Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Aristotle Ἀριστοτέλης

382 – 322 BCE

Famous student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great, the first to organize a group to do scientific research, to systemize Western philosophy, to formalize a system of logic and to develop a theory of evolution; Aristotle is considered "The First Teacher" by Muslims and a profound influence on Judaism and Christian theology that extended through the Renaissance and continues today. Though only about one third of his writings remain and much more a proponent of the words rather than the sense, Cicero described him as "a river of gold,” Dante as “the master of those who know,” and through 1500 years of European history, “the philosopher.” He taught virtue as the secret of happiness, politics as the art of compromise between classes, and politically creating a balance between faith and reason, equality and freedom.

Eras

Sources

Politics

Unlisted Sources

Metaphysics

Nicomachean Ethics

Quotes by Aristotle (27 quotes)

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

Chapters: 17. True Leaders

Themes: Conformity

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“No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness… To lead an orchestra, you must turn your back on the crowd.”

Chapters: 18. The Sick Society

Themes: Crazy Wisdom

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“Without friends, no one would want to live, even if he had all other goods.”

Chapters: 35. The Power of Goodness

Themes: Friendship

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

Chapters: 38. Fruit Over Flowers

Themes: Doubt Reason

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“If things do not turn out as we wish, we should wish for them as they turn out.”

Chapters: 46. Enough

Themes: Letting Go Desire

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“Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.”

Chapters: 53. Shameless Thieves

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“The more you know, the more you know you don't know.”

Chapters: 65. Simplicity: the Hidden Power of Goodness

Themes: Know Yourself

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“All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.”

Chapters: 72. Helpful Fear

Themes: Livelihood

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“That which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it, everybody is more inclined to neglect the duty which he expects another to fulfill.”

from Politics

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“Justice is not a part of virtue, but virtue entire.”

Themes: Justice Virtue

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“Myths—because of their utility in regard to social customs and the public good—were introduced to persuade the multitude.”

from Metaphysics

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“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.”

from Nicomachean Ethics

Themes: Anger

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“As sight is in the body, so is reason in the soul.”

from Nicomachean Ethics

Themes: Reason

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“Revolutions are not trifles, but spring from trifles.”

from Politics

Themes: Revolution

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

from Politics

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“The fate of empires depends on the education of youth.”

from Politics

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“Philosophy is the science which considers truth.”

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“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance; for this is the true reality.”

Themes: Art Reality

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“The artistic representation of history is a more scientific and serious pursuit than the exact writing of history. For the art of letters goes to the heart of things, whereas the factual report merely collocates details.”

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“The end of democracy is freedom; of oligarchy, wealth; of aristocracy, the maintenance of education and national institutions; of tyranny, the protection of the tyrant.”

from Nicomachean Ethics

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“The true nature of anything is what it becomes at its highest.”

Themes: True Self

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“Most of us are as sure about the truth of our opinions as the wise are about the truth of what they know.”

from Nicomachean Ethics

Themes: Opinion

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“Learning is an ornament in prosperity, a refuge in adversity, and a provision in old age.”

Themes: Old Age

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“Punishment is a kind of medicine.”

from Nicomachean Ethics

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“That quality of the soul that thinks and judges is called mind.”

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

Themes: Victory Desire

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“It is characteristic of the human alone to have a sense of good and evil, just and unjust. And the association of living beings who have this sense makes the family and then the state.”

from Politics

Themes: Family

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Quotes about Aristotle (7 quotes)

“Aristotle’s view that philosophy begins with wonder, not as in our day with doubt, is a positive point of departure for philosophy. Indeed, the world will no doubt learn that it does not do to begin with the negative, and the reason for success up to the present is that philosophers have never quite surrendered to the negative and thus have never earnestly done what they have said. They merely flirt with doubt.”

Søren Kierkegaard 1813 – 1855 CE via Swenson
"The first existentialist philosopher"
from Journals

Themes: Doubt

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“In the information age, you don't teach philosophy as they did after feudalism. You perform it. If Aristotle were alive today he'd have a talk show.”

Timothy Leary 1920 – 1996 CE
Pioneering psychonaut, performing philosopher, and counter-cultural hero

Themes: Philosophy

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“Aristotle dines when it seems good to King Philip, but Diogenes when he himself pleases.

Plutarch 46 – 120 CE
(Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus)
from On Exile

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“Called by the Middle Ages, The Philosopher, Confucius alone has had as great an influence. But it is not that we love him; his texts expound so monotonously a passionless moderation that—after feeling the radiance of Plato—freeze at the touch of his tempered mind. But, an intellect of almost unbelievable depth and range, we shall not find again another name that so long inspired and enthralled the minds of men.”

Will Durant 1885 – 1981 CE via Shan Dao
Philosophy apostle and popularizer of history's lessons
from Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time, 1968

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“Contact with the Mohammedans in Spain, and to a lesser extent in Sicily, made the West aware of Aristotle; also of Arabic numerals, algebra, and chemistry... words we derive from Arabic such as: algebra, alcohol, alchemy, alembic, alkali, azimuth, zenith.”

Bertrand Russell 1872 – 1970 CE
“20th century Voltaire”
from History of Western Philosophy

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“Aristotle: first among all thinkers and master of those who know.”

Dante 1265 – 1321 CE via Shan Dao
(Durante degli Alighieri)
from Divine Comedy

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“the most deplorable fact that Aristotle, by using this complicated and somewhat pretentious jargon, fascinated only too many philosophers... Aristotle, who was a historian of the more encyclopedic type, made no direct contribution to historicism”

Karl Popper 1902 – 1994 CE
Major Philosopher of Science
from The Open Society and its Enemies

Themes: History

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