Even if you must have regard to wealth, in order to secure leisure, yet it is surely a bad thing that the greatest offices, such as those of kings and generals, should be bought. The law which allows this abuse makes wealth of more account than virtue, and the whole state becomes avaricious.
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.
All men, or most men, wish what is noble but choose what is profitable; and while it is noble to render a service not with an eye to receiving one in return, it is profitable to receive one. One ought therefore, if one can, to return the equivalent of services received, and to do so willingly; for one ought not to make a man one's friend if one is unwilling to return his favors.
A thing chosen always as an end and never as a means we call absolutely final. Now happiness above all else appears to be absolutely final in this sense, since we always choose it for its own sake and never as a means to something else.
For it is not true, as some treatise-mongers lay down in their systems, of the probity of the speaker, that it contributes nothing to persuasion; but moral character nearly, I may say, carries with it the most sovereign efficacy in making credible.
That which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it. Every one thinks chiefly of his own, hardly at all of the common interest; and only when he is himself concerned as an individual. For besides other considerations, everybody is more inclined to neglect the duty which he expects another to fulfill.
For suppose that every tool we had could perform its task, either at our bidding or itself perceiving the need, and if-like the statues made by Dædalus or the tripods of Hephæstus, of which the poet says that "self-moved they enter the assembly of the gods" - shuttles in a loom could fly to and fro and a plectrum play a lyre all self-moved, then master-craftsmen would have no need of servants nor masters of slaves.
The wise man does not expose himself needlessly to danger, since there are few things for which he cares sufficiently; but he is willing, in great crises, to give even his life - knowing that under certain conditions it is not worthwhile to live.
Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god.
It has been handed down in mythical form from earliest times to posterity, that there are gods, and that the divine (Deity) compasses all nature. All beside this has been added, after the mythical style, for the purpose of persuading the multitude, and for the interests of the laws, and the advantage of the state.
I call that law universal, which is conformable merely to dictates of nature; for there does exist naturally an universal sense of right and wrong, which, in a certain degree, all intuitively divine, even should no intercourse with each other, nor any compact have existed.
There is an ideal of excellence for any particular craft or occupation; similarly there must be an excellent that we can achieve as human beings. That is, we can live our lives as a whole in such a way that they can be judged not just as excellent in this respect or in that occupation, but as excellent, period. Only when we develop our truly human capacities sufficiently to achieve this human excellent will we have lives blessed with happiness.
They who have drunk beer, fall on their back, but there is a peculiarity in the effects of the drink made from barley, for they that get drunk on other intoxicating liquors fall on all parts of their body, they fall on the left side, on the right side, on their faces, and and on their backs. But it is only those who get drunk on beer that fall on their backs with their faces upward.
Hence intellect[ual perception] is both a beginning and an end, for the demonstrations arise from these, and concern them. As a result, one ought to pay attention to the undemonstrated assertions and opinions of experienced and older people, or of the prudent, no less than to demonstrations, for, because the have an experienced eye, they see correctly.
Property should be in a general sense common, but as a general rule private... In well-ordered states, although every man has his own property, some things he will place at the disposal of his friends, while of others he shares the use of them.