A Dictionary of All Religions and Religious Denominations/Aristotelians
ARISTOTELIANS, the disciples of Aristotle, a famous Grecian philosopher, who flourished about 485 years before Christ. He taught that the universe existed from eternity, but admitted the existence of a Deity, whom he styled the first Mover; and whose nature he represented as somewhat similar to a principle of power, giving motion to a machine. In producing motion, he taught, that the Deity acts not voluntarily ,but necessarily;—not for the sake of other beings, but for his own pleasure; and that happy in the contemplation of himself, he is entirely regardless of human affairs. Nothing occurs in his writings, which decisively determines whether he supposed the soul of man mortal or immortal.
Respecting ethics, he taught, that happiness consists in the virtuous exercise of the mind; and that virtue consists in preserving that mean in all things, which reason and prudence prescribe. It is the middle path between two extremes, one of which is vicious through excess, the other through defect.
- Enfield's Philosophy, vol. i