Aristotle quote: virtue is a habit

I’m trying to find a Aristotle quote.

My recollection is something like: “virtue, then, is not a quality, but a habit.”

Can anyone help me with it? Nichomachean Ethics, perhaps?

No cite, but the quote is “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

From a quick googling. Should make hunting easier.

Book two of the Nicomachean Ethics?

Interesting - typoink’s quotation is what I’m thinking of, but it’s not found in the passage Captain Amazing has found - sound smore like a pithy summary than what Aristotle actually wrote?

Well, we are dealing here with translations of texts that are often difficult and sometimes corrupted by poor copying, so different translations of Aristotle can often be noticeably different. That said, though, I do not see anything in Captain Amazing’s quotation that looks like a very plausible alternative translation of typoink’s (although the overall senses certainly seems to agree).

Per Wikiquote, it’s a misattributed quote. The pithy form is actually a summarization of passages in book 2 of the Nichomachean Ethics from the 1926 book The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World’s Greatest Philosophers by Will Durant.

It does make some sense to regard a virtue as a habit. On the opposite side of the spectrum, consider what Cecil said about the Seven Deadly Sins:

To take a sin–gluttony–at random: I take this to mean that a habit or pre-disposition to gluttonous over-consumption is what is meant. IOW to be punished for sin or rewarded for virtue, you need to habitually live out the character quality in question. Most people, or at least most omnivorous people probably over-eat during traditionally food-centered holidays, but that doesn’t make them gluttons unless they do that sort of thing the year round.