Quotes by Plato

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Plato (ca. May 21? 427 BC ca. 347 BC) was an immensely influential classical Greek philosopher, student of Socrates, teacher of Aristotle, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens.

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Rhetoric is the art of ruling the minds of men.

For just as poets love their own works, and fathers their own children, in the same way those who have created a fortune value their money, not merely for its uses, like other persons, but because it is their own production. This makes them moreover disagreeable companions, because they will praise nothing but riches.
If the study of all these sciences which we have enumerated, should ever bring us to their mutual association and relationship, and teach us the nature of the ties which bind them together, I believe that the diligent treatment of them will forward the objects which we have in view, and that the labor, which otherwise would be fruitless, will be well bestowed.
I have hardly ever known a mathematician who was capable of reasoning.
In particular I may mention Sophocles the poet, who was once asked in my presence, How do you feel about love, Sophocles? are you still capable of it? to which he replied, Hush! if you please: to my great delight I have escaped from it, and feel as if I had escaped from a frantic and savage master. I thought then, as I do now, that he spoke wisely. For unquestionably old age brings us profound repose and freedom from this and other passions.
We ought to esteem it of the greatest importance that the fictions which children first hear should be adapted in the most perfect manner to the promotion of virtue.
The democratic youth lives along day by day, gratifying the desire that occurs to him, at one time drinking and listening to the flute, at another downing water and reducing, now practicing gymnastic, and again idling and neglecting everything; and sometimes spending his time as though he were occupied in philosophy.
Too much attention to health is a hindrance to learning, to invention, and to studies of any kind, for we are always feeling suspicious shootings and swimmings in our heads, and we are prone to blame studies from them.
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 the rulers of the state then, if to any, it belongs of right to use falsehood, to deceive either enemies or their own citizens, for the good of the state: and no one else may meddle with this privilege.
Ignorance of all things is an evil neither terrible nor excessive, nor yet the greatest of all; but great cleverness and much learning, if they be accompanied by a bad training, are a much greater misfortune.
In the world of knowledge, the essential Form of Good is the limit of our inquiries, and can barely be perceived; but, when perceived, we cannot help concluding that it is in every case the source of all that is bright and beautiful --in the visible world giving birth to light and its master, and in the intellectual world dispensing, immediately and with full authority, truth and reason --and that whosoever would act wisely, either in private or in public, must set this Form of Good before his eyes.
Let us describe the education of our men. What then is the education to be? Perhaps we could hardly find a better than that which the experience of the past has already discovered, which consists, I believe, in gymnastic, for the body, and music for the mind.
Is it not also true that no physician, in so far as he is a physician, considers or enjoins what is for the physician's interest, but that all seek the good of their patients? For we have agreed that a physician strictly so called, is a ruler of bodies, and not a maker of money, have we not?
These, then, will be some of the features of democracy... it will be, in all likelihood, an agreeable, lawless, parti-colored commonwealth, dealing with all alike on a footing of equality, whether they be really equal or not.
Must not all things at the last be swallowed up in death?
Know one knows whether death, which people fear to be the greatest evil, may not be the greatest good.
He who commits injustice is ever made more wretched than he who suffers it.
I exhort you also to take part in the great combat, which is the combat of life, and greater than every other earthly conflict.
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.
Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depends on simplicity.
There are few people so stubborn in their atheism who when danger is pressing in will not acknowledge the divine power.
It is clear to everyone that astronomy at all events compels the soul to look upwards, and draws it from the things of this world to the other.
Hereditary honors are a noble and a splendid treasure to descendants.
Old age has a great sense of calm and freedom. When the passions have relaxed their hold and have escaped, not from one master, but from many.
A well begun is half ended.
Wealth is well known to be a great comforter.
Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty.
He who advises a sick man, whose manner of life is prejudicial to health, is clearly bound first of all to change his patient’s manner of life.
You must train the children to their studies in a playful manner, and without any air of constraint, with the further object of discerning more readily the natural bent of their respective characters.
Of all the animals, the boy is the most unmanageable.
No one knows whether death is really the greatest blessing a man can have, but they fear it is the greatest curse, as if they knew well.
The wisest have the most authority.
That makes me think, my friend, as I have often done before, how natural it is that those who have spent a long time in the study of philosophy appear ridiculous when they enter the courts of law as speakers. Those who have knocked about in courts and the like from their youth up seem to me, when compared with those who have been brought up in philosophy and similar pursuits, to be as slaves in breeding compared with freemen.
Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another.
Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another.

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