The 80 best phrases of Plato and his philosophy
Jul 16, 2021
The philosopher Plato He was, in many ways, one of the most important figures in the development of Western culture.
This selection of phrases by Plato is interesting precisely because, through short reflections, it allows us to glimpse the rich philosophical thought of him that left an incomparable legacy.
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Selected Plato Phrases
In this compilation of the best thoughts and reflections you can find the basic elements of Plato's philosophy.
1. Where the love reigns, laws left over
A reflection on love as a social cohesionist.
2. At night especially, it is beautiful to believe in light
One of Plato's phrases about faith during difficult times.
3. The best wealth is to be content living with little
Plato made a constant apology for humility.
4. Thinking is the dialogue of the soul with itself
From his dualistic perspective, mental life belongs to a plane of reality other than matter.
5. Music is to the soul what gymnastics is to the body
One of the most poetic considerations about music.
6. Knowledge is the right opinion
Plato clarifies here what is the relationship between knowledge, linked to the truth, and vulgar opinions.
7. The wise man will always want to be with someone who is better than him
One of the characteristics of wise people is that they surround themselves with people from whom they can learn, according to this philosopher.
8. It is not in men but in things that the truth must be sought
According to Plato's thought, the truth is something independent of opinions, it exists beyond what people believe.
9. Better a little that is well done, than a large imperfect amount
One of the "better quality than quantity" proposals.
10. The goal of education is virtue and the goal of becoming a good citizen
In Plato's theories, education has a clear social function.
11. Civilization is the triumph of persuasion over force
A way of understanding the origin of the organization of life proper to civilizations.
12. We are doubly armed if we fight in faith
Faith understood as an empowering element.
13. Courage is knowing what we should not fear
A definition of courage focused on knowledge.
14. Vulgar souls have no destiny
Destiny can be seen as a path that leads to a goal.
15. There are three kinds of men: lovers of wisdom, lovers of honor, and lovers of profit.
An original classification of types of people.
16. Love is feeling that the sacred being beats within the loved one
This phrase of Plato about love reflects his theory of ideas, related to the concept of platonic love.
17. Philosophy is the highest form that music can take
Another of Plato's phrases based on a poetic definition.
18. A good decision is based on knowledge, not numbers
Knowledge goes beyond mathematics.
19. Ignorance is the seed of all evil
For Plato, good and evil were equated with wisdom and ignorance, precisely.
20. Who is not a good servant will not be a good teacher
A reflection on the need to accumulate experiences.
21. States are like men, they are born from their same traits
Anthropomorphizing states is one of the tendencies that Plato reflects in his ideas.
23. Man cannot practice various arts successfully
A reflection on the limited capacities and scarce resources that people have.
24. Courage is a kind of salvation
The existence of courage can serve in itself to avoid unwanted situations.
25. If we seek the good of our fellow men we will find ours
A simple moral guideline for doing good.
26. Wisdom turns to evil if it does not point towards virtue
What wisdom is used for also counts from an ethical perspective.
27. The largest stones cannot be well seated without the smallest ones.
A metaphor about hierarchies.
28. When it is the multitude that exercises its authority, it is more cruel than tyrants
One of Plato's phrases about social behavior in crowds.
29. The beginning is the most important part of the journey
Getting started is in itself one of the great milestones of the road ahead.
30. Every tear shed reveals to mortals a truth
Sadness and negative feelings They are usually caused by events that shock us and help us to better structure ideas.
31. Good faith is the foundation of any society
One of Plato's phrases about the affections that hold society together.
32. They are true philosophers who enjoy contemplating the truth
Philosophy consists in rising towards the truth, according to Plato.
33. Honesty usually generates less profit than lies
A bitter reflection on the consequences of being honest.
34. Poetry is closer to vital truth than history
Poetry can also be close to knowledge.
35. Every man can harm someone, but not everyone can do good
An apparent paradox pointed out by this philosopher.
36. The virtuous settle for dreaming what sinners do in life
Plato reflects on the need to lead a life of control over desires.
37. Wit is a minor copy of wisdom
Another definition that Plato gives, in this case he establishes a clear hierarchy between wisdom and wit.
38. Nothing in man's chores deserves much anxiety
On the emotional implications of the banal problems of life on the earthly plane.
39. The best achievement of injustice is to appear fair without being it
A reflection on injustice and the way it is masked.
40. If particulars have a meaning, universals must exist
Plato reflects on universal ideas, which are valid anytime and anywhere, and their relationship to particular ideas, which are only true in some contexts.
