plato quotes

Episode Summary

Digest these Plato quotes for life, be wise, and to concede what you don’t know. These powerful philosophical plato quotes will strengthen your mind. These plato quotes are useful because they will help you to reflect & develop your inner awareness of self.

Who was Plato?

Plato, (born 428/427 bce, Athens, Greece—died 348/347, Athens), ancient Greek philosopher, student of Socrates (c. 470–399 bce), teacher of Aristotle (384–322 bce), and founder of the Academy, best known as the author of philosophical works of unparalleled influence. Building on the demonstration by Socrates that those regarded as experts in ethical matters did not have the understanding necessary for a good human life, Plato introduced the idea that their mistakes were due to their not engaging properly with a class of entities he called forms, chief examples of which were Justice, Beauty, and Equality. Whereas other thinkers—and Plato himself in certain passages—used the term without any precise technical force, Plato in the course of his career came to devote specialized attention to these entities. As he conceived them, they were accessible not to the senses but to the mind alone, and they were the most important constituents of reality, underlying the existence of the sensible world and giving it what intelligibility it has. In metaphysics Plato envisioned a systematic, rational treatment of the forms and their interrelations, starting with the most fundamental among them (the Good, or the One); in ethics and moral psychology he developed the view that the good life requires not just a certain kind of knowledge (as Socrates had suggested) but also habituation to healthy emotional responses and therefore harmony between the three parts of the soul (according to Plato, reason, spirit, and appetite). His works also contain discussions in aesthetics, political philosophy, theology, cosmology, epistemology, and the philosophy of language. His school fostered research not just in philosophy narrowly conceived but in a wide range of endeavors that today would be called mathematical or scientific. (

Plato Quotes For Life | BE WISE, CONCEDE WHAT’S UNKNOWN | Karat Juice Podcast

Let these Plato Quotes help you strengthen your mind & grow your knowledge. If you enjoy this content, feel free, if you will, to share it with someone that you think would benefit from it.

110 Plato Quotes on Life

1. “Only the dead have seen the end of war.” – Plato

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

3. “The beginning is the most important part of the work.” – Plato

4. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” – Plato

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

6. “Love is a serious mental disease.” – Plato

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

8. “A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.” – Plato

Plato Quotes about knowledge

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

10. “We are twice armed if we fight with faith.” – Plato

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

12. “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.” – Plato

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

14. “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

15. “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.” – Plato

16. “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

17. “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

18. “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” – Plato

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

Profound Plato quotes that will change the way you think

20. “Do you desire to be wholly one; always day and night in one another’s company? For if this is what you desire, I am ready to melt and fuse you together, so that being two you shall become one, and while you live a common life as if you were a single man, and after your death in the world below still be one departed soul, instead of two….”― Plato

21. “if you are willing to reflect on the courage and moderation of other people, you will find them strange…they all consider death a great evil…and the brave among them face death, when they do, for fear of greater evils…therefore, it is fear and terror that make all men brave, except for philosophers. yet it is illogical to be brave through fear and cowardice…what of the moderate among them? is their experience not similar?…they master certain pleasures because they are mastered by others…i fear this is not the right exchange to attain virtue, to exchange pleasures for pleasures, pains for pains, and fears for fears, the greater for the less like coins, but that the only valid currency for which all these things should be exchanged is wisdom.”― Plato

22. “Never discourage anyone…who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.” – Plato

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

24. “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.” – Plato

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

26. “Ignorance, the root and the stem of every evil.” – Plato

27. “Laws are partly formed for the sake of good men, in order to instruct them how they may live on friendly terms with one another, and partly for the sake of those who refuse to be instructed, whose spirit cannot be subdued, or softened, or hindered from plunging into evil.”  – Plato

28. “Man…is a tame or civilized animal; nevertheless, he requires proper instruction and a fortunate nature, and then of all animals he becomes the most divine and most civilized; but if he be insufficiently or ill- educated he is the most savage of earthly creatures.” – Plato

