Plato was a philosopher, as well as mathematician, in Classical Greece. He is considered an essential figure in the development of philosophy, especially the Western tradition, and he founded the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with Socrates and his most famous student, Aristotle, Plato laid the foundations of Western philosophy and science.
Plato’s dialogues have been used to teach a range of subjects, including philosophy, logic, ethics, rhetoric, religion and mathematics. His lasting themes include Platonic love, the theory of forms, the five regimes, innate knowledge, among others. His theory of forms launched a unique perspective on abstract objects, and led to a school of thought called Platonism.
I think it will be really useful for all of us to learn more about Platonism, because it includes theories that can help us rethink our social life and improve ourselves. Let’s see some of Plato’s famous quotes….
1) “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.”
2) “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.”
3) “The soul takes nothing with her to the next world but her education and her culture. At the beginning of the journey to the next world, one’s education and culture can either provide the greatest assistance, or else act as the greatest burden, to the person who has just died.”
4) “An empty vessel makes the loudest sound, so they that have the least wit are the greatest babblers.”
5) “Love is a serious mental disease.” (Phaedrus)
…about people and their behavior
6) “Never discourage anyone…who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.”
7) “Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.”
8) “There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot.”
9) “There are three classes of men; lovers of wisdom, lovers of honor, and lovers of gain.”
10) “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.”
11) “The greatest wealth is to live content with little.”
12) “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”
…about politics, laws and war
13) “Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws”
14) “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.”
15) “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. ”
16) “Only the dead have seen the end of war.”
17) “One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”