Plato quotes


Plato was a philosopher and mathematician, in Classical Greece, and an influential figure in western philosophy. He was Socrates student, and founded the first institution of higher learning in the Western world in Athens. Along with Socrates and student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and science.

Plato is is one of the worlds most famous and widely read philosopher.

Plato quotes
Plato quotes

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

“Until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes of this world have the spirit and power of philosophy, and political greatness and wisdom meet in one, and those commoner natures who pursue either to the exclusion of the other are compelled to stand aside, cities will never have rest from their evils…”

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

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

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

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

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

Plato quotes
Plato quotes

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

“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.”

“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.”

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

“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.”

“The gods are not magicians who transform themselves; neither do they deceive mankind in any way.”

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

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

“No human thing is of serious importance. ”

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

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

“Necessity is the mother of invention.”

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

“Those who tell the stories rule society.”

“The first and best victory is to conquer self”

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

“You should not honor men more than truth.”

“Character is simply habit long continued.”

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

“No wealth can ever make a bad man at peace with himself”

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

“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”.”

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

“Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.”

“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.”

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

“The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life”

“Only a philosopher’s mind grows wings, since its memory always keeps it as close as possible to those realities by being close to which the gods are divine.”


  1. The Allan Bloom translation of the Republic into English is priceless. The Interpretive essay and notes are among the best, and may be unsurpassed.


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