29. “No human thing is of serious importance.” – Plato

Powerful Plato quotes for your Philosophical Life

30. “There is no such thing as a lover’s oath.”  – Plato

31. “Any one 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

32. “Thinking is the talking of the soul with itself”  – Plato

33. “No evil can happen to a good man, either in life or after death.”  – Plato

34. “Let every man remind their descendants that they also are soldiers who must not desert the ranks of their ancestors, or from cowardice fall behind.”  – Plato

35. “Sons, the event proves that your fathers were brave men; for we might have lived dishonourably, but have preferred to die honourably rather than bring you and your children into disgrace, and rather than dishonour our own fathers and forefathers;” – Plato

If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of Father-Son quotes about the power of their bond.

36. “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, and political power and philosophy thus come into the same hands.”  – Plato

If you’re enjoying these quotes, read our collection of Greek Philosopher quotes on ancient knowledge to motivate you.

37. “And all knowledge, when separated from justice and virtue, is seen to be cunning and not wisdom; wherefore make this your first and last and constant and all-absorbing aim, to exceed, if possible, not only us but all your ancestors in virtue; and know that to excel you in virtue only brings us shame, but that to be excelled by you is a source of happiness to us.”  – Plato

38. “You know that the beginning is the most important part of any work, especially in the case of a young and tender thing; for that is the time at which the character is being formed and the desired impression is more readily taken….Shall we just carelessly allow children to hear any casual tales which may be devised by casual persons, and to receive into their minds ideas for the most part the very opposite of those which we should wish them to have when they are grown up?

We cannot….Anything received into the mind at that age is likely to become indelible and unalterable; and therefore it is most important that the tales which the young first hear should be models of virtuous thoughts….”

― Plato

39. “Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.”  – Plato

41. “The more the pleasures of the body fade away, the greater to me is the pleasure and charm of conversation.” – Plato

43. “Democracy is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder, and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequal alike.” – Plato

44. “Many men are loved by their enemies, and hated by their friends, and are the friends of their enemies, and the enemies of their friends.”  – Plato

45. “If a man can be properly said to love something, it must be clear that he feels affection for it as a whole, and does not love part of it to the exclusion of the rest.” – Plato

46. “Was not this … what we spoke of as the great advantage of wisdom — to know what is known and what is unknown to us?”  – Plato

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47. “He who commits injustice is ever made more wretched than he who suffers it”  – Plato

48. “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

49. “No one ever teaches well who wants to teach, or governs well who wants to govern.” – Plato

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

Plato Quotes to Develop Wisdom

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

53. “Life must be lived as play.”  – Plato

54. “It’s not at all uncommon to find a person’s desires compelling him to go against his reason, and to see him cursing himself and venting his passion on the source of the compulsion within him. It’s as if there were two warring factions, with passion fighting on the side of reason. But I’m sure you won’t claim that you had ever, in yourself or in anyone else, met a case of passion siding with his desires against the rational mind, when the rational mind prohibits resistance.”

― Plato

55. “If a man neglects education, he walks lame to the end of his life”  – Plato

56. “This City is what it is because our citizens are what they are”  – Plato

58. “That’s what education should be,” I said, “the art of orientation. Educators should devise the simplest and most effective methods of turning minds around. It shouldn’t be the art of implanting sight in the organ, but should proceed on the understanding that the organ already has the capacity, but is improperly aligned and isn’t facing the right way.”

― Plato

59. “…when he looks at Beauty in the only way that Beauty can be seen – only then will it become possible for him to give birth not to images of virtue (because he’s in touch with no images), but to true virtue [arete] (because he is in touch with true Beauty). The love of the gods belongs to anyone who has given to true virtue and nourished it, and if any human being could become immortal, it would be he.”

