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迄今为止最伟大的事情就是运用好隐喻。这本身是他人所不能传授的;它是天才的标志,因为能作出好的隐喻意味着拥有一双能发现相似之处的慧眼。The greatest thing by far is to have a command of metaphor. This alone cannot be imparted by another; it is the mark of genius, for to make good metaphors implies an eye for resemblances.
Piety requires us to honor truth above our friends.

亚里士多德 (英文:Aristotle;希腊语:Αριστοτέλης;德语:Aristotelēs) (384 BC – 7 March 322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and a scientist.


Quotations from Aristotle are often cited by Bekker numbers, which are keyed to the original Greek and therefore independent of the translation used.
  • 无畏的人才能获得真正的自由。
英译:He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.
    • Variant: 我认为,与战胜敌人的人相比,战胜欲望的人更加勇敢。(I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who overcomes his enemies.)
    • Quoted in Florilegium by Joannes Stobaeus
  • 所有的自然之物都有绝妙之处。In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.
    • Parts of Animals I.645a16
  • 我们应当不厌其烦地研究每一种动物,因为任何一种动物都揭示了什么是自然和什么是美。
英译:We should venture on the study of every kind of animal without distaste; for each and all will reveal to us something natural and something


    • Parts of Animals I.645a21
  • 自然演化自无穷,因为无穷永无止境,并不完美,而自然总在想方设法地达到完美的境界。
英译:Nature flies from the infinite, for the infinite is unending or imperfect, and Nature ever seeks amend.
    • Generation of Animals I.715b15
  • 至于相似动物的生殖,以大黄蜂和黄蜂为例,二者的生殖情况在某种程度上是相似的,但是它们并不具备蜜蜂独一无二的特征;这很合情合理,因为它们不像蜜蜂那样神圣。Concerning the generation of animals akin to them, as hornets and wasps, the facts in all cases are similar to a certain extent, but are devoid of the extraordinary features which characterize bees; this we should expect, for they have nothing divine about them as the bees have.
    • Generation of Animals III.761a2
  • 正如有时会发生的那样,畸形的双亲生育畸形的后代,而有时又不是这样;同样的道理,因为雌性似乎就是畸形的雄性,所以雌性产下的后代有时是雌性,有时不是雌性而是雄性。Just as it sometimes happens that deformed offspring are produced by deformed parents, and sometimes not, so the offspring produced by a female are sometimes female, sometimes not, but male,

because the female is as it were a deformed male.

  • Generation of Animals as translated by Arthur Leslie Peck (1943), p. 175
  • 患难见真情。Misfortune shows those who are not really friends.
    • Eudemian Ethics VII.1238a20
  • 时间碾碎万物;一切都因时间的力量而衰老,在时间的流逝中被遗忘。Time crumbles things; everything grows old under the power of Time and is forgotten through the lapse of Time.
    • Physics


  • 英译:It is absurd to hold that a man ought to be ashamed of being unable to defend himself with his limbs but not of being unable to defend himself with speech and reason, when the use of reason is more distinctive of a human being than the use of his limbs. (I.1355b1)

  • 罪恶把人们聚在一起。(I.1362b39)

英译:Evils draw men together.

    • (摘自一条谚语)
  • 因此,每一个行动都一定是起因于这七种原因中的这个或那个:机遇、本性、强迫、习惯、理性、愤怒或嗜欲。Thus every action must be due to one or other of seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reasoning, anger, or appetite. (I.1369a5)
    • 变体:有七个原因决定了所有人类的行动:机遇、本性、强迫、习惯、理性、激情和欲望。Variant: All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion and desire.
  • The young have exalted notions, because they have not been humbled by life or learned its necessary limitations; moreover, their hopeful disposition makes them think themselves equal to great

things—and that means having exalted notions. They would always rather do noble deeds than useful ones: Their lives are regulated more by moral feeling than by reasoning.... All their mistakes are in the direction of doing things excessively and vehemently. They overdo everything; they love too much, hate too much, and the same with everything else. (II.1389a31)

  • 风趣是有教养的傲慢。Wit is well-bred insolence. (II.1389b11)
  • 朴素使未受教育的人在面对大众演讲时比受过教育的人更有成效。It is simplicity that makes the uneducated more effective than the educated when addressing popular audiences. (II.1395b27)


  • 人天生就是政治动物。 (I.1253a2)

英译:Man is by nature a political animal.

