Plato Quotes

Who the Heck is Plato?

Plato was a philosopher in Classical Greece and the founder of the Academy in Athens. Plato was a student of Socrates and the teacher of Aristotle. He is best known for his allegory of the cave and for quoting Socrates since the latter hasn't left us any books or letters.

Books by Plato

Best Quotes by Plato

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

Plato

“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.”

Plato

“All I really know is the extent of my own ignorance.”

Plato

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

Plato

“Anyone 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.”

Plato
The Allegory of the Cave

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

Plato

“Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.”

Plato

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

Plato

“Books are immortal sons defying their sires.”

Plato

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

Plato

“Character is simply habit long continued.”

Plato

“Courage is knowing what not to fear.”

Plato

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

Plato

“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.”

Plato

“Education is teaching our children to desire the right things.”

Plato

“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.”

Plato

“False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.”

Plato

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

Plato

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

Plato

“Have you ever sensed that our soul is immortal and never dies?”

Plato

“He was a wise man who invented God.”

Plato

“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?”

Plato

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

Plato
The Allegory of the Cave

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

Plato

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

Plato

“If I am right, certain professors of education must be wrong when they say that they can put a knowledge into the soul which was not there before, like sight into blind eyes.”

Plato

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

Plato

“Ignorance is the root and stem of all evil.”

Plato

“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.”

Plato

“It is the task of the enlightened not only to ascend to learning and to see the good but to be willing to descend again to those prisoners and to share their troubles and their honors, whether they are worth having or not. And this they must do, even with the prospect of death.”

Plato
The Allegory of the Cave

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

Plato

“Knowledge is the food of the soul.”

Plato

“Love is a serious mental disease.”

Plato
Phaedrus

“Man is a being in search of meaning.”

Plato

“Necessity is the mother of invention.”

Plato

“Neither the uneducated and uninformed of the truth, nor yet those who never make an end of their education, will be able ministers of State; not the former, because they have no single aim of duty which is the rule of all their actions, private as well as public; nor the latter, because they will not act at all except upon compulsion, fancying that they are already dwelling apart in the islands of the blest.”

Plato

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

Plato

“No human thing is of serious importance.”

Plato

“No man should bring children into the world who is unwilling to persevere to the end in their nature and education.”

Plato

“No one is more hated than he who speaks the truth.”

Plato

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

Plato

“Only the dead have seen the end of war.”

Plato

“Opinion is the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world. It requires profound purpose larger than the self. ”

Plato

“Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance.”

Plato

“People are like dirt. They can either nourish you and help you grow as a person or they can stunt your growth and make you wilt and die.”

Plato

“Poets utter great and wise things which they do not themselves understand.”

Plato

“That man is wisest who, like Socrates, realizes that his wisdom is worthless.”

Plato

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

Plato

“The first and greatest victory is to conquer yourself; to be conquered by yourself is of all things most shameful and vile.”

Plato

“The greatest wealth is to live content with little.”

Plato

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

Plato

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

Plato

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

Plato
The Republic

“The power and capacity of learning exists in the soul already.”

Plato

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

Plato

“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.”

Plato

“The wisest have the most authority.”

Plato

“There are three classes of men; lovers of wisdom, lovers of honor, and lovers of gain.”

Plato

“There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot.”

Plato

“There is in every one of us, even those who seem to be most moderate, a type of desire that is terrible, wild, and lawless.”

Plato
The Republic

“There is truth in wine and children.”

Plato

“Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed, by the masses.”

Plato
The Allegory of the Cave

“Those who tell the stories rule society.”

Plato

“True friendship can exist only between equals.”

Plato

“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.”

Plato

“When men speak ill of thee, live so as nobody may believe them.”

Plato

“Whereas the truth is that the State in which the rulers are most reluctant to govern is always the best and most quietly governed, and the State in which they are most eager, the worst.”

Plato
The Allegory of the Cave

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

Plato

“Writing is the geometry of the soul.”

Plato

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

Plato

“You should not honor men more than truth.”

Plato