All Time Famous Plato Quotes

Plato Quotes

Plato, an influential ancient Greek philosopher (c. 427 – 348 BC), is renowned for his contributions to philosophy during the Classical period. Founder of the Academy in Athens, he propagated the doctrines of Platonism, shaping the theoretical and practical aspects of philosophy. Plato’s innovative use of written dialogue and dialectic forms set him apart as a system-builder, addressing key issues in both theoretical and practical philosophy. His enduring legacy includes the famous theory of forms, offering a solution to the problem of universals. Notably, Plato’s impact extends to pre-Socratic thinkers like Pythagoras and Heraclitus, as well as his prominent students, Socrates and Aristotle. Surviving intact for over 2,400 years, Plato’s works, though experiencing varying popularity, remain essential in the history of philosophy. Through Neoplatonism, he profoundly influenced Christian, Islamic, and modern philosophical traditions, with some considering the entire European tradition as footnotes to Plato.

Plato Quotes

1. “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”
— Plato

2. “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.”
— Plato

3. “The beginning is the most important part of the work.”
— Plato

4. “No one is more hated than he who speaks the truth.”
— Plato

5. “Character is simply habit long continued.”
— Plato

6. “Necessity is the mother of invention.”
— Plato

7. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”
— Plato

8. “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”
— Plato

9. “A house that has a library in it has a soul.”
— Plato

10. “Happiness springs from doing good and helping others.”
— Plato

11. “Only the dead have seen the end of war.”
— Plato

12. “Love is a serious mental disease.”
— Plato

13. “Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.”
— Plato

14. “The measure of a man is what he does with power.”
— Plato

15. “Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood let alone believed by the masses.”
— Plato

16. “The first and best victory is to conquer self.”
— Plato

17. “The heaviest penalty for declining to rule is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself.”
— Plato

18. “Those who tell the stories rule society.”
— Plato

19. “A grateful mind is a great mind which eventually attracts to itself great things.”
— Plato

20. “No wealth can ever make a bad man at peace with himself”
— Plato

21. “In order for man to succeed in life, God provided him with two means, education and physical activity. Not separately, one for the soul and the other for the body, but for the two together. With these means, man can attain perfection.”
— Plato

22. “Ignorance, the root and the stem of every evil.”
— Plato

23. “Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.”
— Plato

24. “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
— Plato

25. “I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.”
— Plato

26. “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”
— Plato

27. “The worst form of injustice is pretended justice.”
— Plato

28. “Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another.”
— Plato

29. “Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance.”
— Plato

30. “The greatest wealth is to live content with little.”
— Plato

31. “Geometry existed before creation.”
— Plato

32. “Courage is knowing what not to fear.”
— Plato

33. “The soul of man is immortal and imperishable.”
— Plato

34. “An empty vessel makes the loudest sound, so they that have the least wit are the greatest babblers.”
— Plato

35. “To conquer oneself is the best and noblest victory; to be vanquished by one’s own nature is the worst and most ignoble defeat.”
— Plato

36. “The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”
— Plato

37. “He who is not a good servant will not be a good master.”
— Plato

38. “Education is teaching our children to desire the right things.”
— Plato

39. “Philosophy is the highest music.”
— Plato

40. “The true lover of knowledge naturally strives for truth, and is not content with common opinion, but soars with undimmed and unwearied passion till he grasps the essential nature of things.”
— Plato

41. “Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being.”
— Plato

42. “There are three classes of men; lovers of wisdom, lovers of honor, and lovers of gain.”
— Plato

43. “I’m trying to think, don’t confuse me with facts.”
— Plato

44. “Nothing in the affairs of men is worthy of great anxiety.”
— Plato

45. “When men speak ill of thee, live so that nobody will believe them.”
— Plato

46. “The object of education is to teach us to love what is beautiful.”
— Plato

47. “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.”
— Plato

48. “The wise man will want to be ever with him who is better than himself.”
— Plato

49. “According to Greek mythology, humans were originally created with four arms, four legs and a head with two faces. Fearing their power, Zeus split them into two separate parts, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other halves.”
— Plato

50. “Any man may easily do harm, but not every man can do good to another.”
— Plato

51. “You should not honor men more than truth.”
— Plato

52. “The madness of love is the greatest of heaven’s blessings.”
— Plato

53. “He was a wise man who invented God.”
— Plato

54. “A hero is born among a hundred, a wise man is found among a thousand, but an accomplished one might not be found even among a hundred thousand men.”
— Plato