    • 更确切的英译:Man is an animal whose nature it is to live in a polis (city). 人是一种天生生活在城邦中的动物。(H.D.F. Kitto, The Greeks)
  • 自然从不做赘余之事(I.1253a8)

英译:Nature does nothing uselessly.

  • Further, the state is by nature clearly prior to the family and to the individual, since the whole is of necessity prior to the part; for example, if the whole body be destroyed, there will be no foot or

hand, except in an equivocal sense, as we might speak of a stone hand; for when destroyed the hand will be no better than that. But things are defined by their working and power; and we ought not to say that they are the same when they no longer have their proper quality, but only that they have the same name.

  • The proof that the state is a creation of nature and prior to the individual is that the individual, when isolated, is not self-sufficing; and therefore he is like a part in relation to the whole.
  • 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. (I.1253a27)
  • Man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all. (I.1253a31)
  • Money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the

offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of all modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural. (I.1258b4)

  • Men ... are easily induced to believe that in some wonderful manner everybody will become everybody's friend, especially when some one is heard denouncing the evils now existing in states, suits

about contracts, convictions for perjury, flatteries of rich men and the like, which are said to arise out of the possession of private property. These evils, however, are due to a very different cause—the wickedness of human nature. (II.1263b15)

  • It is of the nature of desire not to be satisfied, and most men live only for the gratification of it. (II.1267b4)
  • Again, men in general desire the good, and not merely what their fathers had. (II.1269a4)
  • Even when laws have been written down, they ought not always to remain unaltered. (II.1269a9)
  • That judges of important causes should hold office for life is a disputable thing, for the mind grows old as well as the body. (II.1270b39)
  • 统治者应该是那些有能力统治得最好的人。They should rule who are able to rule best. (II.1273b5)
  • The good citizen need not of necessity possess the virtue which makes a good man. (III.1276b34)
  • A state is not a mere society, having a common place, established for the prevention of mutual crime and for the sake of exchange.... Political society exists for the sake of noble actions, and not of

mere companionship. (III.1280b30, 1281a3)

  • The law is reason unaffected by desire. (III.1287a32)
    • Variant: The Law is reason free from passion.
  • 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. (IV.1291b34)
  • 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. (V.1302a29)
  • Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms. (V.1311a11)
  • 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. (V.1314b39)

  • The basis of a democratic state is liberty. (VI.1317a40)
  • Happiness, whether consisting in pleasure or virtue, or both, is more often found with those who are highly cultivated in their minds and in their character, and have only a moderate share of external

goods, than among those who possess external goods to a useless extent but are deficient in higher qualities. (VII.1323b1)

  • Law is order, and good law is good order. (VII.1326a29)
  • Let us then enunciate the functions of a state and we shall easily elicit what we want: First there must be food; secondly, arts, for life requires many instruments; thirdly, there must be arms, for the

members of a community have need of them, and in their own hands, too, in order to maintain authority both against disobedient subjects and against external assailants.... (VII.1328b4)

  • The appropriate age for marriage is around eighteen for girls and thirty-seven for men. (VII.1335a27)
  • It is not easy to determine the nature of music, or why anyone should have a knowledge of it.
  • All paid employments... absorb and degrade the mind. (VIII.1337b5)



  • All men by nature desire to know. An indication of this is the delight we take in our senses; for even apart from their usefulness they are loved for themselves; and above all others the sense of sight.

For not only with a view to action, but even when we are not going to do anything, we prefer sight to almost everything else. The reason is that this, most of all the senses, makes us know and brings to light many differences between things. (I.980a21)

    • Variant: All men by nature desire knowledge...
    • The first sentence is in the Oxford Dictionary of Scientific Quotations (2005), 21:10.
  • If, then, God is always in that good state in which we sometimes are, this compels our wonder; and if in a better this compels it yet more. And God is in a better state. And life also belongs to God;

for the actuality of thought is life, and God is that actuality; and God's self-dependent actuality is life most good and eternal. (XII.1072b24)

  • Those who assert that the mathematical sciences say nothing of the beautiful or the good are in error. For these sciences say and prove a great deal about them; if they do not expressly mention them,

but prove attributes which are their results or definitions, it is not true that they tell us nothing about them. The chief forms of beauty are order and symmetry and definiteness, which the mathematical sciences demonstrate in a special degree. (XIII.1078a33)