41. In contact with love, everyone becomes poets
One of Plato's phrases about love and its effects on people.
42. Learning to die you learn to live better
Plato talks here about the philosophy of renunciation.
43. There must always be something that opposes the good
Good and evil are necessary in order to understand both concepts. If there is no evil, then neither can good exist.
44. The intelligent man speaks with authority when he directs his own life
Assertiveness was one of the characteristics that this philosopher defended.
45. Freedom means owning our own life
A platonic reflection on freedom.
46. Wisdom is, in itself, the science of all other sciences
The phrase shows the relationship between wisdom and what could be considered science in Plato's time.
47. If you search, you will find
One of Plato's most remembered phrases.
48. What I don't know, I don't think I know either
This philosopher attached great importance to the need for opinions to be well founded.
49. Time is the image of eternity in motion
An original conception of the nature of time.
50. When a man does not sacrifice himself for his ideas, either these are worth nothing or the man is worth nothing
An aphorism about the value of people and their principles.
51. There is only one kind of virtue, and many forms of evil
A comparison that highlights this difference between virtue and evil.
52. Tyranny arises naturally from democracy
Plato believed that political participation through Athenian democracy contained the seeds of future tyrannies.
53. Comfort is cold and tasteless if not wrapped in a solution
Words of comfort mean little by themselves.
54. Excessive build-up of something causes a reaction in the opposite direction
An abstract idea that can be applied to a wide variety of situations.
55. Life has to be lived like a game
Plato talks about a certain distance that must be maintained with respect to what happens in the material world, since It has little to do with the world of ideas in which, according to the philosopher, the truth rested.
56. Reason and courage will always prevail over tradition and ingratitude
Plato sees with a certain determinism the struggle between reason and good against evil and superstition.
57. Young people have to refrain from tasting wine, as it is a mistake to add fire to the fire
A reflection on the passionate and wayward nature of youth.
58. The man brutalized by superstition is the most despicable
Superstition, in opposing reason, is an element deeply despised by Plato.
59. Music gives soul to the universe
Another of the phrases about music that Plato left. In this case he relates it to the functioning of the cosmos.
60. Poverty does not come from the decrease in wealth, but from the multiplication of desires
Another reflection on humility and its opposition to banal wants and needs.
61. It's hard to distinguish the contours of the shadow from the lie
The danger of the false is that it is easy for it to pass itself off as what it is not.
62. Our struggle is to find the right way to do things
Plato was strongly moralistic, and he believed that there is a way of acting that is in itself superior to the others.
63. A strong moral conscience is necessary to know the truth
This philosopher related ethics to epistemology.
64. To get to the true, first, you have to expel your fears
You cannot get to the truth if there are hidden interests.
65. Once you have started to know yourself, it is impossible not to fall asleep at the idea of seeing things as they are
The truth attracts inquiries.
66. There is little truth in the words of someone who only knows how much he has touched
Plato was fundamentally a rationalist, and he valued introspection more than empiricism.
67. The strongest men are those who have considered what reality is like
Once again, Plato draws a relationship between morality and knowledge.
68. It is necessary to expel the demons of the lie
Another of Plato's phrases about the deceptions of the false.
69. We must build a society in which everyone does what they are best at
Plato developed a political ideal based on segregation and elitism.
70. Being wise takes time and effort, but above all honesty
Honesty is necessary to start from true and objective foundations, for Plato.
71. Knowledge must be shared
The truth must be shared, as a moral mandate.
72. Being aware of what is really happening causes pain
Since the truth is independent of us, what it contains often causes discomfort.
73. There is nothing that escapes the perfection of ideas
As an idealist, Plato believed that all reality is fundamentally composed of universals.
74. The object is an imperfect copy of what actually exists
The material, for Plato, is a deception.
75. Let's retrace our steps to get to the foundation of reason
According to this philosopher, it is necessary to start from robust theoretical foundations in order to think well.
76. It is good to think about things with a clear mind
You have to start from honesty and humility to do philosophy.
77. There is more truth in geometry than in any promise
In a similar way to the Pythagoreans, Plato he extolled the truth of mathematics, because the statements of it do not depend on the context.
78. The wise man is aware that the key is in the questions
A phrase reminiscent of the way in which Socrates approached the philosophical dialogue.
79. Thinking without gaps is necessary to build sources of knowledge
A metaphorical way of saying that the truth has no imperfections, according to Plato.
80. An entire explanation of the world exists beyond us
The truth exists even if we do not discover it.