Tag Archives | Aristotle

The whole is more than the sum of its parts

The whole is more than the sum of its parts – Aristotle What does that mean? Also translated as “The whole is greater than the part,” this quote is about how much better things are together than as pieces. The idea is used heavily in Synergy and Gestalt as well as in non-linear fields. It […]

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Anybody can become angry. But to be angry… at the right time and for the right purpose is not within everybody’s power.

Anybody can become angry. But to be angry… at the right time and for the right purpose is not within everybody’s power. – Aristotle What does that mean? This is a popular quote, but shortened for twitter. The longer version is: “Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right […]

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

You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor. – Aristotle What does that mean? While the word ‘anything’ is an absolute, and I try to avoid absolutes when I can, this is a case of dramatic license. Does breathing count as anything? […]

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Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.

Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work. – Aristotle What does that mean? When you are enjoying what you are doing, you tend to do a little better work than when you don’t. Perhaps you work a little longer, pay a little more attention to the details. It may not be exactly perfection in each […]

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Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies. – Aristotle What does that mean? This is another neat quote, being based on mythology written about by Aristotle’s mentor, Plato (in his work, Symposium). The story goes that humans were originally made with four arms, four legs and were half male and half female. […]

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For though we love both the truth and our friends, piety requires us to honor the truth first.

For though we love both the truth and our friends, piety requires us to honor the truth first. – Aristotle What does that mean? For the sake of this quote, we will use an alternate (and older) definition for piety, which normally has religious overtones. TheFreeDictionary.com defines the term ‘piety’ (from pious) as meaning “Duty; dutifulness; filial […]

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No one loves the man whom he fears.

No one loves the man whom he fears. – Aristotle What does that mean? This quote goes way back in time. While this could apply to twisted love relationships, it can also apply to loyalty relationships, as well as leadership relationships. It deals with the relationship between love and fear. Or more precisely, the way […]

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

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. – Aristotle What does that mean? I’m not sure ‘educated’ is the word I would use (it might be an artifact of the translation), but I would consider it as a measure of how open-minded a person is. […]

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

The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal. – Aristotle What does that mean? For those who never had two or more dogs, this might not make much sense. But if you ever had more than one dog at the same time, you know that there is no such thing […]

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It is best to rise from life as from a banquet, neither thirsty nor drunken

It is best to rise from life as from a banquet, neither thirsty nor drunken. – Aristotle What does that mean? If I had been thinking, this would have been posted on the 31st of December, where it would have been a bit more topical. However, with the events of New Years Eve still fresh […]

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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.

I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self. ~ Aristotle What does that mean? To me, this is talking about the eternal internal struggle of humanity. We seem to have a gap between what we know we should do and what we […]

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The high-minded man must care more…

The high-minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think. – Aristotle What does that mean? Once again, we have a translation from ancient Greek that I believe needs a little more help in the translation. At thefreedictionary.com, high-minded is defined as “Characterized by elevated ideals or conduct; noble.” It’s an old […]

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Suffering becomes beautiful when…

Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility but through greatness of mind.  – Aristotle What does that mean? Once again, we have a translation from Ancient Greek.  Just what are the flavors of calamity and which forms of suffering does he mean?  I choose to take the words at […]

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

The greatest virtues are those which are most useful to other persons. – Aristotle What does that mean? Let’s start with the definition of Virtue in the context of this saying.   At thefreedictionary.com, virtue is defined as “Moral excellence and righteousness” and “A particularly efficacious, good, or beneficial quality”. So, rephrasing slightly: the greatest […]

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Good habits formed at youth make all the difference.

Good habits formed at youth make all the difference. – Aristotle What does that mean? Like anything that travels, setting a proper course at the beginning is critical.  If the airplane you are in is off course by 30 degrees, and stays that way for an hour or two, you are going to end up […]

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