  • The single harmony produced by all the heavenly bodies singing and dancing together springs from one source and ends by achieving one purpose, and has rightly bestowed the name not of

"disordered" but of "ordered universe" upon the whole. (399 a DE MUNDO)

尼各马科伦理学 (Nicomachean Ethics) (c. 325 BC)[编辑]

如果我們為了幹而幹的事業有一個結果的話,那麼這個事業一定是好的。難道關於這個事業的知識不會對生命有很好的影響嗎?難道我們不應比起有箭靶作目標的弓箭手更有可能達到我們的目標嗎? 如果真的是這樣,我們一定要嘗試至少去尋找這個事業的輪廓。

  • If there is some end of the things we do, which we desire for its own sake, clearly this must be the good. Will not knowledge of it, then, have a great influence on life? Shall we not, like archers who

have a mark to aim at, be more likely to hit upon what we should? If so, we must try, in outline at least, to determine what it is. (I.1094a18)

  • It is the mark of an educated man to look for precision in each class of things just so far as the nature of the subject admits; it is evidently equally foolish to accept probable reasoning from a

mathematician and to demand from a rhetorician scientific proofs. (I.1094b24)

  • The life of money-making is one undertaken under compulsion, and wealth is evidently not the good we are seeking; for it is merely useful and for the sake of something else. (I.1096a5)
  • Piety requires us to honor truth above our friends. (I.1096a16)
  • For just as for a flute-player, a sculptor, or an artist, and, in general, for all things that have a function or activity, the good and the well is thought to reside in the function, so would it seem to be for

man, if he has a function. (I.1097b25)

  • If ... we state the function of man to be a certain kind of life, and this to be an activity or actions of the soul implying a rational principle, and the function of a good man to be the good and noble

performance of these, and if any action is well performed when it is performed in accordance with the appropriate excellence ... human good turns out to be activity of the soul in accordance with virtue, and if there are more than one virtue, in accordance with the best and most complete. (I.1098a13)

  • One swallow does not make a summer, nor does one day; and so too one day, or a short time, does not make a man blessed and happy. (I.1098a18)
  • For some identify happiness with virtue, some with practical wisdom, others with a kind of philosophic wisdom, others with these, or one of these, accompanied by pleasure or not without pleasure;

while others include also external prosperity. Now ... it is not probable that these should be entirely mistaken, but rather that they should be right in at least some one respect or even in most respects. (I.1098b23)

  • For pleasure is a state of soul, and to each man that which he is said to be a lover of is pleasant.... Now for most men their pleasures are in conflict with one another because these are not by nature

pleasant, but the lovers of what is noble find pleasant the things that are by nature pleasant; and virtuous actions are such... Happiness then is the best, noblest, and most pleasant thing in the world, and these attributes are not severed as in the inscription at Delos: Most noble is that which is justest, and best is health; but pleasantest is it to win what we love. (I.1099a6)

  • Everything that depends on the action of nature is by nature as good as it can be, and similarly everything that depends on art or any rational cause, and especially if it depends on the best of all

causes. To entrust to chance what is greatest and most noble would be a very defective arrangement. (I.1099b22)

    • Quoted in Oxford Dictionary of Scientific Quotations (2005), 21:8.
  • The truly good and wise man will bear all kinds of fortune in a seemly way, and will always act in the noblest manner that the circumstances allow. (I.1101a)
  • May not we then confidently pronounce that man happy who realizes complete goodness in action, and is adequately furnished with external goods? Or should we add, that he must also be destined

to go on living not for any casual period but throughout a complete lifetime in the same manner, and to die accordingly, because the future is hidden from us, and we conceive happiness as an end, something utterly and absolutely final and complete? If this is so, we shall pronounce those of the living who possess and are destined to go on possessing the good things we have specified to be supremely blessed, though on the human scale of bliss. (I.1101a10)

  • For the things we have to learn before we can do, we learn by doing. (II.1103a33)
    • Oxford Dictionary of Scientific Quotations (2005), 21:9.
  • For legislators make the citizens good by forming habits in them, and this is the wish of every legislator, and those who do not effect it miss their mark, and it is in this that a good constitution

differs from a bad one. (II.1103b4)

