Happiness, then, is co-extensive with contemplation, and the more people contemplate, the happier they are; not incidentally, but in virtue of their contemplation, because it is in itself precious. Thus happiness is a form of contemplation.
The greatest virtues are those which are most useful to other persons.
The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law.
It makes no difference whether a good man has defrauded a bad man, or a bad man defrauded a good man, or whether a good or bad man has committed adultery: the law can look only to the amount of damage done.
We maintain, and have said in the Ethics, if the arguments there adduced are of any value, that happiness is the realization and perfect exercise of virtue, and this not conditional, but absolute. And I used the term ‘conditional’ to express that which is indispensable, and ‘absolute’ to express that which is good in itself.
So virtue is a purpose disposition, lying in a mean that is relative to us and determined by a rational principle, and by that which a prudent man would use to determine it. It is a mean between two kinds of vice, one of excess and the other of deficiency…
Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting in a particular way.
…virtue is not merely a state in conformity with the right principle, but one that implies the right principle; and the right principle in moral conduct is prudence.
Between friends there is no need for justice, but people who are just still need the quality of friendship; and indeed friendliness is considered to be justice in the fullest sense.
It [Justice] is complete virtue in the fullest sense, because it is the active exercise of complete virtue; and it is complete because its possessor can exercise it in relation to another person, and not only by himself.
The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousand fold.
But a man’s best friend is the one who not only wishes him well but wishes it for his own sake (even though nobody will ever know it): and this condition is best fulfilled by his attitude towards himself – and similarly with all the other attributes that go to define a friend. For we have said before that all friendly feelings for others are extensions of a man’s feelings for himself.
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.
the life which is best for men, both separately, as individuals, and in the mass, as states, is the life which has virtue sufficiently supported by material resources to facilitate participation in the actions that virtue calls for.
So it is clear that the search for what is just is a search for the mean; for the law is the mean.
A state is an association of similar persons whose aim is the best life possible. What is best is happiness, and to be happy is an active exercise of virtue and a complete employment of it.
happiness is an activity and a complete utilization of virtue, not conditionally but absolutely.
If then nature makes nothing without some end in view, nothing to no purpose, it must be that nature has made all of them for the sake of man.
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.
Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms.