Famous Plato Quotes on Philosophy, Politics and Life

Plato Quotes

Who was Plato and when did he live?

Plato was a 4th century B.C. Greek philosopher, rhetorician and mathematician in Classical Greece. He is considered an essential figure in the development of philosophy, especially the Western tradition.

He was a student of Socrates and the teacher of Aristotle.

What is Plato known for?

Plato is known for his outstanding works, such as the Republic, the Symposium and others. He founded the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world.

Plato had sophisticated understanding of politics. There is an entire philosophical school of thought, known as Platonism, which is based on his ideals and doctrines.

  • Plato is considered by many to be the most important philosopher who ever lived.
  • He is known as the father of idealism in philosophy.
  • His ideas were elitist, with the philosopher king the ideal ruler.

Famous Plato Quotes

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

“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.”

“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.”

“Thinking: the talking of the soul with itself.”

“The learning and knowledge that we have, is, at the most, but little compared with that of which we are ignorant.”

“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.”

“To love rightly is to love what is orderly and beautiful in an educated and disciplined way.”

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“A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.”

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

“Wealth, and poverty; one is the parent of luxury and indolence, and the other of meanness and viciousness, and both of discontent.”

“The first and the best victory is to conquer self.”

“Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance.”

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“The most important part of education is proper training in the nursery.”

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

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“Knowledge without justice ought to be called cunning rather than wisdom.”

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything”.”

“Excellence is not a gift, but a skill that takes practice. We do not act ‘rightly’ because we are ‘excellent’, in fact we achieve ‘excellence’ by acting ‘rightly.'”

“There is no harm in repeating a good thing.”

“Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.”

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“There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself, till philosophers become 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.”

“The excessive increase in anything causes a reaction in the opposite direction.”

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

“Our object in the construction of the state is the greatest happiness of the whole, and not that of any one class.”

“Poverty doesn’t come because of the decrease of wealth but because of the increase of desires.”

“Life must be lived as play.”

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

“And what, Socrates, is the food of the soul? Surely, I said, knowledge is the food of the soul.”

Famous Plato Quotes

“Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.”

“As the builders say, the larger stones do not lie well without the lesser.

“Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others. “

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

“Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others.”

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

Plato Philosophical Quotes

“A state arises, as I conceive, out of the needs of mankind; no one is self-sufficing, but all of us have many wants.”

“Wonder is the feeling of the philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder.”

“Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity.”

“He who commits injustice is ever made more wretched than he who suffers it.”

“Necessity, who is the mother of invention.

“If a man neglects education, he walks lame to the end of his life.”

Plato quotes on Democracy and Politics

“Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity.”

“Dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme liberty.”

“The people always have 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.”

“Democracy is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder, and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequal alike.”

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

“Any city however small is in fact divided into two, one the city of the poor, the other of the rich. These are at war with one another.”

“Mankind will never see an end of trouble until lovers of wisdom come to hold political power, or the holders of power become lovers of wisdom”

Plato Wisdom Quotes

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

“Knowledge becomes evil if the aim be not virtuous.”

“The untrained mind keeps up a running commentary, labelling everything, judging everything. Best to ignore that commentary. Don’t argue or resist, just ignore. Deprived of attention and interest, this voice gets quieter and quieter and eventually just shuts up.”

“Reality is created by the mind. We can change our reality by changing our mind.”

“He who is only an athlete is too crude, too vulgar, too much a savage. He who is a scholar only is too soft, to effeminate. The ideal citizen is the scholar athlete, the man of thought and the man of action.”

“Nothing in the affairs of men is worthy of great anxiety.

“He who is of a 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.”

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