Friday, September 3, 2010


So E-man wanted to continue our discussion regarding Judaism and emotion via email and in that context, mentioned this quote from Aristotle:

Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.

Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC)

I told him I don't know what that means (educating the heart to follow the mind? educating the mind to follow the heart? what's the context?) and he responded that as it is Aristotle, I should think about it.

It doesn't sound like Aristotle, does it? And why, when I googled the quote (for context), could I not find a reference to where it was?

I think this quote is made-up by a source who has managed to fool many, including our good friend E-man. I don't think Aristotle said it; I would bet it's an attempt of people who base their life decisions on faith-based-claims to reassure others that their belief is true because even as great a philosopher as Aristotle believed in the logic of the educated heart.

Some smarter people from the Straight Dope forum apparently agree with me and I've sent a shaila asking where the mekor for the Aristotle quote comes from to Snopes as well.

For an attempt to co-opt Aristotle into frumkeit specifically, see "his" letter in the Meam Loez, here.


  1. You are funny. It was on my sidebar in my famous person quote of the day. My point was that the idea I was trying to bring across was that the facts need to also speak to our emotions, otherwise we will not take into account the facts.

  2. It can be found here (This is like you say)

    In the end of the day it matters little who said it. It is the idea behind it. I do not base my beliefs on it, I just thought it might help you understand my point of view better.

    1. At the end of the day, if one is citing somebody, but that somebody never really said what is being cited, then it really does seem to matter. Citing somebody is a way of credentialing a statement or idea. So, if so-and-so didn't say something, then it is a mistake to say they did. Rather, the "citation" should be Anonymous (at worst) or simply should be claimed to be a saying (at best).

  3. Hi, in regards to this quote by Aristotle there isn't a direct or original text from where it originates. As with all Classics work in both philosophical and religious text, translation from one language to another will result in many different interpretations and understandings.

    However this quote can be widely referenced from his writings on Politics Book 8 ( and towards the end of his famous Nicomachean Ethics Book 10 (

    You can also take a look at the below URL for reference. Have a good day =)

  4. A Greek philosopher for the ages, Aristotle, believed in the logic of the educated heart. Have a look at the article: aristotle greek philosopher for the ages

    1. So,'re referring people to a site that sells papers to others to turn in as their own??

      I appreciate the links provided by Daryl Ho, but nowhere in my scan of that text--which is full of other not-so-spreadable nuggets of wisdom--did I find a line that seemed to parallel the cloying nature of the original quote.