Since those who rule in the city do so because they own a lot, I suppose they're unwilling to enact laws to prevent young people who've had no discipline from spending and wasting their wealth, so that by making loans to them, secured by the young people's property, and then calling those loans in, they themselves become even richer and more honored.
The inexperienced in wisdom and virtue, ever occupied with feasting and such, are carried downward, and there, as is fitting, they wander their whole life long, neither ever looking upward to the truth above them nor rising toward it, nor tasting pure and lasting pleasures. Like cattle, always looking downward with their heads bent toward the ground and the banquet tables, they feed, fatten, and fornicate. In order to increase their possessions they kick and butt with horns and hoofs of steel and kill each other, insatiable as they are.
The beginning is the most important part of the work.
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.

Plato (Πλάτων Plátōn; c. 427 BC – c. 347 BC) was an immensely influential classical Greek philosopher, student of Socrates, teacher of Aristotle, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens.


Quotations from Plato are often cited by Stephanus numbers, which are keyed to the original Greek and therefore independent of the translation used.


The Apology




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.
  • 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.  Even as I exhort you this day, and in all future time, whenever I meet with any of you, shall continue to remind and exhort you, O ye sons of heroes, that you strive to be the bravest of men.  And I think that I ought now to repeat what your fathers desired to have said to you who are their survivors, when they went out to battle, in case anything happened to them.  I will tell you what I heard them say, and what, if they had only speech, they would fain be saying, judging from what they then said.  And you must imagine that you hear them saying what I now repeat to you:

    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; considering that life is not life to one who is a dishonour to his race, and that to such a one neither men nor Gods are friendly, either while he is on the earth or after death in the world below.

    Remember our words, then, and whatever is your aim let virtue be the condition of the attainment of your aim, and know that without this all possessions and pursuits are dishonourable and evil.

    For neither does wealth bring honour to the owner, if he be a coward; of such a one the wealth belongs to another, and not to himself.  Nor does beauty and strength of body, when dwelling in a base and cowardly man, appear comely, but the reverse of comely, making the possessor more conspicuous, and manifesting forth his cowardice.

    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.

    And we shall most likely be defeated, and you will most likely be victors in the contest, if you learn so to order your lives as not to abuse or waste the reputation of your ancestors, knowing that to a man who has any self-respect, nothing is more dishonourable than to be honoured, not for his own sake, but on account of the reputation of his ancestors.

    The honour of parents is a fair and noble treasure to their posterity, but to have the use of a treasure of wealth and honour, and to leave none to your successors, because you have neither money nor reputation of your own, is alike base and dishonourable.

    And if you follow our precepts you will be received by us as friends, when the hour of destiny brings you hither; but if you neglect our words and are disgraced in your lives, no one will welcome or receive you.  This is the message which is to be delivered to our children.


  • Rhetoric, it seems, is a producer of persuasion for belief, not for instruction in the matter of right and wrong … And so the rhetorician's business is not to instruct a law court or a public meeting in matters of right and wrong, but only to make them believe.
  • 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.
  • The orators — and the despots — have the least power in their cities … since they do nothing that they wish to do, practically speaking, though they do whatever they think to be best.
  • 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.
    • Words spoken by Socrates, 482c


  • Knowledge is the food of the soul; and we must take care, my friend, that the Sophist does not deceive us when he praises what he sells, like the dealers wholesale or retail who sell the food of the body; for they praise indiscriminately all their goods, without knowing what are really beneficial or hurtful.
    • 313c, Benjamin Jowett, trans.


  • Μίμησιν μὲν γὰρ δὴ καὶ ἀπεικασίαν τὰ παρὰ πάντων ἡμῶν ῥηθέντα χρεών που γενέσθαι.
    • All that is said by any of us can only be imitation and representation.
    • 107b
  • Περὶ θεῶν γάρ, ὦ Τίμαιε, λέγοντά τι πρὸς ἀνθρώπους δοκεῖν ἱκανῶς λέγειν ῥᾷον ἢ περὶ θνητῶν πρὸς ἡμᾶς. Ἡ γὰρ ἀπειρία καὶ σφόδρα ἄγνοια τῶν ἀκουόντων περὶ ὧν ἂν οὕτως ἔχωσιν πολλὴν εὐπορίαν παρέχεσθον τῷ μέλλοντι λέγειν τι περὶ αὐτῶν: περὶ δὲ δὴ θεῶν ἴσμεν ὡς ἔχομεν.
    • I shall argue that to seem to speak well of the gods to men is far easier than to speak well of men to men: for the inexperience and utter ignorance of his hearers about any subject is a great assistance to him who has to speak of it, and we know how ignorant we are concerning the gods.
    • 107b