55. “Death is not the worst that can happen to men.”
— Plato

56. “Writing is the geometry of the soul.”
— Plato

57. “The penalty that good men pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by men worse than themselves.”
— Plato

58. “At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.”
— Plato

59. “There is truth in wine and children.”
— Plato

60. “No man should bring children into the world who is unwilling to persevere to the end in their nature and education.”
— Plato

61. “True friendship can exist only between equals.”
— Plato

62. “You’re my Star, a stargazer too, and I wish that I were Heaven, with a billion eyes to look at you!”
— Plato

63. “The soul takes flight to the world that is invisible but there arriving she is sure of bliss and forever dwells in paradise.”
— Plato

64. “Love is the pursuit of the whole.”
— Plato

65. “There should exist among the citizens neither extreme poverty nor again excessive wealth, for both are productive of great evil.”
— Plato

66. “As the builders say, the larger stones do not lie well without the lesser.”
— Plato

67. “If women are expected to do the same work as men, we must teach them the same things.”
— Plato

68. “The most virtuous are those who content themselves with being virtuous without seeking to appear so.”
— Plato

69. “Is there a perfect world?”
— Plato

70. “False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.”
— Plato

71. “Of all the animals, the boy is the most unmanageable.”
— Plato

72. “Courage is a kind of salvation.”
— Plato

73. “All the gold which is under or upon the earth is not enough to give in exchange for virtue.”
— Plato

74. “For this feeling of wonder shows that you are a philosopher, since wonder is the only beginning of philosophy.”
— Plato

75. “Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion has no hold on the mind. Therefore do not use compulsion, but let early education be a sort of amusement; you will then be better able to discover the child’s natural bent.”
— Plato

76. “The highest reach of injustice is to be deemed just when you are not.”
— Plato

77. “How can you prove whether at this moment we are sleeping, and all our thoughts are a dream; or whether we are awake, and talking to one another in the waking state?”
— Plato

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

79. “Perhaps there is a pattern set up in the heavens for one who desires to see it, and having seen it, to find one in himself.”
— Plato

80. “I have hardly ever known a mathematician who was capable of reasoning.”
— Plato

81. “For to fear death, my friends, is only to think ourselves wise without really being wise, for it is to think that we know what we do not know. For no one knows whether death may not be the greatest good that can happen to man.”
— Plato

82. “When there is an income tax, the just man will pay more and the unjust less on the same amount of income.”
— Plato

83. “A dog has the soul of a philosopher.”
— Plato

84. “And we have made of ourselves living cesspools, and driven doctors to invent names for our diseases.”
— Plato

85. “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.”
— Plato

86. “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.”
— Plato

87. “I thought to myself: I am wiser than this man; neither of us probably knows anything that is really good, but he thinks he has knowledge, when he has not, while I, having no knowledge, do not think I have.”
— Plato

88. “How could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads?”
— Plato

89. “Books are immortal sons defying their sires.”
— Plato

90. “Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.”
— Plato

91. “Everything that deceives may be said to enchant.”
— Plato

92. “Poets utter great and wise things which they do not themselves understand.”
— Plato

93. “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.”
— Plato

94. “When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty and there is nothing to fear from them then he is always stirring up some wary or other in order that the people may require a leader.”
— Plato

95. “Have you ever sensed that our soul is immortal and never dies?”
— Plato

96. “Any one who has common sense will remember that the bewilderments of the eyes are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from coming out of the light or from going into the light, which is true of the mind’s eye, quite as much as of the bodily eye.”
— Plato

97. “When the mind’s eye is fixed on objects illuminated by truth and reality, it understands and knows them, and its possession of intelligence is evident; but when it is fixed on the twilight world of change and decay, it can only form opinions, its vision is confused and its opinions shifting, and it seems to lack intelligence.”
— Plato

98. “Itself, by itself, solely, one everlasting, and single.”
— Plato

99. “For no government of men depends solely upon force; without some corruption of literature and morals – some appeal to the imagination of the masses – some pretence to the favour of heaven – some element of good giving power to evil, tyranny, even for a short time, cannot be maintained.”
— Plato

100. “The ruin of oligarchy is the ruin of democracy; for there is a law of contraries; the excess of freedom passes into the excess of slavery, and the greater the freedom the greater the slavery.”
— Plato

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