desire to know.
In revolutions the occasions may be trifling but great interests are at stake.
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.
All human happiness and misery take the form of action.
We are the sum of our actions, and therefore our habits make all the difference.
Wicked men obey for fear, but the good for love.
Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Give a man a poisoned fish, you feed him for the rest of his life.
He who has conferred a benefit on anyone from motives of love or honor will feel pain, if he sees that the benefit is received without gratitude.
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.
Yet the true friend of the people should see that they be not too poor, for extreme povery lowers the character of the democracy; measures therefore should be taken which will give them 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, at any rate, make a beginning in trade or husbandry.
Happiness is the settling of the soul into its most appropriate spot.
With respect to the requirement of art, the probable impossible is always preferable to the improbable possible.
The blood of a goat will shatter a diamond.
The antidote for fifty enemies is one friend.
A friend is a second self.
He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.
Some men are just as sure of the truth of their opinions as are others of what they know.
All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth.
Happiness is a state of activity.
These virtues are formed in man by his doing the actions … The good of man is a working of the soul in the way of excellence in a complete life.
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.
The many are more incorruptible than the few; they are like the greater quantity of water which is less easily corrupted than a little.
We are masters of our actions from the beginning up to the very end. But, in the case of our habits, we are only masters of their commencement-each particular little increase being as imperceptible as in the case of bodily infirmities. But yet our habits are voluntary, in that it was once in our power to adopt or not to adopt such or such a course of conduct.
I call that law universal, which is conformable merely to dictates of nature; for there does exist naturally an universal sense of right and wrong, which, in a certain degree, all intuitively divine, even should no intercourse with each other, nor any compact have existed.
It would then be most admirably adapted to the purposes of justice, if laws properly enacted were, as far as circumstances admitted, of themselves to mark out all cases, and to abandon as few as possible to the discretion of the judge.
The precepts of the law may be comprehended under these three points: to live honestly, to hurt no man willfully, and to render every man his due carefully.
All learning is derived from things previously known.
The light of the day is followed by night, as a shadow follows a body.
Wickedness is nourished by lust.
Moral virtue is … a mean between two vices, that of excess and that of defect, and … it is no small task to hit the mean in each case, as it is not, for example, any chance comer, but only the geometer, who can find the center of a given circle.
If you string together a set of speeches expressive of character, and well finished in point and diction and thought, you will not produce the essential tragic effect nearly so well as with a play which, however deficient in these respects, yet has a plot and artistically constructed incidents.
He who takes his fill of every pleasure … becomes depraved; while he who avoids all pleasures alike … becomes insensible.
The majority of mankind would seem to be beguiled into error by pleasure, which, not being really a good, yet seems to be so. So that they indiscriminately choose as good whatsoever gives them pleasure, while they avoid all pain alike as evil.
Purpose is a desire for something in our own power, coupled with an investigation into its means.
Purpose … is held to be most closely connected with virtue, and to be a better token of our character than are even our acts.
Without virtue it is difficult to bear gracefully the honors of fortune.
Anyone, without any great penetration, may distinguish the dispositions consequent on wealth; for its possessors are insolent and overbearing, from being tainted in a certain way by the getting of their wealth. For they are affected as though they possessed every good; since wealth is a sort of standard of the worth of other things; whence every thing seems to be purchasable by it.
Wit is well-bred insolence.
The brave man, if he be compared with the coward, seems foolhardy; and, if with the foolhardy man, seems a coward.
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.
If then it be possible that one contrary should exist, or be called into existence, the other contrary will also appear to be possible.
Neglect of an effective birth control policy is a never-failing source of poverty which, in turn, is the parent of revolution and crime.
For it is not true, as some treatise-mongers lay down in their systems, of the probity of the speaker, that it contributes nothing to persuasion; but moral character nearly, I may say, carries with it the most sovereign efficacy in making credible.
Every wicked man is in ignorance as to what he ought to do, and from what to abstain, and it is because of error such as this that men become unjust and, in a word, wicked.
Men are good in but one way, but bad in many.
The greater the length, the more beautiful will the piece be by reason of its size, provided that the whole be perspicuous.
As our acts vary, our habits will follow in their course.
For pleasure is a state of soul, and to each man that which he is said to be a lover of is pleasant.
Irrational passions would seem to be as much a part of human nature as is reason.
There are, then, three states of mind … two vices-that of excess, and that of defect; and one virtue-the mean; and all these are in a certain sense opposed to one another; for the extremes are not only opposed to the mean, but also to one another; and the mean is opposed to the extremes.
Equity is that idea of justice which contravenes the written law.
Bravery is a mean state concerned with things that inspire confidence and with things fearful … and leading us to choose danger and to face it, either because to do so is noble, or because not to do so is base. But to court death as an escape from poverty, or from love, or from some grievous pain, is no proof of bravery, but rather of cowardice.