Oh dear Pan and all the other Gods of this place, grant that I may be beautiful inside.
  • ἐπ᾽ εὐτυχίᾳ τῇ μεγίστῃ παρὰ θεῶν ἡ τοιαύτη μανία [sc. ὁ ἔρως] δίδοται
  • οἷον πνεῦμα ἤ τις ἠχὼ ἀπὸ λείων τε καὶ στερεῶν ἁλλομένη πάλιν ὅθεν ὡρμήθη φέρεται, οὕτω τὸ τοῦ κάλλους ῥεῦμα πάλιν εἰς τὸν καλὸν διὰ τῶν ὀμμάτων ἰόν
    • As a breeze or an echo rebounds from the smooth rocks and returns whence it came, so does the stream of beauty, passing through the eyes which are the windows of the soul, come back to the beautiful one.
    • 255c
  • Socrates:  The disgrace begins when a man writes not well, but badly.
    Phaedrus:  Clearly.
    Socrates:  And what is well and what is badly—need we ask Lysias, or any other poet or orator, who ever wrote or will write either a political or any other work, in metre or out of metre, poet or prose writer, to teach us this?
    • 258d (tr. Benjamin Jowett)
    • paraphrased in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig:  "And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good—need we ask anyone to tell us these things?"
  • τοῖς μὲν οὖν τότε, ἅτε οὐκ οὖσι σοφοῖς ὥσπερ ὑμεῖς οἱ νέοι, ἀπέχρη δρυὸς καὶ πέτρας ἀκούειν ὑπ᾽ εὐηθείας, εἰ μόνον ἀληθῆ λέγοιεν: σοὶ δ᾽ ἴσως διαφέρει τίς ὁ λέγων καὶ ποδαπός.
    • In those days, when people were not wise like you young people, they were content to listen to a tree or a rock in simple openness, just as long as it spoke the truth, but to you, perhaps, it makes a difference who is speaking and where he comes from.
      • 275c, as translated by Joe Sachs in introduction to Aristotle's Physics: A Guided Study (2011), p. 1
  • 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.
    • 279 – a prayer of Socrates, as portrayed in the dialogue.
  • Friends have all things in common.
    • 279

The Symposium

I only wish that wisdom were the kind of thing that flowed … from the vessel that was full to the one that was empty.
  • εὖ ἂν ἔχοι ... εἰ τοιοῦτον εἴη ἡ σοφία ὥστ᾽ ἐκ τοῦ πληρεστέρου εἰς τὸ κενώτερον ῥεῖν ἡμῶν...
    • I only wish that wisdom were the kind of thing that flowed … from the vessel that was full to the one that was empty.
    • 175d
  • Neither family, nor privilege, nor wealth, nor anything but Love can light that beacon which a man must steer by when he sets out to live the better life.
    • 178c, M. Joyce, trans, Collected Dialogues of Plato (1961), p. 533
  • The vicious lover is the follower of earthly Love who desires the body rather than the soul; his heart is set on what is mutable and must therefore be inconstant. And as soon as the body he loves begins to pass the first flower of its beauty, he "spreads his wings and flies away," giving the lie to all his pretty speeches and dishonoring his vows, whereas the lover whose heart is touched by moral beauties is constant all his life, for he has become one with what will never fade.
    • 183e, M. Joyce, trans, Collected Dialogues of Plato (1961), p. 537
  • For once touched by love, everyone becomes a poet
    • 196
  • 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.
    • 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.
    • 212

