- Wit is educated insolence.
The Art of Rhetoric bk. 2, 1389b 12
- All men by nature desire knowledge.
Metaphysics bk. 1, ch. 1, 980a 22
- Whenever anything which has several parts is such that the whole is something over and above its parts, and not just the sum of them all, like a heap, then it always has some cause.
- Every art and every investigation, and likewise every practical pursuit or undertaking, seems to aim at some good: hence it has been well said that the Good is That at which all things aim.
Nicomachean Ethics bk. 1, 1094a 1–3
- Therefore, the good of man must be the end [i.e. objective] of the science of politics.
Nicomachean Ethics bk. 1, 1094b 6–7
- The end of this science [ethics] is not knowledge but action.
Nicomachean Ethics bk. 1, 1095a
- The Good of man is the active exercise of his soul's faculties in conformity with excellence or virtue.
Nicomachean Ethics bk. 1, 1098a 16
- Neither by nature, then, nor contrary to nature do the virtues arise in us; nature gives us the capacity to receive them, and this capacity is brought to maturity by habit.
often quoted in the form ‘We are what we repeatedly do’
Nicomachean Ethics bk. 2, 1103a 25
- We learn an art or craft by doing the things that we shall have to do when we have learnt it.
often quoted as ‘What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing’
Nicomachean Ethics bk. 2, 1103a 30
- 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—that is not easy.
Nicomachean Ethics bk. 2, 1108b
- The prudent man aspires not to pleasure, but to the absence of pain.
Nicomachean Ethics bk. 7, 1152b 15
- In a word, everything that we choose we choose for the sake of something else—except happiness, which is an end.
Nicomachean Ethics bk. 10, 1177a 2–10
- We make war that we may live in peace.
bk. 10, 1177b 5–6 (tr. M. Ostwald); see Vegetius
- Tragedy is thus a representation of an action that is worth serious attention, complete in itself and of some amplitude…by means of pity and fear bringing about the purgation of such emotions.
Poetics ch. 6, 1449b 24–8
- A whole is that which has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Poetics ch. 7
- So poetry is something more philosophical and more worthy of serious attention than history, for while poetry is concerned with universal truth, history treats of particular facts.
Poetics ch. 9, 1451b 5–6
- Probable impossibilities are to be preferred to improbable possibilities.
Poetics ch. 24, 1460a 26–7
- Sophocles said that he drew men as they ought to be, whereas Euripides drew them as they are.
Poetics ch. 25, 1460b 33–4
- Man is by nature a political animal.
Politics bk. 1, 1253a 2–3
- 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.
Politics bk. 1, 1253a 27–9
- Nature does nothing without purpose or uselessly.
Politics bk. 1, 1256b 20–21
- The guest will judge better of a feast than the cook.
Politics bk. 3, 1282a 20
- For 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.
Politics bk. 4, 1291b 35
- The basis of a democratic state is liberty.
Politics bk. 6, 1317b
- Amicus Plato, sed magis amica veritas.
Plato is dear to me, but dearer still is truth.
Latin translation of a Greek original ascribed to Aristotle
- The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.
Diogenes Laertius Lives of Philosophers bk. 5, sect. 18
- When he was asked ‘What is a friend?’ he said ‘One soul inhabiting two bodies.’
Diogenes Laertius Lives of Philosophers bk. 5, sect. 20
- I lived uncertain, I die doubtful: O thou Being of beings, have mercy upon me!
attributed, probably apocryphal; a Latin version was current in the early 17th century