Aristotle quote about practice from Nicomachean Ethics - For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them
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For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them
 Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics (c. 334 BC - 330 BC). copy citation

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Author Aristotle
Source Nicomachean Ethics
Topic practice learning doing
Date c. 334 BC - 330 BC
Language English
Reference
Note Translated by W. D. Ross
Weblink http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.mb.txt

Context

“Again, of all the things that come to us by nature we first acquire the potentiality and later exhibit the activity (this is plain in the case of the senses; for it was not by often seeing or often hearing that we got these senses, but on the contrary we had them before we used them, and did not come to have them by using them); but the virtues we get by first exercising them, as also happens in the case of the arts as well. For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them, e.g. men become builders by building and lyreplayers by playing the lyre; so too we become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.
This is confirmed by what happens in states; for legislators make the citizens good by forming habits in them, and this is the wish of every legislator, and those who do not effect it miss their mark, and it is in this that a good constitution differs from a bad one.” source

Meaning and analysis

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