He then alone will strictly be called brave who is fearless of a noble death, and of all such chances as come upon us with sudden death in their train.
It is well said, then, that it is by doing just acts that the just man is produced, and by doing temperate acts the temperate man; without doing these no one would have even a prospect of becoming good. But most people do not do these, but take refuge in theory and think they are being philosophers and will become good in this way, behaving somewhat like patients who listen attentively to their doctors, but do none of the things they are ordered to do.
Rhetoric is the counterpart of logic; since both are conversant with subjects of such a nature as it is the business of all to have a certain knowledge of, and which belong to no distinct science. Wherefore all men in some way participate of both; since all, to a certain extent, attempt, as well to sift, as to maintain an argument; as well to defend themselves, as to impeach.
In the case of some people, not even if we had the most accurate scientific knowledge, would it be easy to persuade them were we to address them through the medium of that knowledge; for a scientific discourse, it is the privilege of education to appreciate, and it is impossible that this should extend to the multitude.
Rhetoric is useful because truth and justice are in their nature stronger than their opposites; so that if decisions be made, not in conformity to the rule of propriety, it must have been that they have been got the better of through fault of the advocates themselves: and this is deserving reprehension.
It is easier to get one or a few of good sense, and of ability to legislate and adjudge, than to get many.
Legislative enactments proceed from men carrying their views a long time back; while judicial decisions are made off hand.
We ought to be able to persuade on opposite sides of a question; as also we ought in the case of arguing by syllogism: not that we should practice both, for it is not right to persuade to what is bad; but in order that the bearing of the case may not escape us, and that when another makes an unfair use of these reasonings, we may be able to solve them.
Of means of persuading by speaking there are three species: some consist in the character of the speaker; others in the disposing the hearer a certain way; others in the thing itself which is said, by reason of its proving, or appearing to prove the point.
Now all orators effect their demonstrative proofs by allegation either of enthymems or examples, and, besides these, in no other way whatever.
Persuasion is effected through the medium of the hearers, when they shall have been brought to a state of excitement under the influence of speech; for we do not, when influenced by pain or joy, or partiality or dislike, award our decisions in the same way; about which means of persuasion alone, I declare that the system-mongers of the present day busy themselves.
Everything is done with a goal, and that goal is “good”.
What is the highest good in all matters of action? To the name, there is almost complete agreement; for uneducated and educated alike call it happiness, and make happiness identical with the good life and successful living. They disagree, however, about the meaning of happiness.
For that which has become habitual, becomes as it were natural.
That body is heavier than another which, in an equal bulk, moves downward quicker.
The good citizen need not of necessity possess the virtue which makes a good man.
If ‘bounded by a surface’ is the definition of body there cannot be an infinite body either intelligible or sensible.
It is not easy to determine the nature of music, or why any one should have a knowledge of it.
Bad people…are in conflict with themselves; they desire one thing and will another, like the incontinent who choose harmful pleasures instead of what they themselves believe to be good.
It is their character indeed that makes people who they are. But it is by reason of their actions that they are happy or the reverse.
Learning is not child’s play; we cannot learn without pain.
Great men are always of a nature originally melancholy.
Comedy aims at representing men as worse, Tragedy as better than in actual life.
Philosophy can make people sick.
Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.
We give up leisure in order that we may have leisure, just as we go to war in order that we may have peace.
There is an ideal of excellence for any particular craft or occupation; similarly there must be an excellent that we can achieve as human beings. That is, we can live our lives as a whole in such a way that they can be judged not just as excellent in this respect or in that occupation, but as excellent, period. Only when we develop our truly human capacities sufficiently to achieve this human excellent will we have lives blessed with happiness.
He is his own best friend and takes delight in privacy whereas the man of no virtue or ability is his own worst enemy and is afraid of solitude.
The mathematical sciences particularly exhibit order symmetry and limitations; and these are the greatest forms of the beautiful.
Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny.
Humor is the only test of gravity, and gravity of humor; for a subject which will not bear raillery is suspicious, and a jest which will not bear serious examination is false wit.
Since the branch of philosophy on which we are at present engaged differs from the others in not being a subject of merely intellectual interest – I mean we are not concerned to know what goodness essentially is, but how we are to become good men, for this alone gives the study its practical value – we must apply our minds to the solution of the problems of conduct.
It’s the fastest who gets paid, and it’s the fastest who gets laid.
It is simplicity that makes the uneducated more effective than the educated when addressing popular audiences.
Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.
The high-minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think.
Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.
The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
My best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake.
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.
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.
You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.
The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.
Quality is not an act, it is a habit.
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.
A friend to all is a friend to none.
There is no great genius without a mixture of madness.
Happiness depends upon ourselves.
At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst.
The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.
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.
Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.
The energy of the mind is the essence of life.
The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.
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.
