A man on one occasion reproached him for having given a contribution to one who was not a good man (for the story which I have mentioned before is also quoted in this way), and his answer was, “I gave not to the man, but to humanity.”

[πρὸς τὸν αἰτιασάμενον ὡς εἴη μὴ ἀγαθῷ ἔρανον δεδωκώσ–φέρεται γὰρ καὶ οὕτωσ–“οὐ τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ,” φησίν, “ἔδωκα, ἀλλὰ τῷ ἀνθρωπίνῳ.”]

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
Attributed in Diogenes Laërtius, Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers [Vitae Philosophorum], Book 5, sec. 11 [tr. Yonge (1853)]

(Source (Greek)). The previously mentioned story is here. Alternate translations:

When someone accused him of having given a subscription to a dishonest man -- for the story is also told in this form -- "It was not the man," said he, "that I assisted, but humanity."
[tr. Hicks (1925), sec. 21]

When someone blamed him for giving membership to a base man, he said, “I didn’t give it to a man, but to humanity.”
[tr. @sentantiq (2016)]

To someone who faulted him for having made a loan to a dishonest man -- for the story is also told in this way -- he said, "It was not the man that I assisted, but mankind."
[tr. Mensch (2018)]

Added on 27-Jul-21 | Last updated 27-Jul-21
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