Top Aristotle Quotes

Browse top 99 famous quotes and sayings about Aristotle by most favorite authors.

Favorite Aristotle Quotes

1. "For Kant one can be both good and stupid; but for Aristotle stupidity of a certain kind precludes goodness."
Author: Alasdair MacIntyre
2. "There is a reference in Aristotle to a gnat produced by larvae engendered in the slime of vinegar. This must have been Drosophila."
Author: Alfred Henry Sturtevant
3. "Slavery was regarded by Aristotle as an ordinance of nature, and so probably was it by the slaves themselves in olden time."
Author: Alfred Marshall
4. "You could give Aristotle a tutorial. And you could thrill him to the core of his being. Aristotle was an encyclopedic polymath, an all time intellect. Yet not only can you know more than him about the world. You also can have a deeper understanding of how everything works. Such is the privilege of living after Newton, Darwin, Einstein, Planck, Watson, Crick and their colleagues.I'm not saying you're more intelligent than Aristotle, or wiser. For all I know, Aristotle's the cleverest person who ever lived. That's not the point. The point is only that science is cumulative, and we live later."
Author: Aristotle
5. "Infuriatingly stupid analysts - especially people who called themselves Arabists, yet who seemed to know next to nothing about the reality of the Islamic world - wrote reams of commentary [after 9/11]. Their articles were all about Islam saving Aristotle and the zero, which medieval Muslim scholars had done more than eight hundred years ago; about Islam being a religion of peace and tolerance, not the slightest bit violent. These were fairy tales, nothing to do with the real world I knew."
Author: Ayaan Hirsi Ali
6. "Aristotle may be regarded as the cultural barometer of Western history. Whenever his influence dominated the scene, it paved the way for one of history's brilliant eras; whenever it fell, so did mankind."
Author: Ayn Rand
7. "We may say, in a broad way, that Greek philosophy down to Aristotle expresses the mentality appropriate to the City State; that Stoicism is appropriate to a cosmopolitan despotism; that stochastic philosophy is an intellectual expression of the Church as an organization; that philosophy since Descartes, or at any rate since Locke, tends to embody the prejudices of the commercial middle class; and that Marxism and Fascism are the philosophies appropriate to the modern industrial state."
Author: Bertrand Russell
8. "If they [Plato and Aristotle] wrote about politics it was as if to lay down rules for a madhouse.And if they pretended to treat it as something really important it was because they knew that the madmen they were talking to believed themselves to be kings and emperors. They humored these beliefs in order to calm down their madness with as little harm as possible."
Author: Blaise Pascal
9. "Anyone who has no need of anybody but himself is either a beast or a God."Aristotle"
Author: Bruce Wayne Sullivan
10. "Aristotle says that the aim of education is to make the pupil like and dislike what he ought."
Author: C.S. Lewis
11. "Like all philosophers, Aristotle gives words the definitions which will be most useful for his own purpose"
Author: C.S. Lewis
12. "To judge therefore of Shakespeare by Aristotle's rule is like trying a man by the Laws of one Country who acted under those of another."
Author: Elizabeth Montagu
13. "The God of St. Thomas and Dante is a God Who loves, the god of Aristotle is a god who does not refuse to be loved; the love that moves the heavens and the stars in Aristotle is the love of the heavens and the stars for god, but the love that moves them in St. Thomas and Dante is the love of God for the world; between these two motive causes there is all the difference between an efficient cause on the one hand, and a final cause on the other."
Author: Étienne Gilson
14. "...in Aristotle...leisure is a far more noble, spiritual goal than work...leisure is pursued solely for its own sake...: the pleasures of music and poetry, ... conversation with friends, and ...gratuitous, playful speculation. In Latin, the ultimate good is otium — the opposite is negotium, or gainful work.We have sought too much counsel in the proto-Calvinist work ethic preached by St Paul...during the cessation of work we nurture family, educate, nourish friendships....in loafing, most of our innovations come...the routine of daily work has too often served as...sleep...a refuge from two crucial states — awakedness to the needs of others, and to the transcendent, which only comes...loitering, dallying, tarrying, goofing off."
