Once more: there are three offices according to whose directions the highest magistrates are chosen in certain states - guardians of the law, probuli, councilors - of these, the guardians of the law are an aristocratical, the probuli an oligarchical, the council a democratical institution.
Character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion.
Should a man live underground, and there converse with the works of art and mechanism, and should afterwards be brought up into the open day, and see the several glories of the heaven and earth, he would immediately pronounce them the work of such a Being as we define God to be.
Not every action or emotion however admits of the observance of a due mean. Indeed the very names of some directly imply evil, for instance malice, shamelessness, envy, and, of actions, adultery, theft, murder. All these and similar actions and feelings are blamed as being bad in themselves; it is n
The soul becomes prudent by sitting and being quiet.
That which is in locomotion must arrive at the half-way stage before it arrives at the goal. (Travel over any finite distance can neither be completed nor begun, and so all motion must be an illusion.)
It is Homer who has chiefly taught other poets the art of telling lies skillfully.
It is of the nature of desire not to be satisfied, and most men live only for the gratification of it.
Persuasion is effected through the medium of the hearers, when they shall have been brought to a state of excitement under the influence of speech; for we do not, when influenced by pain or joy, or partiality or dislike, award our decisions in the same way; about which means of persuasion alone, I d
Men agree that justice in the abstract is proportion, but they differ in that some think that if they are equal in any respect they are equal absolutely, others that if they are unequal in any respect they should be unequal in all. The only stable principle of government is equality according to pro
Happiness itself is sufficient excuse. Beautiful things are right and true; so beautiful actions are those pleasing to the gods. Wise men have an inward sense of what is beautiful, and the highest wisdom is to trust this intuition and be guided by it. The answer to the last appeal of what is right l
Rhetoric is useful because truth and justice are in their nature stronger than their opposites; so that if decisions be made, not in conformity to the rule of propriety, it must have been that they have been got the better of through fault of the advocates themselves: and this is deserving reprehens
The mass of mankind are evidently slavish in their tastes, preferring a life suitable to beasts.
In revolutions the occasions may be trifling but great interest are at stake.
A city is composed of different kinds of men; similar people cannot bring a city into existence.
All are agreed that the various moral qualities are in a sense bestowed by nature: we are just, and capable of temperance, and brave, and possessed of the other virtues from the moment of our birth. But nevertheless we expect to find that true goodness is something different, and that the virtues in
The body is at its best between the ages of thirty and thirty-five.
There are branches of learning and education which we must study merely with a view to leisure spent in intellectual activity, and these are to be valued for their own sake; whereas those kinds of knowledge which are useful in business are to be deemed necessary, and exist for the sake of other thin
No science ever defends its first principles.
Man's best friend is one who wishes well to the object of his wish for his sake, even if no one is to know of it.
To let them share in the highest offices is to take a risk; inevitably, their unjust standards will cause them to commit injustice, and their lack of judgement will lead them into error. On the other hand there is a risk in not giving them a share, and in their non participation, for when there are
We must speak first about the division of land and about those who cultivate it: who should they be and what kind of person? We do not agree with those who have said that property should be communally owned, but we do believe that there should be a friendly arrangement for its common use, and that n
All virtue is summed up in dealing justly.
It is clear that those constitutions which aim at the common good are right, as being in accord with absolute justice; while those which aim only at the good of the rulers are wrong.
The misanthrope, as an essentially solitary man, is not a man at all: he must be a beast or a god...
Peace is more difficult than war.
Of actions some aim at what is necessary and useful, and some at what is honorable. And the preference given to one or the other class of actions must necessarily be like the preference given to one or other part of the soul and its actions over the other; there must be war for the sake of peace, bu
The poet, being an imitator like a painter or any other artist, must of necessity imitate one of three objects - things as they were or are, things as they are said or thought to be, or things as they ought to be. The vehicle of expression is language - either current terms or, it may be, rare words
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 nothin
Laughter is a bodily exercise, precious to Health