Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and scientist born in the Macedonian city of Stagira, Chalkidice, on the northern periphery of Classical Greece. At eighteen, he joined Plato’s Academy in Athens and remained there until the age of thirty-seven (c. 347 BC).
His writings cover many subjects – including physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, aesthetics, poetry, theater, music, rhetoric, linguistics, politics and government – and constitute the first comprehensive system of Western philosophy. Shortly after Plato died, Aristotle left Athens and, at the request of Philip of Macedon, tutored Alexander the Great starting from 343 BC.
40 Aristotle’s Quotes That Will Make You Think And Can Change Your Life
Teaching Alexander the Great gave Aristotle many opportunities and an abundance of supplies. He established a library in the Lyceum which aided in the production of many of his hundreds of books.
The fact that Aristotle was a pupil of Plato contributed to his former views of Platonism, but, following Plato’s death, Aristotle immersed himself in empirical studies and shifted from Platonism to empiricism.
He believed all peoples’ concepts and all of their knowledge was ultimately based on perception. Aristotle’s views on natural sciences represent the groundwork underlying many of his works.
Aristotle’s views on physical science profoundly shaped medieval scholarship. Their influence extended into the Renaissance and were not replaced systematically until the Enlightenment and theories such as classical mechanics.
Some of Aristotle’s zoological observations, such as on the hectocotyl (reproductive) arm of the octopus, were not confirmed or refuted until the 19th century. His works contain the earliest known formal study of logic, which was incorporated in the late 19th century into modern formal logic.
In metaphysics, Aristotelianism profoundly influenced Judeo-Islamic philosophical and theological thought during the Middle Ages and continues to influence Christian theology, especially the scholastic tradition of the Catholic Church.
These are, in my opinion, some of his most important quotes.
1) “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
2) “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” (Metaphysics)
3) “No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.”
4) “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” 5) “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.”
6) “To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”
7) “It is not enough to win a war; it is more important to organize the peace.”
8) “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.”
9) “I have gained this by philosophy … I do without being ordered what some are constrained to do by their fear of the law.”
10) “To write well, express yourself like the common people, but think like a wise man.”
11) “What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.”
12) “Hope is a waking dream.”
13) “Happiness depends upon ourselves.”
14) “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”
15) “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.”
16) “A friend to all is a friend to none.”
17) “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.”
18) “The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living differ from the dead.”
19) “He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.”
20) “Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.”
21) “I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies, for the hardest victory is over self.”
22) “The antidote for fifty enemies is one friend.”
23) “Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.”
24) “The high-minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think.”
25) “All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reason, passion, and desire.” (Selected Works)
26) “For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” (The Nicomachean Ethics)
27) “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”
28) “The energy of the mind is the essence of life.” (The Philosophy of Aristotle)
29) “It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen.” (Politics)
30) “He who cannot be a good follower cannot be a good leader.”
31) “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.” (Politics)
32) “All men by nature desire knowledge.” (On Man in the Universe)
33) “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.”
34) “All persons ought to endeavor to follow what is right, and not what is established.”
35) “Nature does nothing uselessly.” (Politics)
36) “In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.”
37) “Wise men speak when they have something to say, fools speak because they have to say something”
38) “The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law.”
39) “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.”
40) “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.” (The Nicomachean Ethics)