Author: Francine Du Plessix Gray
15. "To live alone one must be either a beast or a god, says Aristotle. Leaving out the third case: one must be both - a philosopher."
Author: Friedrich Nietzsche
16. "To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labours, and holidays; to be Whitely within a certain area, providing toys, boots, cakes and books; to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can imagine how this can exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone and narrow to be everything to someone? No, a woman's function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute."
Author: G.K. Chesterton
17. "People have contemplated the origin and evolution of the universe since before the time of Aristotle. Very recently, the era of speculation has given way to a time of science."
Author: George Smoot
18. "The undersigned pointed out that nothing was required of a pastor except that he intimate in church at the dead man's bier his date of birth and date of death and thereafter say some little prayer or other, even if it were only the Lord's Prayer; and finally sprinkle the State's three spadefuls of earth with the statutory innocent phrases, Earth to earth, etc., as is the custom. Pastor Jón Prímus: That's not so innocent as it looks. It derives from those scholastics. They were always doing their utmost to falsify Aristotle, though he was quite bad enough already. They tried to feed the fables with yet more fables, such as that the primary elements of matter first disintegrate and then reassemble to resurrect. They lied so fast in the Middle Ages they hadn't even time to hiccup."
Author: Halldór Laxness
19. "Thus, from admiration of one wise and innocent child, and from a misheard remark, the process that not even Aristotle could codify was triggered. Where do you get your ideas? I purposely mishear things."
Author: Harlan Ellison
20. "The sense of tragedy - according to Aristotle - comes, ironically enough, not from the protagonist's weak points but from his good qualities. Do you know what I'm getting at? People are drawn deeper into tragedy not by their defects but by their virtues....[But] we accept irony through a device called metaphor. And through that we grow and become deeper human beings."
Author: Haruki Murakami
21. "Lady Gregory, in a note to her play Aristotle's Bellows, writes: Aristotle's name is a part of our folklore. The wife of one of our labourers told me one day as a bee buzzed through the open door, "Aristotle of the Books was very wise, but the bees got the best of him in the end. He wanted to know how they did pack the comb, and he wasted the best part of a fortnight watching them doing it. Then he made a hive with a glass cover on it and put it over them, and thought he would watch them, but when he put his eye to the glass, they had covered it with wax, so that it was as black as the pot, and he was as blind as before. He said he was never rightly killed until then. The bees beat him that time surely."
Author: Hilda M. Ransome
22. "Here we must examine the classical understanding of happiness proclaimed by Moses, Solomon, Jesus, Aristotle, Plato, the church fathers and medieval theologians, and many more—the understanding that has recently been replaced by "pleasurable satisfaction." According to the ancients, happiness is a life well lived, a life of virtue and character, a life that manifests wisdom, kindness, and goodness."
Author: J.P. Moreland
23. "Truth is beheld by the intellect which is appeased by the most satisfying relations of the intelligible; beauty is beheld by the imagination which is appeased by the most satisfying relations of the sensible. The first step in the direction of truth is to understand the frame and scope of the intellect itself, to comprehend the act itself of intellection. Aristotle's entire system of philosophy rests upon his book of psychology and that, I think, rests on his statement that the same attribute cannot at the same time and in the same connexion belong to and not belong to the same subject. The first step in the direction of beauty is to understand the frame and scope of the imagination, to comprehend the act itself of esthetic apprehension."
Author: James Joyce
24. "We have then, in the first part of The Faerie Queene, four of the seven deadly sins depicted in the more important passages of the four several books; those sins being much more elaborately and powerfully represented than the virtues, which are opposed to them, and which are personified in the titular heroes of the respective books. The alteration which made these personified virtues the centre each of a book was probably part of the reconstruction on the basis of Aristotle Ethics.The nature of the debt to Aristotle suggests that Spenser did not borrow directly from the Greek, but by way of modern translations."
