Plato Quotes (310 Quotes)


    I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.

    If women are expected to do the same work as men, we must teach them the same things.

    It's not at all uncommon to find a person's desires compelling him to go against his reason, and to see him cursing himself and venting his passion on the source of the compulsion within him. It's as if there were two warring factions, with passion fighting on the side of reason. But I'm sure you won't claim that you had ever, in yourself or in anyone else, met a case of passion siding with his desires against the rational mind, when the rational mind prohibits resistance.


    Musical innovation is full of danger to the State, for when modes of music change, the laws of the State always change with them.


    Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul.

    The heaviest penalty for declining to rule is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself.

    The man who finds that in the course of his life he has done a lot of wrong often wakes up at night in terror, like a child with a nightmare, and his life is full of foreboding: but the man who is conscious of no wrongdoing is filled with cheerfulness and with the comfort of old age.


    The philosopher whose dealings are with divine order himself acquires the characteristics of order and divinity.

    The soul takes nothing with her to the next world but her education and her culture. At the beginning of the journey to the next world, one's education and culture can either provide the greatest assistance, or else act as the greatest burden, to the person who has just died.

    And then, at this stage, every dictator comes up with the notorious and typical demand: he asks the people for bodyguards to protect him, the people's champion.

    Then we shan't regard anyone as a lover of knowledge or wisdom who is fussy about what he studies…

    And whenever any one informs us that he has found a man who knows all the arts, and all things else that anybody knows, and every single thing with a higher degree of accuracy than any other man -whoever tells us this, I think that we can only imagine him to be a simple creature who is likely to have been deceived by some wizard or actor whom he met, and whom he thought all-knowing, because he himself was unable to analyze the nature of knowledge and ignorance and imitation.

    There is a constant suspicion that headache and giddiness are to be ascribed to philosophy, and hence all practising or making trial of virtue in the higher sense is absolutely stopped; for a man is always fancying that he is being made ill, and is in constant anxiety about the state of his body.

    Come then, and let us pass a leisure hour in storytelling, and our story shall be the education of our heroes.

    There is in every one of us, even those who seem to be most moderate, a type of desire that is terrible, wild, and lawless.

    Either we shall find what it is we are seeking or at least we shall free ourselves from the persuasion that we know what we do not know.

    There's no chance of their having a conscious glimpse of the truth as long as they refuse to disturb the things they take for granted and remain incapable of explaining them. For if your starting-point is unknown, and your end-point and intermediate stages are woven together out of unknown material, there may be coherence, but knowledge is completely out of the question.


    Then not only an old man, but also a drunkard, becomes a second time a child.

    When the mind is thinking it is talking to itself.

    The democratic youth lives along day by day, gratifying the desire that occurs to him, at one time drinking and listening to the flute, at another downing water and reducing, now practicing gymnastic, and again idling and neglecting everything and sometimes spending his time as though he were occupied in philosophy.

    Any man may easily do harm, but not every man can do good to another.

    I wonder if we could contrive some magnificent myth that would in itself carry conviction to our whole community

    Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.

    Love is the joy of the good, the wonder of the wise, the amazement of the Gods.

    Knowledge is true opinion.

    If a man be endowed with a generous mind, this is the best kind of nobility.

    More will be accomplished, and better, and with more ease, if every man does what he is best fitted to do, And nothing else.

    When men speak ill of you, live so as nobody may believe them.

    For just as poets love their own works, and fathers their own children, in the same way those who have created a fortune value their money, not merely for its uses, like other persons, but because it is their own production. This makes them moreover disagreeable companions, because they will praise nothing but riches.

    The true lover of learning then must his earliest youth, as far as in him lies, desire all truth.... He whose desires are drawn toward knowledge in every form will be absorbed in the pleasures of the soul, and will hardly feel bodily pleasures I mean, if he be a true philosopher and not a sham one ... Then how can he who has the magnificence of mind and is the spectator of all times and all existence, think much of human life He cannot. Or can such a one account death fearful No indeed.

    Better a little which is well done, than a great deal imperfectly.

    For neither birth, nor wealth, nor honors, can awaken in the minds of men the principles which should guide those who from their youth aspire to an honorable and excellent life, as Love awakens them

    Let us affirm what seems to be the truth, that, whether one is or is not, one and the others in relation to themselves and one another, all of them, in every way, are and are not, and appear to be and appear not to be.

    You cannot conceive the many without the one.

    They see only their own shadows or the shadows of one another, which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave

    The passionate are like men standing on their heads they see all things the wrong way.

    Well, my art of midwifery is in most respects like theirs but differs, in that I attend men and not women, and I look after their souls when they are in labor, and not after their bodies and the triumph of my art is in thoroughly examining whether the thought which the mind of the young man brings forth is a false idol or a noble and true birth.

    Light is the shadow of God.

    There's a victory, and defeat; the first and best of victories, the lowest and worst of defeats which each man gains or sustains at the hands not of another, but of himself.

    I never did anything worth doing by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work.

    The ludicrous state of solid geometry made me pass over this branch.

    There is no such thing as a lovers' oath.

    Justice means minding one's own business and not meddling with other men's concerns.

    States are as the men, they grow out of human characters.

    Health, beauty, vigor, riches, and all the other things called goods, operate equally as evils to the vicious and unjust, as they do as benefits to the just.

    The beginning is the most important part of the work.

    I find it pretty tiresome personally, and I feel sorry that my friends should think they're being very busy when they're really doing absolutely nothing. Of course, I know your idea of me you think I'm just a poor unfortunate, and I shouldn't wonder if your right. But then I don't THINK that you're unfortunate - I know you are.


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