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Plato


Immensely influential classical Greek philosopher, student of Socrates, teacher of Aristotle, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens.
Plato
But tell me, this physician of whom you were just speaking, is he a moneymaker, an earner of fees, or a healer of the sick?
Plato quotes
With regard to this question modern physics takes a definite stand against the materialism of Democritus and for Plato and the Pythagoreans. The elementary particles are certainly not eternal and indestructible units of matter, they can actually be transformed into each other. ... The elementary particles in Plato's Timaeus are finally not substance but mathematical forms.
Plato
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 meant for the ears of boys and men who are meant to be free, and who should fear slavery more than death.




Plato quotes
But the chief penalty is to be governed by someone worse if a man will not himself hold office and rule.
Plato
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.
Plato quotes
Do you know, then, of anything practiced by mankind in which the masculine sex does not surpass the female on all these points? Must we make a long story of it by alleging weaving and the watching of pancakes and the boiling pot, whereon the sex plumes itself and wherein its defeat will expose it to most laughter? ... Then there is no pursuit of the administrators of a state that belongs to a woman because she is a woman or to a man because he is a man. But the natural capacities are distributed alike among both creatures, and women naturally share in all pursuits and men in all.... Shall we, then, assign them all to men and nothing to women?
We shall rather, I take it, say that one woman has the nature of a physician and another not, and one is by nature musical, and another unmusical? ... Can we, then, deny that one woman is naturally athletic and warlike and another unwarlike and averse to gymnastics? ... And again, one a lover, another a hater, of wisdom? And one high-spirited, and the other lacking spirit? ... Then it is likewise true that one woman has the qualities of a guardian and another not. Were not these the natural qualities of the men also whom we selected for guardians?
Plato
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.
Plato quotes
But if with your mind's eye you regard the absolute great and these many great things in the same way, will not another great appear beyond, by which all these must appear to be great?
Plato
Oh dear Pan and all the other Gods of this place, grant that I may be beautiful inside. Let all my external possessions be in friendly harmony with what is within. May I consider the wise man rich. As for gold, let me have as much as a moderate man could bear and carry with him.
Plato
A fit of laughter, which has been indulged to excess, almost always produces a violent reaction.
Plato
One profound lesson Plato teachers, albeit not by design, is that Plato himself, considered by many the greatest of all philosophers, could not construct the perfect society. He sought to avoid the disintegration of society and the onset of tyranny, but his solution was a totalitarian City destructive of human nature. Regrettably, Plato provided a philosophical and intellectual brew for a utopian society that would influence tyrannies for centuries to come.




Plato quotes
Wealth is the parent of luxury and indolence, and poverty of meanness and viciousness, and both of discontent.
Plato
The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our ways I to die, and you to live. Which is better God only knows.
Plato quotes
Everything that deceives may be said to enchant.
Plato
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.
Plato quotes
Then the case is the same in all the other arts for the orator and his rhetoric; there is no need to know the truth of the actual matters, but one merely needs to have discovered some device of persuasion which will make one appear to those who do not know to know better than those who know.
Plato
It would be better for me that multitudes of men should disagree with me rather than that I, being one, should be out of harmony with myself.
Plato quotes
Plato is the essential Buddha-seeker who appears again and again in each generation, moving onward and upward toward the "one." Aristotle is the eternal motorcycle mechanic who prefers the "many."
Plato
The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.
Plato
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.


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