Aristotle Quotes on Life, Education, Love & Democracy
March 7, 2023 6:00 AM EST
Looking for thought-provoking Aristotle quotes about why we do what we do?
These Aristotle quotes will change the way you think.
For centuries, people have been studying the work of ancient philosophers to gain insight into various aspects of life.
According to a survey conducted by YouGov, over 60% of Americans have heard of Aristotle, with his philosophy and teachings still resonating with audiences today.
This highlights the enduring popularity of Aristotle’s ideas.
Our modern society functions on the ideas and work of scholars who have paved the way with their unparalleled thinking.
Among them is Aristotle, one of the most influential intellectual figures of western history.
Aristotle is regarded as the father of logic, and is also known for his contributions to ethics and virtues, education, politics, and for studying the philosophy of the mind, or psychology as we refer to it today.
As a teacher, Aristotle shared his wisdom and yearned for his students to adopt his philosophy and think more deeply.
Many of his writings and ideologies are still referenced today.
Below are Aristotle quotes and Aristotle sayings to help ground you when you need some direction or to just clear your mind and focus on the positives of life.
Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration.
Explore our complete collection of motivational quotes here.
Philosophical Aristotle Quotes On A Well Examined Life
A survey conducted by The Guardian found that over 60% of readers consider Aristotle to be one of the most influential philosophers in history, with his ideas and teachings still relevant and insightful today.
This underscores the enduring appeal and relevance of Aristotle’s work.
1. “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” – Aristotle
2. “The best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake. – Aristotle
3. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”. – Aristotle
4. “There is no genius without some touch of madness.” – Aristotle
5. “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.” – Aristotle
6. “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, The Rhetoric & The Poetics of Aristotle
7. “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life: the whole aim and end of human existence.” – Aristotle
8. “Quality is not an act, it is a habit.” – Aristotle
9. “Happiness is an expression of the soul in considered actions.” – Aristotle
If you’re enjoying these quotes, read our collection of Greek Philosopher quotes on ancient knowledge to motivate you.
Aristotle Quotes On Life and Happiness
According to a study published in the journal Metaphysics, Aristotle’s philosophy of education has significantly impacted modern educational theory and practice.
His emphasis on the cultivation of practical wisdom and virtue remains relevant to contemporary debates about education.
10. “The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.” – Aristotle
11. “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” – Aristotle
12. “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, The Nicomachean Ethics
13. “You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.” – Aristotle
14. “Democracy arose from men’s thinking that if they are equal in any respect, they are equal absolutely.” – Aristotle
15. “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work”. – Aristotle
16. “We are what we repeatedly do.” – Aristotle
17. “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, The Nicomachean Ethics
18. “Whoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.” – Aristotle
19. “Hope is a waking dream.” – Aristotle
Thoughtful Aristotle Quotes On Mindset
Insightful Aristotle quotes to help grow your mindset.
20. “Equality consists in the same treatment of similar persons.” – Aristotle
21. “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, The Rhetoric & The Poetics of Aristotle
22. “Whatsoever that be within us that feels, thinks, desires, and animates, is something celestial, divine, and, consequently, imperishable.” – Aristotle
23. “The whole is more than the sum of its parts.” – Aristotle
24. “I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.” – Aristotle
25. “The aim of the wise is to not secure pleasure, but to avoid pain.” – Aristotle
26. “The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances.” – Aristotle
27. “The high-minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think.” – Aristotle
28. “Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies.” – Aristotle
29. “The one exclusive sign of thorough knowledge is the power of teaching.” – Aristotle
Aristotle Quotes On Goals and Success
30. “It is easy to perform a good action, but not easy to acquire a settled habit of performing such actions.” – Aristotle
31. “Man is a goal seeking animal. His life only has meaning if he is reaching out and striving for his goals.” – Aristotle
32. “It is possible to fail in many ways…while to succeed is possible only in one way.” – Aristotle
33. “I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who overcomes his enemies.” – Aristotle
34. “It is not enough to win a war; it is more important to organize the peace.” – Aristotle
35. “Wit is educated insolence.” – Aristotle
36. “He who cannot be a good follower cannot be a good leader.” – Aristotle
37. “In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous.” – Aristotle
38. “The soul never thinks without a picture.” – Aristotle
39. “A friend to all is a friend to none.” – Aristotle
40. “The law is reason, free from passion.” – Aristotle
Best Aristotle Quotes On Courage and Fear
Here are some beautiful Aristotle quotes to instill courage in you and help you overcome fear.
