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Plato is famous for having said the following quotes:

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Famous Plato quotes from Phaedrus

  • Beloved Pan, and all ye other gods who haunt this place, give me beauty in the inward soul; and may the outward and inward man be at one. May I reckon the wise to be the wealthy, and may I have such a quantity of gold as none but the temperate can carry.
    • Sec. 279
  • Friends have all things in common.
    • Sec. 279

Famous Plato quotes from The Symposium

  • And the true order of going, or being led by another, to the things of love, is to begin from the beauties of earth and mount upwards for the sake of that other beauty, using these steps only, and from one going on to two, and from two to all fair forms to fair practices, and from fair practices to fair notions, until from fair notions he arrives at the notion of absolute beauty, and at last knows what the essence of beauty is.
    • Sec. 211
  • Beholding beauty with the eye of the mind, he will be enabled to bring forth, not images of beauty, but realities (for he has hold not of an image but of a reality), and bringing forth and nourishing true virtue to become the friend of God and be immortal, if mortal man may.
    • Sec. 212

 Famous Plato quotes from The Apology

  • Socrates is a doer of evil, who corrupts the youth; and who does not believe in the gods of the state, but has other new divinities of his own. Such is the charge.
    • Sec. 24
  • The unexamined life is not worth living.
    • Sec. 38
  • Either death is a state of nothingness and utter unconsciousness, or, as men say, there is a change and migration of the soul from this world to another. ...Now if death be of such a nature, I say that to die is to gain; for eternity is then only a single night.
    • Sec. 40
  • No evil can happen to a good man, neither in life nor after death.
    • Sec. 41
  • The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our ways - I to die, and you to live. Which is better God only knows.
    • Sec. 42

Famous Plato quotes from Phaedo

  • Man is a prisoner who has no right to open the door of his prison and run away...A man should wait, and not take his own life until God summons him.
    • 62
  • Must not all things at the last be swallowed up in death?
    • 72
  • Will you not allow that I have as much of the spirit of prophesy in me as the swans? For they, when they perceive that they must die, having sung all their life long, do then sing more lustily than ever, rejoicing in the thought that they are going to the god they serve.
    • 85
  • False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.
    • 91

Famous Plato quotes from The Republic

Book I

  • When there is an income tax, the just man will pay more and the unjust less on the same amount of income.
    • 343-D
  • Mankind censure injustice fearing that they may be the victims of it, and not because they shrink from committing it.
    • 344-C
  • The beginning is the most important part of the work.
    • 377-B

Book II

  • Then the first thing will be to establish a censorship of the writers of fiction, and let the censors receive any tale of fiction which is good, and reject the bad; and we will desire mothers and nurses to tell their children the authorized ones only.
  • If we mean our future guardians to regard the habit of quarrelling among themselves as of all things the basest, should any word be said to them of the wars in heaven, and of the plots and fightings of the gods against one another, for they are not true. No, we shall never mention the battles of the giants, or let them be embroidered on garments; and we shall be silent about the innumerable other quarrels of gods and heroes with their friends and relatives. If they would only believe us we would tell them that quarrelling is unholy, and that never up to this time has there been any quarrel between citizens; this is what old men and old women should being by telling children; and when they grow up, the poets also should be told to compose for them in a similar spirit.
  • God is not the author of all things, but of good only.
  • The gods are not magicians who transform themselves; neither do they deceive mankind in any way.

Book III

  • Can any man be courageous who has the fear of death in him?
  • And we must beg Homer and the other poets not to be angry if we strike out these and similar passages, not because they are unpoetical, or unattractive to the popular ear, but because the greater the poetical charm in them, the less are they meet for the ears of boys and men who are meant to be free, and who should fear slavery more than death.
  • A fit of laughter, which has been indulged to excess, almost always produces a violent reaction.

  • Again, truth should be highly valued; if, as we were saying, a lie is useless to the gods, and useful only as a medicine to men, then the use of such medicines should be restricted to physicians; private individuals have no business with them.
  • Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity I mean the true simplicity of a rightly and nobly ordered mind and character, not that other simplicity which is only a euphemism for folly.
  • Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul; on which they mightily fasten, imparting grace, and making the soul of him who is rightly educated graceful, or of him who is ill-educated ungraceful; and also because he who has received this education of the inner being will most shrewdly perceive omissions or faults in art and nature, and with a true taste, while he praises and rejoices over and receives into his soul the good, and becomes noble and good, he will justly blame and hate the bad, now in the days of his youth, even before he is able to know the reason why; and when reason comes he will recognise and salute the friend with whom his education has made him long familiar.
  • When the citizens of a society can see and hear their leaders, then that society should be seen as one.

  • The judge should not be young; he should have learned to know evil, not from his own soul, but from late and long observation of the nature of evil in others: knowledge should be his guide, not personal experience.
    • 409-B
  • Everything that deceives may be said to enchant.
    • 413-C

Book IV

  • Wealth is the parent of luxury and indolence, and poverty of meanness and viciousness, and both of discontent.
    • 422-A
  • The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life.
    • 425-B

Book V

  • 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 - no, nor the human race, as I believe - and then only will this our State have a possibility of life and behold the light of day.
    • 473-C

Book VII

  • I have hardly ever known a mathematician who was capable of reasoning.
    • 531-E
  • Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.
    • 536-E


  • Democracy, which is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder, and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequaled alike.
    • 558-C
  • Democracy passes into despotism.
    • 562-A
  • The people have always 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.
    • 565-C
  • 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.
    • 566-E

Book X

  • No human thing is of serious importance.
    • 604-C

Unsorted Plato quotations

  • As Themistocles answered Seriphian who was abusing him and saying that he was famous not for his own merits but because he was an Athenian: "If you had been a native of my country or I of yours, neither of us would have been famous."
  • The tools which would teach men their own use would be beyond price.
  • And first he will see the shadows best, next the reflections of men and other objects in the water, and then the objects themselves, then he will gaze upon the light of the moon and the stars and the spangled heaven...Last of all he will be able to see the sun.
  • If you can discover a better way of life than office-holding for your future rulers, a well-governed city becomes a possibility. For only in such a state will those rule who are truly rich, not in gold, but in the wealth that makes happiness--a good and wise life.
This fragment is also translated as:
You must contrive for your future rulers another and a better life than that of a ruler, and then you may have a well-ordered State; for only in the State which offers this, will they rule who are truly rich, not in silver and gold, but in virtue and wisdom, which are the true blessings of life.

Famous Plato quotes from Parmenides

  • You cannot conceive the many without the one.
    • 166

Famous Plato quotes from Laws

  • The greatest penalty of evildoing - namely to grow into the likeness of bad men.
    • 728
  • Of all animals, the boy is the most unmanageable.
    • 808
  • You are young, my son, and, as the years go by, time will change and even reverse many of your present opinions. Refrain therefore awhile from setting yourself up as a judge of the highest matters.

    • 888
  • Not one of them who took up in his youth with this opinion that there are no gods ever continued until old age faithful to his conviction.
    • 888
  • Death is not the worst that can happen to men.

Other Plato Quotes

  • There is only one good, which is knowledge, and one evil, which is ignorance.
  • Wherever it has been established that it is shameful to be involved with sexual relationships with men, that is due to evil on the part of the rulers, and to cowardice on the part of the governed.
  • The learning and knowledge that we have, is, at the most, but little compared to that of which we are ignorant.
  • No one is more hated than he who speaks the truth.
  • One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics, is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.
  • Ignorance, the root and the stem of every evil.
  • Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.
  • At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet.


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