Plato Quotes & Sayings

Best selected Plato quotes on education, life, truth, democracy and other motivational topics. If you like these quotes by Plato then please consider sharing them with your friends and family.

The most virtuous are those who content themselves with being virtuous without seeking to appear so.
Plato Quotes
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.
Twice and thrice over, as they say, good is it to repeat and review what is good.
Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others.
Plato Quotes
Follow your dream as long as you live, do not lessen the time of following desire, for wasting time is an abomination of the spirit.
There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot.
Plato Quotes
Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.

Plato Quotes on Education

If a man neglects education, he walks lame to the end of his life.
The most important part of education is right training in the nursery. The soul of the child in his play should be trained to that sort of excellence in which, when he grows to manhood, he will have to be perfected.
For good nurture and education implant good constitutions.
Music is a more potent instrument than any other for education.
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.
Plato Quotes on Education
The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future in life.
Education in music is most sovereign because more than anything else rhythm and harmony find their way to the innermost soul and take strongest hold upon it.
Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue.

Plato Quotes on Democracy

Democracy is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder, and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequal alike.
Dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme liberty.
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.
Tyranny naturally arises out of democracy.
Plato Quotes on Democracy
Democracy leads to anarchy, which is mob rule.
Democracy passes into despotism.

Plato Philosophy Quotes

Wonder is the feeling of the philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder.
Plato Quotes on Justice
Geometry will draw the soul toward truth and create the spirit of philosophy.
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.
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.
Philosophy is an elegant thing, if anyone modestly meddles with it; but if they are conversant with it more than is becoming, it corrupts them.
Philosophy begins in wonder.

Plato Quotes on Truth

A man's duty is to find out where the truth is, or if he cannot, at least to take the best possible human doctrine and the hardest to disprove, and to ride on this like a raft over the waters of life.
Plato Quotes on Truth
Truth is the beginning of every good to the gods, and of every good to man.
Truth is its own reward.
Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.
They deem him their worst enemy who tells them the truth.
Poetry comes nearer to vital truth than history.
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.

Plato Quotes on Justice

Justice in the life and conduct of the State is possible only as first it resides in the hearts and souls of the citizens.
Knowledge without justice ought to be called cunning rather than wisdom.
Justice means minding one's own business and not meddling with other men's concerns.
He who commits injustice is ever made more wretched than he who suffers it.
To do injustice is more disgraceful than to suffer it.
The worst form of injustice is pretended justice.
Injustice is censured because the censures are afraid of suffering, and not from any fear which they have of doing injustice.
The highest reach of injustice is to be deemed just when you are not.