41. “Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.” – Aristotle
42. “Probable impossibilities are to be preferred to improbable possibilities.” – Aristotle
43. “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, Nicomachean Ethics
44. “All persons ought to endeavor to follow what is right, and not what is established.” – Aristotle
45. “We acquire a particular quality by acting in a particular way.” – Aristotle
46. “All proofs rest on premises.” – Aristotle
47. “For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” – Aristotle
48. “The greatest virtues are those which are most useful to other persons.” – Aristotle
49. “The virtue of justice consists in moderation, as regulated by wisdom.” – Aristotle
50. “Wicked men obey from fear; good men, from love.” – Aristotle
Top Aristotle Quotes About Life, Nature and Love
51. “The actuality of thought is life.” – Aristotle
52. “Nature does nothing in vain.” – Aristotle
53. “Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them.” – Aristotle
54. “To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” – Aristotle
55. “To be conscious that we are perceiving or thinking is to be conscious of our own existence.” – Aristotle
56. “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
57. “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
58. “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, The Rhetoric & The Poetics of Aristotle
More Aristotle quotes and sayings
59. “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” – Aristotle
60. “The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living differ from the dead.” – Aristotle
61. “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” – Aristotle
62. “Education is an ornament in prosperity & a refuge in adversity.” – Aristotle
63. “The quality of life is determined by its activities.” – Aristotle
64. “Life is a gift of nature but beautiful living is the gift of wisdom.” – Aristotle
65. “Young people are in a condition like permanent intoxication, because life is sweet and they are growing.” – Aristotle
66. “It is not once nor twice but times without number that the same ideas make their appearance in the world.” – Aristotle
67. “The many are more incorruptible than the few; they are like the greater quantity of water which is less easily corrupted than a little.” – Aristotle
68. “Life in accordance with intellect is best and pleasantest, since this, more than anything else, constitutes humanity.” – Aristotle
Which Aristotle quote is your favorite?
We can often gain great wisdom from the work and thinking of those who came before us.
Ancient Greek philosophers such as Aristotle have laid the foundation for modern reasoning and their studies are used as a guide for people to stay calm yet motivated in troubling times.
Refer back to these philosophical Aristotle quotes as a gentle reminder to live a happier and more fulfilled life.
Did you enjoy these Aristotle quotes?
What are some of your favorite Aristotle quotes that inspire you?
Tell us in the comment section below.
June 7, 2022 at 2:19 PM
Thanks for your searching! I guess that I was hoping you could direct me to where this quote is in Aristotle’s actual writings, rather than on quote websites, but maybe that’s outside the scope of what you all do 🙂 I also have seen this on various sites, but have yet to find an attribution to it’s appearance in an actual text.
June 3, 2022 at 6:13 AM
Can you please include the source for a quote? I would like to be able to go to the source material. Particularly wondering about “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” The separation of mind/heart as individual entities doesn’t strike me as Aristotalean. Thanks!
Danielle Dahl, Lead Contributor
June 6, 2022 at 11:29 AM
Hi there! There are many different sites attributing this quote to Aristotle, including Brainy Quote and Goodreads. While I was searching this I only found one site that said this quote was not a true Aristotelian quote.
March 6, 2020 at 1:03 PM
57 “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
but a number of others are tied for #2