Author: Janet Spens
25. "We long for experiences "of profound connection with others," he writes, "of deep understanding of natural phenomena, of love, of being profoundly moved by music or tragedy, or doing something new and innovative." Just as important, we long for esteem and pride, "a self that happiness is a fitting response to." Implicit in Nozick's experiment is the idea that happiness should be a by-product, not a goal. Many of the ancient Greeks believed the same. To Aristotle, eudaimonia (roughly translated as "flourishing") meant doing something productive. Happiness could only be achieved through exploiting our strengths and our potential. To be happy, one must do, not just feel."
Author: Jennifer Senior
26. "The Greeks had had no clear notion of it. For them the future had been indeterminable. In Aristotle's teaching, a man could never say for certain if there would be a sea battle tomorrow."
Author: Jhumpa Lahiri
27. "On the proper role of coincidence in fiction—more exactly in storymaking, ... Aristotle declares in effect that since real life now and then includes unlikely coincidences both idle and consequential ... a storymaker may legitimately deploy such a possible-though-improbable happenstance to begin the tale or to give its plot-screws an early turn. Thereafter, however, the Plausible (even when strictly impossible) is ever to be preferred to the Possible-but-Unlikely; and in the resolution of a plot, most particularly, coincidence ought to be eschewed. Fate in fiction, decrees the great A, ought to flow from character and situation, not from chance; let no god on wires drop down at climax-time to rescue the storymaker from whatever dramaturgical corner his want of experience, talent, or judgment has painted him into."
Author: John Barth
28. "A movie can and should have some real dissonance throughout - rage, heartache, tears, conflict, catharsis and all the other elements Aristotle demanded of a good story - but the chord has to be resolved."
Author: Josh Radnor
29. "On the Contrary, to Aristotle the 'forms' were in the things because they were the particular characteristics of these things"
Author: Jostein Gaarder
30. "Plato would hardly need to change a single word of his myth of the cave. Our knowledge would not be able to furnish an answer to his anxiety, his disquietude, his "premonitions." The world would remain for him, "in the light" of our "positive" sciences, what it was - a dark and sorrowful subterranean region - and we would seem to him like chained prisoners. Life would again have to make superhuman efforts, "as in a battle," to break open for himself a path through the truths created by the sciences which "dream of being but cannot see it in waking reality." [1] In brief, Aristotle would bless our knowledge while Plato would curse it."
Author: Lev Shestov
31. "This Aristotle knew definitely: the truth has the power to force or constrain men, all men alike, whether it be the great Parmenides and the great Alexander or Parmenides' unknown slave and the least of Alexander's stable-men"
Author: Lev Shestov
32. "But it will be asked: What is the force and power of the blessings and curses of men, even if these men be such giants as Plato and Aristotle? Does truth become more true because Aristotle blesses it, or does it become error because Plato curses it? Is it given men to judge the truths, to decide the fate of the truths? On the contrary, it is the truths which judge men and decide their fate and not men who rule over the truths. Men, the great as well as the small, are born and die, appear and disappear - but the truth remains. When no one had as yet begun to "think" or to "search," the truths which later revealed themselves to men already existed. And when men will have finally disappeared from the face of the earth, or will have lost the faculty of thinking, the truths will not suffer therefrom."
Author: Lev Shestov
33. "When the point of education becomes the production of credentials rather than the cultivation of knowledge, it forfeits the motive recognized by Aristotle: "All human beings by nature desire to know."
Author: Matthew B. Crawford
34. "When he grew old, Aristotle, who is not generally considered a tightrope dancer, liked to lose himself in the most labyrinthine and subtle of discourses […]. ‘The more solitary and isolated I become, the more I come to like stories,' he said."
Author: Michel De Certeau
35. "Aristotle uses a mother's love for her child as the prime example of love or friendship."
Author: Mortimer Adler
36. "During the 1950s, Aristotle Onassis and I formed what grew to be a close friendship and association in several business ventures."
Author: Paul Getty
37. "Walking is magic. Can't recommend it highly enough. I read that Plato and Aristotle did much of their brilliant thinking together while ambulating. The movement, the meditation, the health of the blood pumping, and the rhythm of footsteps...this is a primal way to connect with one's deeper self."
Author: Paula Cole
38. "Amicus Plato — amicus Aristoteles — magis amica veritas. (Plato is my friend — Aristotle is my friend — but my greatest friend is truth.)"