Good habits formed at youth make all the difference.
The one exclusive sign of thorough knowledge is the power of teaching.
A true friend is one soul in two bodies.
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.
Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies.
The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living from the dead.
Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers.
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.
The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances.
I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.
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.
The aim of the wise is not to secure pleasure, but to avoid pain.
Change in all things is sweet.
If one way be better than another, that you may be sure is nature’s way.
Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.
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.
Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history; for poetry expresses the universal, and history only the particular.
Those that know, do. Those that understand, teach.
Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility but through greatness of mind.
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.
Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.
Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity.
All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire.
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.
The soul never thinks without a picture.
Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them.
Mothers are fonder than fathers of their children because they are more certain they are their own.
Wit is educated insolence.
He who hath many friends hath none.
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.
Man is by nature a political animal.
The state comes into existence for the sake of life and continues to exist for the sake of good life.
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.
Nature does nothing in vain.
No notice is taken of a little evil, but when it increases it strikes the eye.
The end of labor is to gain leisure.
No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness.
Personal beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of reference.
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.
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.
What it lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not to do.
He who is to be a good ruler must have first been ruled.
A great city is not to be confounded with a populous one.
The greatest virtues are those which are most useful to other persons.
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.
Well begun is half done.
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.
The whole is more than the sum of its parts.
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.
We make war that we may live in peace.
Fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil.
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.
Of all the varieties of virtues, liberalism is the most beloved.
All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.
Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms.
Character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion.
Bashfulness is an ornament to youth, but a reproach to old age.
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.
Youth is easily deceived because it is quick to hope.
The secret to humor is surprise.
All men by nature desire knowledge.
The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold.
Probable impossibilities are to be preferred to improbable possibilities.
All virtue is summed up in dealing justly.
Most people would rather give than get affection.
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.
Plato is dear to me, but dearer still is truth.
Thou wilt find rest from vain fancies if thou doest every act in life as though it were thy last.
Those who excel in virtue have the best right of all to rebel, but then they are of all men the least inclined to do so.
No one would choose a friendless existence on condition of having all the other things in the world.
There was never a genius without a tincture of madness.
Politicians also have no leisure, because they are always aiming at something beyond political life itself, power and glory, or happiness.
The virtue of justice consists in moderation, as regulated by wisdom.
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.
For though we love both the truth and our friends, piety requires us to honor the truth first.
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.
Education is the best provision for old age.
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.
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.
The most perfect political community is one in which the middle class is in control, and outnumbers both of the other classes.
The young are permanently in a state resembling intoxication.
Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms.
The law is reason, free from passion.
Bring your desires down to your present means. Increase them only when your increased means permit.
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.
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.
Men create gods after their own image, not only with regard to their form but with regard to their mode of life.
Temperance is a mean with regard to pleasures.
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.
I have gained this from philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law.
Even when laws have been written down, they ought not always to remain unaltered.
Bad men are full of repentance.
Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods.
Courage is a mean with regard to fear and confidence.
Piety requires us to honor truth above our friends.
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.
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.
Misfortune shows those who are not really friends.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Men are swayed more by fear than by reverence.
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.
Friendship is essentially a partnership.
Therefore, the good of man must be the end of the science of politics.
A constitution is the arrangement of magistracies in a state.
No one loves the man whom he fears.
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 not once nor twice but times without number that the same ideas make their appearance in the world.
Homer has taught all other poets the art of telling lies skillfully.
It is Homer who has chiefly taught other poets the art of telling lies skillfully.
The gods too are fond of a joke.
It is unbecoming for young men to utter maxims.
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.
For man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but, when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all; since armed injustice is the more dangerous, and he is equipped at birth with the arms of intelligence and with moral qualities which he may use for the worst ends. Wherefore, if he have not virtue, he is the most unholy and the most savage of animals, and the most full of lust and gluttony. But justice is the bond of men in states, and the administration of justice, which is the determination of what is just, is the principle of order in political society.
Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.
And of course, the brain is not responsible for any of the sensations at all. The correct view is that the seat and source of sensation is the region of the heart.
We become brave by doing brave acts.
…happiness does not consist in amusement. In fact, it would be strange if our end were amusement, and if we were to labor and suffer hardships all our life long merely to amuse ourselves…. The happy life is regarded as a life in conformity with virtue. It is a life which involves effort and is not spent in amusement….
If things do not turn out as we wish, we should wish for them as they turn out.
It is not enough to win a war; it is more important to organize the peace.
The least deviation from truth will be multiplied later.
The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law.
It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen.
Time crumbles things; everything grows old under the power of Time and is forgotten through the lapse of Time.
All persons ought to endeavor to follow what is right, and not what is established.
Democracy arose from men’s thinking that if they are equal in any respect, they are equal absolutely.
A body in motion can maintain this motion only if it remains in contact with a mover.
