Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Plato. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.
Plato ( PLAY-toe; Greek: Πλάτων Plátōn, pronounced [plá.tɔːn] in Classical Attic; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Athenian philosopher during the Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder of the Platonist school of thought and the Academy, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world.
He is widely considered as one of the most important and influential individuals in human history, and the pivotal figure in the history of Ancient Greek and Western philosophy, along with his teacher, Socrates, and his most famous student, Aristotle. Plato has also often been cited as one of the founders of Western religion and spirituality. The so-called neoplatonism of philosophers such as Plotinus and Porphyry greatly influenced Christianity through Church Fathers such as Augustine. Alfred North Whitehead once noted: "the safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato."Plato was an innovator of the written dialogue and dialectic forms in philosophy. Plato is also considered the founder of Western political philosophy. His most famous contribution is the theory of Forms known by pure reason, in which Plato presents a solution to the problem of universals known as Platonism (also ambiguously called either Platonic realism or Platonic idealism). He is also the namesake of Platonic love and the Platonic solids.
His own most decisive philosophical influences are usually thought to have been along with Socrates, the pre-Socratics Pythagoras, Heraclitus and Parmenides, although few of his predecessors' works remain extant and much of what we know about these figures today derives from Plato himself. Unlike the work of nearly all of his contemporaries, Plato's entire body of work is believed to have survived intact for over 2,400 years. Although their popularity has fluctuated over the years, Plato's works have never been without readers since the time they were written.
At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.
No one knows whether death, which people fear to be the greatest evil, may not be the greatest good.
Mathematics is like checkers in being suitable for the young, not too difficult, amusing, and without peril to the state.
What of his beard? Are you not of Homer's opinion, who says Youth is most charming when the beard first appears?
I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning.
Complacent ignorance is the most lethal sickness of the soul.
Love is a grave mental disease.
Of all the animals, the boy is most unmanageable.
Behold! human beings living in a underground den ... Like ourselves ... they see only their own shadows, or the shadows of one another, which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave.
The greatest privilege of a human life is to become a midwife to the awakening of the Soul in another person.
Cunning is but the low mimic of wisdom.
Human behavior flows from three main sources desire, emotion, and knowledge.
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.
The true physician is also a ruler having the human body as a subject, and is not a mere money-maker.
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.
The love of man to woman is a thing common and of course, and at first partakes more of instinct and passion than of choice; but true friendship between man and man is infinite and immortal.
As such, it describes a relationship that falls short -- for whatever reason, of the fuller communion of romantic sexual love.
Death is not the worst that can happen to men.
Desires are only the lack of something: and those who have the greatest desires are in a worse condition than those who have none, or very slight ones.
Renouncing the honors at which the world aims, I desire only to know the truth... and to the maximum of power, I exhort all other men to do the same.
On the virtuous man He combines the highest, lowest and middle chords in complete harmony within himself.
There are some whom the applause of the multitude has deluded into the belief that they are really statesmen.
Everything that deceives does so by casting a spell.
Fields and trees are not willing to teach me anything; but this can be effected by men residing in the city.
To be curious about that which is not one's concern while still in ignorance of oneself is ridiculous.
The only real ill-doing is the deprivation of knowledge.
Conversion is not implanting eyes, for they exist already; but giving them a right direction, which they have not.
To him who disgraces his family life is no life, and to such a person there is no one a friend, neither while living nor when dead.
To do injustice is more disgraceful than to suffer it.
Time on its back bears all things far away -- Full many a challenge is wrought by many a day -- Shape, fortune, name, and nature all decay.
I fast for greater physical and mental efficiency.
True friendship can exist only between equals.
Writing is the geometry of the soul.
Geometry will draw the soul toward truth and create the spirit of philosophy.
Any man may easily do harm, but not every man can do good to another.
By the golden chain Homer meant nothing else than the sun.
The love of the gods belongs to anyone who has given to true virtue and nourished it, and if any human being could become immortal, it would be he.
The tyranny imposed on the soul by anger, or fear, or lust, or pain, or envy, or desire, I generally call 'injustice.'
The only thing worse than suffering an injustice is committing an injustice.
Ideas are the source of all things.
The poets are nothing but interpreters of the gods, each one possessed by the divinity to whom he is in bondage.
Necessity, who is the mother of our invention.
That the makers of laws are the majority who are weak; and they make laws and distribute praises and censures with a view to themselves and to their own interests.
I am inclined to think that these muscles and bones of mine would have gone off long ago to Megara or Boeotia--by the dog they would, if they had been moved only by their own idea of what was best.
I can show you that the art of calculation has to do with odd and even numbers in their numerical relations to themselves and to each other.
Thus does the Muse herself move men divinely inspired, and through them thus inspired a Chain hangs together of others inspired divinely likewise.
Music is a defining element of character.
Health is a consumation of a love affair of all the organs of the body.
Through obedience learn to command.
Between knowledge of what really exists and ignorance of what does not exist lies the domain of opinion. It is more obscure than knowledge, but clearer than ignorance.
Always be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.
The physician, to the extent he is a physician, considers only the good of the patient in what he prescribes, and his own not at all.
The ultimate design of the Mysteries ... was to lead us back to the principles from which we descended, ... a perfect enjoyment of intellectual spiritual good.
And what do you say of lovers of wine... they are glad of any pretext of drinking any wine.
It is correct to make a priority of young people, taking care that they turn out as well as possible.
Then we got into a labyrinth, and, when we thought we were at the end,
came out again at the beginning, having still to see as much as ever.
Where reverence is, there is fear; for he who has a feeling of reverence and shame about the commission of any action, fears and is afraid of an ill reputation.
He who refuses to rule is liable to be ruled by one who is worse than himself.
For, let me tell you that the more the pleasures of the body fade away, the greater to me are the pleasure and charm of conversation.
We do not learn, and that what we call learning is only a process of recollection.
Prefer diligence before idleness, unless you esteem rust above brightness.
The Paphian Queen to Cnidos made repair Across the tide to see her image there: Then looking up and round the prospect wide, When did Praxiteles see me thus? she cried.
The wolf cares not, how many the sheep be.
We are bound to our bodies like an oyster to its shell.
The most important stage of any enterprise is the beginning.
A State would be happy where philosophers were kings, or kings philosophers.
Upon consideration of the central question of the moon's toughness there can be little doubt. It is hella tough.
This and no other is the root from
which a tyrant springs; when he
first appears he is a protector.
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.
Every unjust man is unjust against his will.
Virtue is voluntary, vice involuntary.
Let men of all ranks whether they are successful, or unsuccessful, whether they triumph or not; let them do their duty, and rest satisfied.
Fly from the company of the wicked -- fly and turn not back.
He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing.
To be at once exceedingly wealthy and good is impossible.
The wisest of you men is he who has realized, like Socrates, that in respect of wisdom he is really worthless.
I must yield to you, for you are irresistible.