― Plato

60. “Whereas, our argument shows that the power and capacity of learning exists in the soul already; and that just as the eye was unable to turn from darkness to light without the whole body, so too the instrument of knowledge can only by the movement of the whole soul be turned from the world of becoming into that of being, and learn by degrees to endure the sight of being, and of the brightest and best of being, or in other words, of the good.”

― Plato

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

62. “Everything that deceives may be said to enchant.”― Plato

63. “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.”― Plato

64. “Love is born into every human being; it calls back the halves of our original nature together; it tries to make one out of two and heal the wound of human nature.”― Plato

66. “Attention to health is life’s greatest hindrance.” ― Plato

67. “It is impossible to improve the world if first the man does not improve.”

― Plato

68. “The greatest mistake in the treatment of diseases is that there are physicians for the body and physicians for the soul, although the two cannot be separated.”― Plato

69. “Virtue is the desire of things honourable and the power of attaining them.”― Plato

70. “… because it is correct to make a priority of young people, taking care that they turn out as well as possible…”― Plato

Motivational Plato Quotes

71. “It is only just that anything that grows up on its own should feel it has nothing to repay for an upbringing which it owes no one.” ― Plato

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

73. “Love is a great spirit. Everything spiritual is in between god and mortal.” ― Plato

74. “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

75. “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.’” ― Plato

76. “The worst type of man behaves as badly in his waking life as some men do in their dreams.”― Plato

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

78. “Self conquest is the greatest of victories.”― Plato

79. “And will life be worth having, if that higher part of man be destroyed, which is improved by justice and depraved by injustice?”― Plato

80. “The man who has no self-respect, on the contrary, will imitate anybody and anything; sounds of nature and cries of animals alike; his whole performance will be imitation of gesture and voice.”― Plato

81. “It is our duty to select the best and most dependable theory that human intelligence can supply, and use it as a raft to ride the seas of life.”― Plato

82. “The only thing he ought to consider, if he does anything, is whether he does right or wrong, whether it is what a good man does or a bad man.”― Plato

84. “Love is the joy of the good, the wonder of the wise, the amazement of the Gods.”― Plato

85. “No thing more excellent nor more valuable than wine was ever granted mankind by God.”― Plato

86. “Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul.”― Plato

87. “To the degree that I cease to pursue my deepest passions, I will gradually be controlled by my deepest fears.”― Plato

88. “The wise man will want to be ever with him who is better than himself.”― Plato

89. “Time is the moving image of eternity.”― Plato

90. “You take the words in the sense which is most damaging to the argument.”― Plato

You might also like these philosophical Epicurus quotes for a happy life.

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

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

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

95. “Nothing beautiful without struggle.” – Plato

96. “Any man may easily do harm, but not every man can do good to another.” – Plato

97. “Excess of liberty, whether it lies in state or individuals, seems only to pass into excess of slavery.” – Plato

98. “Those who don’t know must learn from those who do.” – Plato

99. “He who wishes to serve his country must have not only the power to think, but the will to act.” – Plato

100. “Wealth is the parent of luxury and indolence, and poverty of meanness and viciousness, and both of discontent.” – Plato

Plato Quotes to Reflect Upon

102. “States will never be happy until rulers become philosophers or philosophers become rulers.” ― Plato

103. “Human nature was originally one and we were a whole, and the pursuit of the whole is called love.” ― Plato

104. “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 in two separate beings, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other halves.” ― Plato

105. “Reality is created by the mind. We can change our reality by changing our mind.” ― Plato

106. “The evil never attains to any real friendship, either with good or evil.” ― Plato

107. “The comprehensive mind is always dialectical.” ― Plato

108. “Now the hour to part has come. I go to die, you go to live. Which of us goes to the better lot is known to no one.” ― Plato

109. “Rather I think that a man who … is willing … to value learning as long as he lives, not supposing that old age brings him wisdom of itself, will necessarily pay more attention to the rest of his life.” ― Plato

110. “For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories.” ― Plato

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