Plato Quotes About Life

The greatest privilege of a human life is to become a midwife to the awakening of the Soul in another person.
I exhort you also to take part in the great combat, which is the combat of life, and greater than every other earthly conflict.
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.
I cannot eat, I cannot drink, the pleasures of youth and love are fled away. There was a good time once, but now that is gone, and life is no longer life.
Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.
Let each one of us leave every other kind of knowledge and seek and follow one thing only, if peradventure he may be able to learn and find some one who will make him able to learn and discern between good and evil, and so to choose always and everywhere the better life as he has opportunity.
Attention to health is life's greatest hindrance.
Plato Sayings
Know one knows whether death, which people fear to be the greatest evil, may not be the greatest good.
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.
Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity.
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.
He who steals a little steals with the same wish as he who steals much, but with less power.
Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul.
A delightful form of government, anarchic and motley, assigning a kind of equality indiscriminately to equals and unequals alike!
Beauty is certainly a soft, smooth, slippery thing, and therefore of a nature which easily slips in and permeates our souls.
No trace of slavery ought to mix with the studies of the freeborn man. No study, pursued under compulsion, remains rooted in the memory.
We ought to fly away from earth to heaven as quickly as we can; and to fly away is to become like God, as far as this is possible; and to become like him is to become holy, just, and wise.
He best keeps from anger who remembers that God is always looking upon him.
Those who intend on becoming great should love neither themselves or their own things, but only what is just, whether it happens to be done by themselves or others.
There are three classes of men; lovers of wisdom, lovers of honor, and lovers of gain.
Let parents bequeath to their children not riches, but the spirit of reverence.
No one ever teaches well who wants to teach, or governs well who wants to govern.
Madness is a divine release of the soul from the yoke of custom and convention.
Interference by the three classes with each others jobs, and interchange of jobs between them, therefore, does the greatest harm to our state, and we are entirely justified in calling it the worst of evils.
And may we not say, Adeimantus, that the most gifted minds, when they are ill- educated, become the worst?
The god, O men, seems to me to be really wise; and by his oracle to mean this, that the wisdom of this world is foolishness and of none effect.
All the gold which is under or upon the earth is not enough to give in exchange for virtue.
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.
Money-makers are tiresome company, as they have no standard but cash value.
The knowledge of which geometry aims is the knowledge of the eternal.
The first and best victory is to conquer self. To be conquered by self is, of all things, the most shameful and objectionable.
Harmony is a symphony, and symphony is an agreement; but an agreement of disagreements while they disagree there cannot be; you cannot harmonize that which disagrees.
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?
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.
There are few people so stubborn in their atheism who when danger is pressing in will not acknowledge the divine power.
A grateful mind is a great mind, which eventually attracts to itself great things.
I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.
All things will be produced in superior quantity and quality, and with greater ease, when each man works at a single occupation, in accordance with his natural gifts, and at the right moment, without meddling with anything else.
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.
Can we devise one of those lies—the kind which crop up as the occasion demands, which we were talking about not so long ago—so that with a single noble lie we can indoctrinate the rulers themselves, preferably, but at least the rest of the community?
For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories.
As empty vessels make the loudest sound, so they that have the least wit are the greatest blabbers.
If a man be endowed with a generous mind, this is the best kind of nobility.
They do certainly give very strange, and newfangled, names to diseases.

Best Plato Quotes

Kings are never without flatterers to seduce them, ambition to deprive them, and desires to corrupt them.
Upon consideration of the central question of the moon's toughness there can be little doubt. It is hella tough.
If women are expected to do the same work as men, we must teach them the same things.
False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.
There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself, till philosophers become kings in this world, or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers.
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.
Love is the joy of the good, the wonder of the wise, the amazement of the Gods.
As such, it describes a relationship that falls short — for whatever reason, of the fuller communion of romantic sexual love.
The tools which would teach men their own use would be beyond price.
What of his beard? Are you not of Homer's opinion, who says Youth is most charming when the beard first appears?
People may injure their bodily eye by observing and gazing on the sun during an eclipse, unless they take the precaution of only looking at the image reflected in the water or in some similar medium.
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 punishment which the wise suffer who refuse to take part in the government, is to live under the government of worse men.
Astronomy compels the soul to look upward, and leads us from this world to another.
The true physician is also a ruler having the human body as a subject, and is not a mere money-maker.
Excess of liberty, whether it lies in state or individuals, seems only to pass into excess of slavery.
To be curious about that which is not one's concern while still in ignorance of oneself is ridiculous.
The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.
Welcome out of the cave, my friend. It's a bit colder out here, but the stars are just beautiful.
I have hardly ever known a mathematician who was capable of reasoning.
A hero is born among a hundred, a wise man is found among a thousand, but an accomplished one might not be found even among a hundred thousand men.
Mathematics is like checkers in being suitable for the young, not too difficult, amusing, and without peril to the state.
When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow even if that someone is yourself!
Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.
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.
To begin is the most important part of any quest and by far the most courageous.
The heaviest penalty for deciding to engage in politics is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself.
Human behavior flows from three main sources desire, emotion, and knowledge.
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.
Excess generally causes reaction, and produces a change in the opposite direction, whether it be in the seasons, or in individuals, or in governments.
For the introduction of a new kind of music must be shunned as imperiling the whole state; since styles of music are never disturbed without affecting the most important political institutions.
The excessive increase of anything causes a reaction in the opposite direction.
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.
Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.
Whenever a person strives, by the help of dialectic, to start in pursuit of every reality by a simple process of reason, independent of all sensuous information -- never flinching, until by an act of the pure intelligence he has grasped the real nature of good -- he arrives at the very end of the intellectual world.
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.
Vain would be the attempt of telling all the figures of the stars circling as in a dance, and their juxtapositions, and the return of them in their revolutions upon themselves, and their approximations.
You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.