  • It is well said, then, that it is by doing just acts that the just man is produced, and by doing temperate acts the temperate man; without doing these no one would have even a prospect of becoming

good. But most people do not do these, but take refuge in theory and think they are being philosophers and will become good in this way, behaving somewhat like patients who listen attentively to their doctors, but do none of the things they are ordered to do. (II.1105b9)

  • Again, it is possible to fail in many ways (for evil belongs to the class of the unlimited ... and good to that of the limited), while to succeed is possible only in one way (for which reason also one is

easy and the other difficult—to miss the mark easy, to hit it difficult); for these reasons also, then, excess and defect are characteristic of vice, and the mean of virtue; For men are good in but one way, but bad in many. (II.1106b28)

  • The vices respectively fall short of or exceed what is right in both passions and actions, while virtue both finds and chooses that which is intermediate. (II.1107a4)
    • Variant: Some vices miss what is right because they are deficient, others because they are excessive, in feelings or in actions, while virtue finds and chooses the mean.
  • In cases of this sort, let us say adultery, rightness and wrongness do not depend on committing it with the right woman at the right time and in the right manner, but the mere fact of committing such

action at all is to do wrong. (II.1107a15)

  • Any one can get angry — that is easy — or give or spend money; but to do this to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, with the right motive, and in the right way, that is not for every

one, nor is it easy. (II.1109a27)

  • We must as second best, as people say, take the least of the evils. (II.1109a34)
  • Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods. (VIII.1155a5)
  • When people are friends, they have no need of justice, but when they are just, they need friendship in addition. (VIII.1155a26)
  • After these matters we ought perhaps next to discuss pleasure. For it is thought to be most intimately connected with our human nature, which is the reason why in educating the young we steer

them by the rudders of pleasure and pain; it is thought, too, that to enjoy the things we ought and to hate the things we ought has the greatest bearing on virtue of character. For these things extend right through life, with a weight and power of their own in respect both to virtue and to the happy life, since men choose what is pleasant and avoid what is painful; and such things, it will be thought, we should least of all omit to discuss, especially since they admit of much dispute. (X.1172a17)

  • And happiness is thought to depend on leisure; for we are busy that we may have leisure, and make war that we may live in peace. (X.1177b4)
  • Now the activity of the practical virtues is exhibited in political or military affairs, but the actions concerned with these seem to be unleisurely. Warlike actions are completely so (for no one chooses

to be at war, or provokes war, for the sake of being at war; any one would seem absolutely murderous if he were to make enemies of his friends in order to bring about battle and slaughter); but the action of the statesman is also unleisurely, and-apart from the political action itself-aims at despotic power and honours, or at all events happiness, for him and his fellow citizens-a happiness different from political action, and evidently sought as being different. So if among virtuous actions political and military actions are distinguished by nobility and greatness, and these are unleisurely and aim at an end and are not desirable for their own sake, but the activity of reason, which is contemplative, seems both to be superior in serious worth and to aim at no end beyond itself, and to have its pleasure proper to itself (and this augments the activity), and the self-sufficiency, leisureliness, unweariedness (so far as this is possible for man), and all the other attributes ascribed to the supremely happy man are evidently those connected with this activity, it follows that this will be the complete happiness of man, if it be allowed a complete term of life. (X.1177b6)

  • Life in the true sense is perceiving or thinking.
  • To be conscious that we are perceiving or thinking is to be conscious of our own existence.
  • With regard to excellence, it is not enough to know, but we must try to have and use it.
  • Young people are in a condition like permanent intoxication, because youth is sweet and they are growing.


  • A tragedy, then, is the imitation of an action ... with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish its catharsis of such emotions. (1449b24)
  • A whole is that which has beginning, middle, and end. (1450b26)
  • Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history; for poetry expresses the universal, and history only the particular. (1451b6)
  • Poetry demands a man with a special gift for it, or else one with a touch of madness in him. (1455a33)
  • But the greatest thing by far is to have a command of metaphor. This alone cannot be imparted by another; it is the mark of genius, for to make good metaphors implies an eye for resemblances.


