Aristotle On the Habit of Excellence

5 05 2012

Plato and Aristotle from “The School of Athens” (Raphael)

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

–Aristotle (384-322 BC)

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4 responses

7 05 2012

This is interesting. I knew C.S. Lewis said this, but I didn’t know he got it from Aristotle. I’m not sure it always holds true, though. There are some professions where I think “positive” behavior within the context of the demands of the job can’t possibly change the personality type that is best suited to the job in the first place.

7 05 2012
Christian Fahey

I think you have a point. I didn’t know Lewis quoted this, though I’m not surprised. Thanks for reading!

7 05 2012
Kristin Barton Cuthriell

Christian, I love it! Thanks for sharing.

7 05 2012
Christian Fahey

I did too, Kristin! Thanks for stopping by.

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