100+ Famous Aristotle Quotes That Influenced Western Civilization

Aristotle was a Greek philosopher who lived from 384 BC to 322 BC. He was one of the most famous and influential philosophers of his time. This collection of Aristotle quotes brings together his most well known words and thoughts.

Aristotle – Philosopher

Aristotle was famous for his work in philosophy, biology and physics. His most well known contribution to philosophy is his idea of the four causes. He also developed the concepts of teleology and formal causality. In biology, he was the first to develop a systematic approach to studying living things. He also made important contributions to physics, including his work on motion and gravity.

Perhaps his work in metaphysics best displays his genius, as he sought to explain the nature of reality. In particular, he attempted to elucidate the relationship between matter and form.

As one of the most quoted ancient Greek philosophers, Aristotle left behind a treasure trove of wisdom.

Aristotle Best Quotes

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.

– Aristotle

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies. - Aristotle


It is possible to fail in many ways…while to succeed is possible only in one way.

– Aristotle


He who is to be a good ruler must have first been ruled.

– Aristotle


Equality consists in the same treatment of similar persons.

– Aristotle

Equality consists in the same treatment of similar persons. - Aristotle


The high-minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think.

– Aristotle


The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.

– Aristotle


The law is reason, free from passion.

– Aristotle

The law is reason, free from passion. - Aristotle


All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.

– Aristotle

All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind. - Aristotle


Happiness is an expression of the soul in considered actions.

– Aristotle

Happiness is an expression of the soul in considered actions. - Aristotle


My best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake.

– Aristotle


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.

– Aristotle


I have gained this from philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law.

– Aristotle


We cannot learn without pain.

– Aristotle

We cannot learn without pain. - Aristotle


Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity.

– Aristotle


It is not enough to win a war; it is more important to organize the peace.

– Aristotle

It is not enough to win a war; it is more important to organize the peace. - Aristotle


Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in the consciousness that we deserve them.

– Aristotle


Aristotle Sayings

To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.

– Aristotle


The virtue of justice consists in moderation, as regulated by wisdom.

– Aristotle


I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.

– Aristotle


We acquire a particular quality by acting in a particular way.

– Aristotle


For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.

– Aristotle


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.

– Aristotle


Young people are in a condition like permanent intoxication, because life is sweet and they are growing.

– Aristotle


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.

– Aristotle


Nature does nothing in vain.

– Aristotle


It is not once nor twice but times without number that the same ideas make their appearance in the world.

– Aristotle


Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies.

– Aristotle


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.

– Aristotle


He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.

– Aristotle


Happiness depends upon ourselves.

– Aristotle


The happy life is thought to be one of excellence; now an excellent life requires exertion, and does not consist in amusement. If Eudaimonia, or happiness, is activity in accordance with excellence, it is reasonable that it should be in accordance with the highest excellence; and this will be that of the best thing in us.

– Aristotle


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.

– Aristotle


Famous Aristotle Quotes

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.

– Aristotle


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.

– Aristotle


The actuality of thought is life.

– Aristotle


The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living differ from the dead.

– Aristotle


Fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil.

– Aristotle


Happiness is a state of activity.

– Aristotle


Now since shame is a mental picture of disgrace, in which we shrink from the disgrace itself and not from its consequences, and we only care what opinion is held of us because of the people who form that opinion, it follows that the people before whom we feel shame are those whose opinion of us matters to us.

– Aristotle


Quality is not an act, it is a habit.

– Aristotle

Quality is not an act, it is a habit. - Aristotle


Whoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.

– Aristotle


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.

– Aristotle


It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.

– Aristotle

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. - Aristotle


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.

– Aristotle


No one loves the man whom he fears.

– Aristotle


The one exclusive sign of thorough knowledge is the power of teaching.

– Aristotle


There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.

– Aristotle


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.

– Aristotle


Quotes from Aristotle

Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life: the whole aim and end of human existence.

– Aristotle


Whatever lies within our power to do lies also within our power not to do.

– Aristotle


Life is a gift of nature but beautiful living is the gift of wisdom.

– Aristotle


There is no great genius without some touch of madness.

– Aristotle


Good habits formed at youth make all the difference.

– Aristotle


The quality of life is determined by its activities.

– Aristotle

The quality of life is determined by its activities. - Aristotle


Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.

– Aristotle

Related: 300+ Courage Quotes To Help You Face Fears And Overcome Adversity


Whatsoever that be within us that feels, thinks, desires, and animates, is something celestial, divine, and, consequently, imperishable.

– Aristotle


Wit is educated insolence.

– Aristotle

Wit is educated insolence. - Aristotle


The greatest virtues are those which are most useful to other persons.

– Aristotle

The greatest virtues are those which are most useful to other persons. - Aristotle


The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold.

– Aristotle


The soul never thinks without a picture. Hope is the dream of a waking man.

– Aristotle


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.

– Aristotle


It is of the nature of desire not to be satisfied, and most men live only for the gratification of it.

– Aristotle


Democracy arose from men’s thinking that if they are equal in any respect, they are equal absolutely.

– Aristotle


Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.

– Aristotle


Aristotle Success Quotes

What it lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not to do.

– Aristotle


All proofs rest on premises.

– Aristotle


You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.

– Aristotle


Misfortune shows those who are not really friends.

– Aristotle

Misfortune shows those who are not really friends. - Aristotle


The proof that you know something is that you are able to teach it.

– Aristotle


Man is a goal-seeking animal. His life only has meaning if he is reaching out and striving for his goals.

– Aristotle


The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.

– Aristotle


Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.

– Aristotle


The aim of the wise is to not secure pleasure, but to avoid pain.

– Aristotle


No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.

– Aristotle


Those that know, do. Those that understand, teach.

– Aristotle

Those that know, do. Those that understand, teach. - Aristotle


The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances.

– Aristotle


To be conscious that we are perceiving or thinking is to be conscious of our own existence.

– Aristotle


We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

– Aristotle


We give up leisure in order that we may have leisure, just as we go to war in order that we may have peace.

– Aristotle


All persons ought to endeavor to follow what is right, and not what is established.

– Aristotle


Quotes by Aristotle

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.

– Aristotle


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.

– Aristotle


Time crumbles things; everything grows old under the power of time and is forgotten through the lapse of time.

– Aristotle


Probable impossibilities are to be preferred to improbable possibilities.

– Aristotle


Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.

– Aristotle


Through discipline comes freedom.

– Aristotle

Through discipline comes freedom. - Aristotle

Related: 175+ Discipline Quotes For Maximum Motivation


It is easy to perform a good action, but not easy to acquire a settled habit of performing such actions.

– Aristotle


Hope is a waking dream.

– Aristotle

Hope is a waking dream. - Aristotle


In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous.

– Aristotle


It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.

– Aristotle


No happy man can become miserable, for he will never do acts that are hateful and mean.

– Aristotle


Our judgments when we are pleased and friendly are not the same as when we are pained and hostile.

– Aristotle


He who cannot be a good follower cannot be a good leader.

– Aristotle


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.

– Aristotle


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.

– Aristotle


Wicked men obey from fear; good men, from love.

– Aristotle


Aristotle Quotes Wisdom

Happiness belongs to the self-sufficient.

– Aristotle


Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.

– Aristotle

Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all. - Aristotle


Well begun is half done.

– Aristotle

Well begun is half done. - Aristotle


The whole is more than the sum of its parts.

– Aristotle

The whole is more than the sum of its parts. - Aristotle


We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths; in feelings, not in figures on a dial. We should count time by heart throbs. He most lives who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.

– Aristotle


Learning is not child’s play; we cannot learn without pain.

– Aristotle


Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.

– Aristotle


One thing alone not even God can do, To make undone whatever hath been done.

– Aristotle


The best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake.

– Aristotle


It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

– Aristotle


Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.

– Aristotle

Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work. - Aristotle



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