  • Homer has taught all other poets the art of telling lies skillfully. (1460a19)
    • Variant: It is Homer who has chiefly taught other poets the art of telling lies skillfully.
  • For the purposes of poetry a convincing impossibility is preferable to an unconvincing possibility. (1461b11)


Assertions attributed to Aristotle in Lives of Eminent Philosophers by Diogenes Laërtius
  • Education is the best provision for old age.
  • Hope is a waking dream.
  • I have gained this by philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law.
  • Liars when they speak the truth are not believed.
  • To the query, "What is a friend?" his reply was "A single soul dwelling in two bodies."
    • Variants: Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies.
      A true friend is one soul in two bodies.
      Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.
      What is a friend? A

single soul dwelling in two bodies.

    • To the query, in the same text, "what is love?" he replied "What is life without love? Love is like the sun; without light, there's no life" [來源請求]


  • "For well-being and health, again, the homestead should be airy in summer, and sunny in winter. A homestead possessing these qualities would be longer than it is deep; and its main front would face

the south".

    • Economics (Oeconomica) 1345a.20, Greek Texts and

Translations, Perseus under PhiloLogic.


Template:Disputed begin


  • 吾爱吾师,吾更爱真理。Plato is dear to me, but dearer still is truth.
    • 变体:柏拉图是我的朋友,但真理更是我的朋友。Variant: Plato is my friend, but the truth is more my friend.
    • 这句名言被认为是亚里士多德所作,但是维基语录研究至今仍未在他的著作中发现它。它有可能是牛顿的一句话的浓缩版本。牛顿在题为“某些哲学问题”的笔记的开头用拉丁文写道:“柏拉图是我的朋友——亚里士多德是我的朋友——但是,我最伟大的朋友是真理。”These statements have been attributed to Aristotle, but research done for Wikiquote has thus far not found them among his works. They may possibly be derived from a reduction of a statement known to have been made by Isaac Newton, who at the head of notes he titled Quaestiones Quaedam Philosophicae (Certain Philosophical Questions) wrote in Latin: "Amicus Plato— amicus

Aristoteles— magis amica veritas" which translates to: "Plato is my friend— Aristotle is my friend— but my greatest friend is truth." (c. 1664)

    • Another possible origin of the "dear is Plato" statement is in the Nicomachean Ethics; the Ross translation (of 1096a11-1096a16) provides: "We had perhaps better consider the universal good

and discuss thoroughly what is meant by it, although such an inquiry is made an uphill one by the fact that the Forms have been introduced by friends of our own. Yet it would perhaps be thought to be better, indeed to be our duty, for the sake of maintaining the truth even to destroy what touches us closely, especially as we are philosophers; for, while both are dear, piety requires us to honour truth above our friends'."
Note that the last clause, when quoted by itself loses the connection to "the friends" who introduced "the Forms", Plato above all. Therefore the misattribution could be the result of the "quote" actually being a paraphrase which identifies Plato where Aristotle only alludes to him circumspectly.

Template:Disputed end Template:Misattributed begin


  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
    • Variant: We are what we repeatedly do, therefore excellence is not an act, but a habit.
    • Source: Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers (1926) [Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books, 1991, ISBN 0-671-73916-6] Ch. II:

Aristotle and Greek Science; part VII: Ethics and the Nature of Happiness: "Excellence is an art won by training and habituation: we do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have these because we have acted rightly; 'these virtues are formed in man by his doing the actions'; we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit: 'the good of man is a working of the soul in the way of excellence in a complete life... for as it is not one swallow or one fine day that makes a spring, so it is not one day or a short time that makes a man blessed and happy'" (p. 76). The quoted phrases within the quotation are from the Nicomachean Ethics, Book II, 4; Book I, 7. The misattribution is from taking Durant's summation of Aristotle's ideas as being the words of Aristotle himself.

  • "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."
    • This is actually from the poem "We live in deeds..." by Philip James Bailey. This explains the strange pattern of capitalization.
  • The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.
    • This first appears in 1974 in an explanation of Aristotle's politics in Time magazine, before being condensed to an epigram as "Aristotle's Axiom" in Peter's People (1979) by [[Laurence J.

Peter]] Template:Misattributed end


The Works of Aristotle. Ed. W. David Ross. 12 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1908.

The Complete Works of Aristotle: The Revised Oxford Translation. Ed. Jonathan Barnes. 2 vols. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press, 1984.

  • A revised edition of Ross's compilation of translations. Much more compact.

The quotations above may have come from these or other translations.