Author: Plato
39. "Aristotle said time is a measure of change, and this movie is about changing in time, through time, while remaining the same person. That's a philosophical paradox and a moral dilemma. But 'Casablanca' says it's possible. You can have both. That's what it means. And that's my wish for you: that you would have both."
Author: Robert McKee
40. "He that will write well in any tongue, must follow this counsel of Aristotle, to speak as the common people do, to think as wise men do: and so should every man understand him, and the judgment of wise men allow him."
Author: Roger Ascham
41. "You should rather suppose that those are involved in worthwhile duties who wish to have daily as their closest friends Zeno, Pythagoras, Democritus and all the other high priests of liberal studies, and Aristotle and Theophrastus. None of these will be too busy to see you, none of these will not send his visitor away happier and more devoted to himself, none of these will allow anyone to depart empty-handed. They are at home to all mortals by night and by day."
Author: Seneca
42. "One afternoon Clairaut came over to me with a book in his hand: "Mademoiselle de Beauvoir," he began, in an inquisitorial tone, "what do you make of Brochard who is of the opinion that Aristotle's God would be able to experience sexual pleasure?" Herbaud cast him a disdainful look: "I should hope so, for his sake," he haughtily replied."
Author: Simone De Beauvoir
43. "Intuition is a capacity of our heart. Our heart is the door to allowing Existence to guide us, instead of being directed by our ideas, desires and expectations. Since the days of Aristotle's, we have been taught that logic is the only way to reach a solution. But while logic works in a step-by-step-process to reach a solution, intuition simply takes a quantum leap to a solution without any intermediate steps."
Author: Swami Dhyan Giten
44. "For Aristotle, goodness is a kind of prospering in the precarious affair of being human."
Author: Terry Eagleton
45. "Of course I want you," he said roughly. "Every thought in my head is of you. Tasting you, touching you, taking you in ways your innocent mind can't even fathom. I don't know a cursed thing about art or music or Aristotle. My every though is crude and base and so far beneath you, it might as well be on the opposite side of the earth."
Author: Tessa Dare
46. "Aristotle drew a distinction between essential and accidental properties. The way he put it is that essential properties are those without which a thing wouldn't be what it is, and accidental properties are those that determine how a thing is, but not what it is. For example, Aristotle thought that rationality was essential to being a human being and, since Socrates was a human being, Socrates's rationality was essential to his being Socrates. Without the property of rationality, Socrates simply wouldn't be Socrates. He wouldn't even be a human being, so how could he be Socrates? On the other hand, Aristotle thought that Socrates's property of being snub-nosed was merely accidental; snub-nosed was part of how Socrates was, but it wasn't essential to what or who he was. To put it another way, take away Socrates's rationality, and he's no longer Socrates, but give him plastic surgery, and he's Socrates with a nose job."
Author: Thomas Cathcart
47. "The 'Renaissance' West Butchered the Rest.If I had to choose between an erudite Aristotle and an unknown ‘soulless' black slave I would choose the latter. The ascendancy of the West was on a heap of bodies of slaves and trampled humanity through colonization"
Author: Viktor Vijay Kumar
48. "It gives him spiritual freedom. To him life is a tragedy and by his gift of creation he enjoys the catharsis a purging of pity and terror, Which Aristotle tells is the object of art. Everything is transformed by his power into material and by writing it he can overcome it. Everything is grist to his mill. ... The artist is the only free man."
Author: W. Somerset Maugham
49. "In Aristotle the mind, regarded as the principle of life, divides into nutrition, sensation, and faculty of thought, corresponding to the inner most important stages in the succession of vital phenomena."
Author: Wilhelm Wundt
50. "The infinitesimal seedlings became a forest of trees that grew courteously, correcting the distances between themselves as they shaped themselves to the promptings of available light and moisture, tempering the climate and the temperaments of the Scots, as the driest land became moist and the wettest land became dry, seedlings finding a mean between extremes, and the trees constructing a moderate zone for themselves even into what I would have called tundra, until I understood the fact that Aristotle taught, while walking in a botanic garden, that the middle is fittest to discern the extremes. ("Interim")"
Author: William S. Wilson

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