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I think this might be one of the clearest offenders. This line is often misattributed to Buddha–but it is often attributed to Aristotle…Onassis. I poked around a bit through Aristotle, changing some of the ideas (an ancient Greek might think of “sick” or “corrupt” society”) but there is nothing close to this.While searching, I found the variation “Tolerance is the last virtue of a depraved society” attributed to Dr.
A few twitter correspondents responded that this sounds a little bit like the end of the ἡδονή, 1174b).
I will not claim that this sounds nothing like the apocryphal translation above, but I will insist that in its context, Aristotle’s comment has nothing to do with “work” in the way it is construed, but instead this is about aesthetic pleasure.
ὥσπερ οὖν οὐδ’ ἐκεῖνοι εὖ ἕξουσι τὸ σῶμα οὕτω θεραπευόμενοι, οὐδ’ οὗτοι τὴν ψυχὴν οὕτω φιλοσοφοῦντες. “Knowing Yourself is the Beginning of all Wisdom” No. “Whosoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast or a god.” This is almost Aristotle.
It is mostly Francis Bacon (‘Essays’, XXVII “On Friendship” (1612, rewritten 1625).
For each thing in specific, someone must be educated [to be a critic]; to [be a critic in general] one must be educated about everything.” τὸν αὐτὸν δὴ τρόπον καὶ ἀποδέχεσθαι χρεὼν ἕκαστα τῶν λεγομένων· πεπαιδευομένου γάρ ἐστιν ἐπὶ τοσοῦτον τἀκριβὲς ἐπιζητεῖν καθ’ ἕκαστον γένος, ἐφ’ ὅσον ἡ τοῦ πράγματος φύσις ἐπιδέχεται· παραπλήσιον γὰρ φαίνεται μαθηματικοῦ τε πιθανολογοῦντος ἀποδέχεσθαι καὶ ῥητορικὸν ἀποδείξεις ἀπαιτεῖν.
ἕκαστος δὲ κρίνει καλῶς ἃ γινώσκει, καὶ τούτων ἐστὶν ἀγαθὸς κριτής.The idea is proverbial even when it is kind of quoted by Aristotle. Here is as close as Aristotle gets: Aristotle, Politics 5, 1303b “For the mistake happens in the beginning and the beginning is said to be half of the whole, so that even a minor mistake at the beginning is equal to those made at different stages.” ἐν ἀρχῇ γὰρ γίγνεται τὸ ἁμάρτημα, ἡ δ᾿ ἀρχὴ λέγεται ἥμισυ εἶναι παντός, ὥστε καὶ τὸ ἐν αὐτῇ μικρὸν ἁμάρτημα ἀνάλογόν ἐστι πρὸς τὰ ἐν τοῖς ἄλλοις μέρεσιν.This particular quotation comes from the Benjamin Jowett translation and is replicated on the wikiquote site.Aristotle said something not to far off, but still not this Aristotle, Politics 1.2 1253a25–30 “It is clear that the state is naturally prior to each individual person.If each person when separated is not sufficient on his own, just as other parts are to the whole while a person who is incapable of joining commonwealth or does not need any part of a state because of self-sufficiency is either a beast or a god.” ὅτι μὲν οὖν ἡ πόλις καὶ φύσει πρότερον ἢ ἕκαστος, δῆλον.The worst version of this meme is this terrible, no-good, evil version: Note the double emphasis on work?This is the kind of poster a middle manager puts up to ‘motivate’ his underpaid minions before he drives home in his Porsche…. “Well-begun is half done” This is not really Aristotle.Aristotle in phrasing this as “it is said” (λέγεται) is marking the line as a proverb.Horace’s “The one who has begun has completed half the task.” dimidium facti, qui coepit, habet (Epistle 1.2) is closer to the popular version.For it is similar to expect a mathematician to speak persuasively or for an orator to furnish clear proofs!Each person judges well what they know and is thus a good critic of those things.