30 of The Most Profound Quotes From Plato
In history, there have been few minds more brilliant than that of the Greek philosopher, Plato.
I mean, he the student of Socrates and the teacher to Aristotle himself. Plato is one of the founding fathers of what we now know as Western Philosophy.
Many serious researchers and historians have come to doubt the authenticity of Plato’s works, as well as the order in which they were written. Their suspicions arise from the time distance between us and the great philosopher, as well as from the fact that these written monuments have been preserved remarkably well.
Plato’s most famous work is The Republic.
In it, the main character speaks for Plato himself, and his insightful monologues provide an exciting mixture of ethics, philosophy, and psychology.
This influential mind of Antiquity will also be remembered for his Theory of Forms. It stipulates that the world that we can perceive through our human senses is only an imitation of the “World of Forms”, which is pure, eternal and unchanging.
You must have also heard about Platonic love. In fact, who hasn’t? Plato saw love as a longing for “The Beautiful Itself”. For him, love was, above all, the ultimate driving force for the progress of mankind.
Here is a collection of Plato’s 30 greatest quotes:
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”
“Courage is knowing what not to fear.”
“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.”
“Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.”
“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.”
“Only the dead have seen the end of war.”
“The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”
“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 heaviest penalty for declining to rule is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself.”
“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.”
“Love is a serious mental disease.”
“Never discourage anyone…who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.”
“One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”
“Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws”
“I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.”
“There is truth in wine and children”
“Ignorance, the root and stem of every evil.”
“I’m trying to think, don’t confuse me with facts.”
“If women are expected to do the same work as men, we must teach them the same things.”
“…and when one of them meets the other half, the actual half of himself, whether he be a lover of youth or a lover of another sort, the pair are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy and one will not be out of the other’s sight, as I may say, even for a moment…”
“The measure of a man is what he does with power.”
“Those who tell the stories rule society.”
“The madness of love is the greatest of heaven’s blessings”
“Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge. ”
“There are three classes of men; lovers of wisdom, lovers of honor, and lovers of gain.”
“Education is teaching our children to desire the right things.”
“When men speak ill of thee, live so as nobody may believe them.”
“There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot.”
“In politics we presume that everyone who knows how to get votes knows how to administer a city or a state. When we are ill… we do not ask for the handsomest physician, or the most eloquent one.”
“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? ”