Motivational Plato Quotes

To suffer the penalty of too much haste, which is too little speed.
Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.
There's a victory and defeat-the first and best of victories, the lowest and worst of defeats-which each man gains or sustains at the hands not of another, but of himself.
A sensible man will remember that the eyes may be confused in two ways - by a change from light to darkness or from darkness to light; and he will recognize that the same thing happens to the soul.
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.
Rhythm and melody enter into the soul of the well-instructed youth and produce there a certain mental harmony hardly obtainable in any other way. ... thus music, too, is concerned with the principles of love in their application to harmony and rhythm.
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.
Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.
Prefer diligence before idleness, unless you esteem rust above brightness.
The country places and the trees won’t teach me anything, and the people in the city do.
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.
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.
Hereditary honors are a noble and a splendid treasure to descendants.
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.
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.
If we are to have any hope for the future, those who have lanterns must pass them on to others.

Plato Short Quotes

A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.
Even the gods love jokes.
The greatest wealth is to live content with little.
Nothing in the affairs of men is worthy of great anxiety.
At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.
Knowledge becomes evil if the aim be not virtuous.
Ignorance, the root and stem of all evil.
Many are the thyrsus-bearers, but few are the mystics.
I have good hope that there is something after death.
Wealth is well known to be a great comforter.
Whatever deceives men seems to produce a magical enchantment.
Of all the animals, the boy is the most unmanageable.
Wisdom is a blaze, kindled by a leaping spark.
All learning has an emotional base.
Man is a being in search of meaning.
Complacent ignorance is the most lethal sickness of the soul.
Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
Have you ever sensed that our soul is immortal and never dies?
Haughtiness lives under the same roof with solitude.
Self conquest is the greatest of victories.
He was a wise man who invented beer.
Cunning is but the low mimic of wisdom.
We are bound to our bodies like an oyster to its shell.
And of all the animals the boy is the most unmanageable.
Honesty is for the most par less profitable than dishonesty.
Love is a serious mental disease.
The part can never be well unless the whole is well.
Pleasure is the greatest incentive to evil.
Rhetoric is the art of ruling the minds of men.
Integrity is your destiny-it is the light that guides your way.
Thinking: the talking of the soul with itself.
A well begun is half ended.
As wolves love lambs so lovers love their loves.
Abstinence is the surety of temperance.
The mere athlete becomes too much of a savage.
Must not all things at the last be swallowed up in death?
Man is a two-legged animal without feathers.
Excellent things are rare.
Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance.
States are as the men, they grow out of human characters.
When men speak ill of thee, live so as nobody may believe them.
All things are in fate, yet all things are not decreed by fate.
Courage is knowing what not to fear.
The soul of man is immortal and imperishable.
No human thing is of serious importance.
The best stomachs are not those which reject all foods.
The worst of all deceptions is self-deception.
The beginning is the most important part of the work.
It is through geometry that one purifies the eye of the soul.
He who is not a good servant will not be a good master.
When the mind is thinking it is talking to itself.
Let nobody speak mischief of anybody.
Science is nothing but perception.
From all wild beasts, a child is the most difficult to handle.
We are twice armed if we fight with faith.
Wisdom alone is the science of others sciences.
Arguments, like men, are often pretenders.
The wisest have the most authority.
Death is not the worst that can happen to men.
Only the dead have seen the end of war.
The contemplation of beauty causes the soul to grow wings.
There must always remain something that is antagonistic to good.
No law or ordinance is mightier than understanding.
If you like these Plato Quotes please consider sharing them with your friends.

Share Plato Quotes