40 Aristotle’s Quotes That Will Make You Think And Can Change Your Life

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)

17 Of Plato’s Most Famous Quotes That Can Help Us Improve Our Lives

Plato was a philosopher, as well as mathematician, in Classical Greece. He is considered an essential figure in the development of philosophy, especially the Western tradition, and he founded the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with Socrates and his most famous student, Aristotle, Plato laid the foundations of Western philosophy and science.

Plato’s dialogues have been used to teach a range of subjects, including philosophy, logic, ethics, rhetoric, religion and mathematics. His lasting themes include Platonic love, the theory of forms, the five regimes, innate knowledge, among others. His theory of forms launched a unique perspective on abstract objects, and led to a school of thought called Platonism.

I think it will be really useful for all of us to learn more about Platonism, because it includes theories that can help us rethink our social life and improve ourselves. Let’s see some of Plato’s famous quotes….

about wisdom

1) “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” 
2) “Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”
3) “The soul takes nothing with her to the next world but her education and her culture. At the beginning of the journey to the next world, one’s education and culture can either provide the greatest assistance, or else act as the greatest burden, to the person who has just died.”
4) “An empty vessel makes the loudest sound, so they that have the least wit are the greatest babblers.”
…about love

5) “Love is a serious mental disease.” (Phaedrus)
…about people and their behavior

6) “Never discourage anyone…who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.”
7) “Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.”
8) “There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot.”
9) “There are three classes of men; lovers of wisdom, lovers of honor, and lovers of gain.”
10) “People are like dirt. They can either nourish you and help you grow as a person or they can stunt your growth and make you wilt and die.”
11) “The greatest wealth is to live content with little.”
12) “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”
…about politics, laws and war

13) “Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws”
14) “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
15) “A hero is born among a hundred, a wise man is found among a thousand, but an accomplished one might not be found even among a hundred thousand men. ”
16) “Only the dead have seen the end of war.”
17) “One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”

Socrates Was One Of The Smartest People Who Ever Lived

Socrates was a classical Greek philosopher credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy. He is an enigmatic figure known chiefly through the accounts of classical writers, especially the writings of his students Plato and Xenophon and the plays of his contemporary Aristophanes. Plato’s dialogues are among the most comprehensive accounts of Socrates to survive from antiquity.

Through his portrayal in Plato’s dialogues, Socrates has become renowned for his contribution to the field of ethics, and it is this Platonic Socrates who lends his name to the concepts of Socratic irony and the Socratic method, or elenchus. The latter remains a commonly used tool in a wide range of discussions, and is a type of pedagogy in which a series of questions is asked not only to draw individual answers, but also to encourage fundamental insight into the issue at hand. 

Plato’s Socrates also made important and lasting contributions to the field of epistemology, and the influence of his ideas and approach remains a strong foundation for much western philosophy that followed.
Let us remember his wisdom by reading 24 famous quotes of his:

1) “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” 
2) “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
3) “There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.”
4) “I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think”
5) “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
6) “Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.”
7) “By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.”
8) “He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.”
9) “If you don’t get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don’t want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can’t hold on to it forever. Your mind is your predicament. It wants to be free of change. Free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death. But change is law and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.”
10) “Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.”
11) “Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.”
12) “To find yourself, think for yourself.”
13) “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”
14) “Know thyself.”
15) “Let him who would move the world first move himself.”
16) “The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”
17) “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
18) “I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.”
19) “Prefer knowledge to wealth, for the one is transitory, the other perpetual.”
20) “understanding a question is half an answer”
21) “True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us”
22) “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.”
23) “To be is to do”
24) “The mind is everything; what you think you become”

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