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Plato Quotes

Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.
Plato (Ion)
The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life.
Plato (The Republic)
For no good man would accuse the innocent.
Plato (Socrates in the Gorgias)
But if we had no master to show, and only a number of worthless buildings or none at all, then, surely, it would be ridiculous in us to attempt public works, or to advise one another to undertake them. Is not this true?
Plato (Socrates in the Gorgias)
Would he not be a bad manager of any animals who received them gentle, and made them fiercer than they were when he received them? What do you say?
Plato (Socrates in the Gorgias)
CALLICLES: Do you want me to agree with you?
SOCRATES: Yes, if I seem to you to speak the truth.
Plato (Gorgias)
But if I died because I have no powers of flattery or rhetoric, I am very sure that you would not find me repining at death. For no man who is not an utter fool and coward is afraid of death itself, but he is afraid of doing wrong.
Plato (Socrates in the Gorgias)
Never mind if some one despises you as a fool, and insults you, if he has a mind; let him strike you, by Zeus, and do you be of good cheer, and do not mind the insulting blow, for you will never come to any harm in the practice of virtue, if you are a really good true man
Plato (Socrates in the Gorgias)
The society we have described can never grow into a reality or see the light of day, and there will be no end to the troubles of states, or indeed, my dear Glaucon, of humanity itself, till philosophers are kings in this world, or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers, and political power and philosophy thus come into the same hands, while the many natures now content to follow either to the exclusion of the other are forcibly debarred from doing so. This is what I have hesitated to say so long, knowing what a paradox it would sound; for it is not easy to see that there is no other road to happiness, either for society or the individual.
Plato (The Republic)
Philosophers tell us, Callicles, that communion and friendship and orderliness and temperance and justice bind together heaven and earth and gods and men, and that this universe is therefore called Cosmos or order, not disorder or misrule, my friend
Plato (Socrates in the Gorgias)
I tell you, Callicles, that to be boxed on the ears wrongfully is not the worst evil which can befall a man, nor to have my purse or my body cut open, but that to smite and slay me and mine wrongfully is far more disgraceful and more evil.
Plato (Socrates in the Gorgias)
No man can escape fate, and therefore he is not fond of life; he leaves all that with God, and considers in what way he can best spend his appointed term;—whether by assimilating himself to the constitution under which he lives.
Plato (Socrates in the Gorgias)
Well, then, if you and I, Callicles, were intending to set about some public business, and were advising one another to undertake buildings, such as walls, docks or temples of the largest size, ought we not to examine ourselves, first, as to whether we know or do not know the art of building, and who taught us?—would not that be necessary, Callicles?
Plato (Socrates in the Gorgias)
Let every man remind their descendants that they also are soldiers who must not desert the ranks of their ancestors, or from cowardice fall behind.
Plato (Menexenus)
Mankind censure injustice fearing that they may be the victims of it, and not because they shrink from committing it.
Plato (The Republic)
The people have always some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness...This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.
Plato (The Republic)
Must not all things at the last be swallowed up in death?
Plato (Phaedo)
Wealth is the parent of luxury and indolence, and poverty of meanness and viciousness, and both of discontent.
Plato (The Republic)
Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul.
Plato (The Republic)
The greatest penalty of evildoing - namely, to grow into the likeness of bad men.
Plato (Theatetus)
In no way can it be uttered, as can other things, which one can learn. Rather, from out of a full, co-existential dwelling with the thing itself - as when a spark, leaping from the fire, flares into light - so it happens, suddenly, in the soul, there to grow, alone with itself.
Plato (Seventh Letter)
Sons, the event proves that your fathers were brave men; for we might have lived dishonourably, but have preferred to die honourably rather than bring you and your children into disgrace, and rather than dishonour our own fathers and forefathers.
Plato (Menexenus)
The beginning is the most important part of the work.
Plato (The Republic)
The more the pleasures of the body fade away, the greater to me is the pleasure and charm of conversation.
Plato (The Republic)
Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another.
Plato (The Republic)
You cannot conceive the many without the one.
Plato (Parmenides)
When the mind's eye rests on objects illuminated by truth and reality, it understands and comprehends them, and functions intelligently; but when it turns to the twilight world of change and decay, it can only form opinions, its vision is confused and its beliefs shifting, and it seems to lack intelligence.
Plato (The Republic)
I have hardly ever known a mathematician who was capable of reasoning.
Plato (The Republic)
No evil can happen to a good man, either in life or after death.
Plato (Socrates in The Apology)
And at first he would most easily discern the shadows and, after that, the likenesses or reflections in water of men and other things, and later, the things themselves, and from these he would go on to contemplate the appearances in the heavens and heaven itself.
Plato (The Republic)
Man is a prisoner who has no right to open the door of his prison and run away... A man should wait, and not take his own life until God summons him.
Plato (Phaedo)
All knowledge, when separated from justice and virtue, is seen to be cunning and not wisdom; wherefore make this your first and last and constant and all-absorbing aim, to exceed, if possible, not only us but all your ancestors in virtue.
Plato (Menexenus)
Life without this sort of examination is not worth living.
Plato (Socrates in The Apology)
For our discussion is on no trifling matter, but on the right way to conduct our lives.
Plato (The Republic)
He who is of calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of an opposite disposition youth and age are equally a burden.
Plato (The Republic)
There is an ancient quarrel between philosophy and poetry.
Plato (The Republic)
The gods are not magicians who transform themselves; neither do they deceive mankind in any way.
Plato (The Republic)
You are young, my son, and, as the years go by, time will change and even reverse many of your present opinions. Refrain therefore awhile from setting yourself up as a judge of the highest matters.
Plato (Theatetus)
False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.
Plato (Phaedo)
A man who has any self-respect, nothing is more dishonourable than to be honoured, not for his own sake, but on account of the reputation of his ancestors.
Plato (Menexenus)
The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our ways — I to die, and you to live. Which is better God only knows.
Plato (Socrates in The Apology)
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; and he who remembers this when he sees any one whose vision is perplexed and weak, will not be too ready to laugh; he will first ask whether that soul of man has come out of the brighter light, and is unable to see because unaccustomed to the dark, or having turned from darkness to the day is dazzled by excess of light.
Plato (The Republic)
Friends have all things in common.
Plato (Phaedrus)
Truth should be highly valued.
Plato (The Republic)
It is said that Socrates commits a crime by corrupting the young men and not recognizing the gods that the city recognizes, but some other new religion.
Plato (The Apology)
The soul of man is immortal and imperishable.
Plato (The Republic)
Either death is a state of nothingness and utter unconsciousness, or, as men say, there is a change and migration of the soul from this world to another. ...Now if death be of such a nature, I say that to die is to gain; for eternity is then only a single night.
Plato (Socrates in The Apology)
The eyes are the windows of the soul.
Plato (Phaedrus)
Death is not the worst that can happen to men.
Plato (On The Laws)
Those whose hearts are fixed on Reality itself deserve the title of Philosophers.
Plato (The Republic)
Plato Biography

Born: 423 BCE
Died: 347 BCE

Plato was an ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician. He is among Socrates, his teacher, and Aristotle, his student, one of the greatest figures in Western philosophy.

Notable Works
The Republic
Phaedo
The Apology
Phaedrus
Gorgias
The Symposium
On The Laws
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Related Authors
Aristotle (384 BCE - 322 BCE)
Socrates (469 BCE - 399 BCE)
Xenophon (430 BCE - 354 BCE)

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