…in this way the structure of the universe- I mean, of the heavens and the earth and the whole world- was arranged by one harmony through the blending of the most opposite principles.
For imagining lies within our power whenever we wish . . . but in forming opinons we are not free . . .
Thus then a single harmony orders the composition of the whole…by the mingling of the most contrary principles.
Only you can take you to Funkytown.
No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.
To write well, express yourself like the common people, but think like a wise man.
A flatterer is a friend who is your inferior, or pretends to be so.
Life is only meaningful when we are striving for a goal .
No one who desires to become good will become good unless he does good things.
A friend is a second self, so that our consciousness of a friend’s existence…makes us more fully conscious of our own existence.
All Earthquakes and Disasters are warnings; there’s too much corruption in the world
It has been handed down in mythical form from earliest times to posterity, that there are gods, and that the divine (Deity) compasses all nature. All beside this has been added, after the mythical style, for the purpose of persuading the multitude, and for the interests of the laws, and the advantage of the state.
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 ideal man takes joy in doing favors for others.
The tyrant, who in order to hold his power, suppresses every superiority, does away with good men, forbids education and light, controls every movement of the citizens and, keeping them under a perpetual servitude, wants them to grow accustomed to baseness and cowardice, has his spies everywhere to listen to what is said in the meetings, and spreads dissension and calumny among the citizens and impoverishes them, is obliged to make war in order to keep his subjects occupied and impose on them permanent need of a chief.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our judgments when we are pleased and friendly are not the same as when we are pained and hostile.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Man is the only animal capable of reasoning, though many others possess the faculty of memory and instruction in common with him.
Hope is the dream of a waking man.
Should a man live underground, and there converse with the works of art and mechanism, and should afterwards be brought up into the open day, and see the several glories of the heaven and earth, he would immediately pronounce them the work of such a Being as we define God to be.
Our account does not rob the mathematicians of their science… In point of fact they do not need the infinite and do not use it.
The line has magnitude in one way, the plane in two ways, and the solid in three ways, and beyond these there is no other magnitude because the three are all.
Most persons think that a state in order to be happy ought to be large; but even if they are right, they have no idea of what is a large and what a small state…. To the size of states there is a limit, as there is to other things, plants, animals, implements; for none of these retain their natural power when they are too large or too small, but they either wholly lose their nature, or are spoiled.
A man is the origin of his action.
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.
The arousing of prejudice, pity, anger, and similar emotions has nothing to do with the essential facts, but is merely a personal appeal to the man who is judging the case.
We cannot … prove geometrical truths by arithmetic.
Civil confusions often spring from trifles but decide great issues.
For the lesser evil is reckoned a good in comparison with the greater evil, since the lesser evil is rather to be chosen than the greater. .
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.
To give a satisfactory decision as to the truth it is necessary to be rather an arbitrator than a party to the dispute.
And it is characteristic of man that he alone has any sense of good and evil, of just and unjust, and the like, and the association of living beings who have this sense makes family and a state.
Wit is cultured insolence.
The greatest thing in style is to have a command of metaphor.
God has many names, though He is only one Being.
No one finds fault with defects which are the result of nature.
A fool contributes nothing worth hearing and takes offense at everything.
Nature, as we say, does nothing without some purpose; and for thepurpose of making mana political animal she has endowed him alone among the animals with the power of reasoned speech.
Shame is an ornament to the young; a disgrace to the old.
Happiness is the utilization of one’s talents along lines of excellence.
Business or toil is merely utilitarian. It is necessary but does not enrich or ennoble a human life.
Everything that depends on the action of nature is by nature as good as it can be, and similarly everything that depends on art or any rational cause, and especially if it depends on the best of all causes.
Happiness is thought to depend on leisure; for we are busy that we may have leisure, and make war that we may live in peace.
The hand is the tool of tools.
The most beautiful colors laid on at random, give less pleasure than a black-and-white drawing.
The word is a sign or symbol of the impressions or affections of the soul.
All proofs rest on premises.
Friends hold a mirror up to each other; through that mirror they can see each other in ways that would not otherwise be accessible to them, and it is this mirroring that helps them improve themselves as persons.
Where it is in our power to act, it is also in our power to not act.
To perceive is to suffer.
We must be neither cowardly nor rash but courageous.
Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.
Hope is a waking dream.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.
It is best to rise from life as from a banquet, neither thirsty nor drunken.
Through discipline comes freedom.
Your happiness depends on you alone.
Saying the words that come from knowledge is no sign of having it.
Perception starts with the eye.
We are what we continually do…
Character is revealed through action.
Nature creates nothing without a purpose.
Happiness is activity.
Nature does nothing uselessly.
When he [Aristotle] was asked ‘What is a friend?’ he said ‘One soul inhabiting two bodies.
There is no genius who hasn’t a touch of insanity.
We are what we do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.