The Republic

There is no one who ever acts honestly in the administration of states, nor any helper who will save any one who maintains the cause of the just.
  • There is no one who ever acts honestly in the administration of states, nor any helper who will save any one who maintains the cause of the just.
    • 496d
  • Since those who rule in the city do so because they own a lot, I suppose they're unwilling to enact laws to prevent young people who've had no discipline from spending and wasting their wealth, so that by making loans to them, secured by the young people's property, and then calling those loans in, they themselves become even richer and more honored.
    • 555c, G. Grube and C. Reeve, trans., Plato: Complete Works (1997), p. 1166
  • The inexperienced in wisdom and virtue, ever occupied with feasting and such, are carried downward, and there, as is fitting, they wander their whole life long, neither ever looking upward to the truth above them nor rising toward it, nor tasting pure and lasting pleasures. Like cattle, always looking downward with their heads bent toward the ground and the banquet tables, they feed, fatten, and fornicate. In order to increase their possessions they kick and butt with horns and hoofs of steel and kill each other, insatiable as they are.
    • 586a–b

The 7th Epistle

  • μόγις δὲ τριβόμενα πρὸς ἄλληλα αὐτῶν ἕκαστα, ὀνόματα καὶ λόγοι ὄψεις τε καὶ αἰσθήσεις, ἐν εὐμενέσιν ἐλέγχοις ἐλεγχόμενα καὶ ἄνευ φθόνων ἐρωτήσεσιν καὶ ἀποκρίσεσιν χρωμένων, ἐξέλαμψε φρόνησις περὶ ἕκαστον καὶ νοῦς, συντείνων ὅτι μάλιστ᾽ εἰς δύναμιν ἀνθρωπίνην.
    • After much effort, as names, definitions, sights, and other data of sense, are brought into contact and friction one with another, in the course of scrutiny and kindly testing by men who proceed by question and answer without ill will, with a sudden flash there shines forth understanding about every problem, and an intelligence whose efforts reach the furthest limits of human powers.
    • Online


  • It is impossible to conceive of many without one.
    • 166b
  • Just as things in a picture, when viewed from a distance, appear to be all in one and the same condition and alike.
    • 165c
  • 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?
    • 132a


  • Now in this island of Atlantis there was a great and wonderful empire which had rule over the whole island and several others, and over parts of the continent and, furthermore, the men of Atlantis had subjected the parts of Libya within the columns of Heracles as far as Egypt, and of Europe as far as Tyrrhenia. This vast power, gathered into one, endeavored to subdue at a blow our country and yours and the whole of the region within the straits, and then, Solon, your country shone forth, in the excellence of her virtue and strength, among all mankind.
    • Section 25b–c
  • ἡδονήν, μέγιστον κακοῡ δέλεαρ
    • Pleasure, a most mighty lure to evil.
    • Section 69d (W. R. M. Lamb's translation); also rendered: pleasure, "the bait of sin" (W.A. Falconer's translation).
  • τὸν μὲν οὖν ποιητὴν καὶ πατέρα τοῦδε τοῦ παντὸς εὑρεῖν τε ἔργον καὶ εὑρόντα εἰς πάντας ἀδύνατον λέγειν
    • It would be a hard task to discover the maker and father of this universe of ours, and even if we did find him, it would be impossible to speak of him to everyone.
    • Section 28c, Greek as quoted in The Watchtower, 2015, 2/15, pp. 19–23
  • So when the universe was quickened with soul, God was well pleased; and he bethought him to make it yet more like its type. And whereas the type is eternal and nought that is created can be eternal, he devised for it a moving image of abiding eternity, which we call time. And he made days and months and years, which are portions of time; and past and future are forms of time, though we wrongly attribute them also to eternity. For of eternal Being we ought not to say 'it was', 'it shall be', but 'it is' alone: and in like manner we are wrong in saying 'it is' of sensible things which become and perish; for these are ever fleeting and changing, having their existence in time.
  • And when the father who begat it perceived the created image of the eternal gods, that it had motion and life, he rejoiced and was well pleased; and he bethought him to make it yet more nearly like its pattern. Now whereas that is a living being eternally existent, even so he essayed to make this All the like to the best of his power. Now so it was that the nature of the ideal was eternal. But to bestow this attribute altogether upon a created thing was impossible; so he bethought him to make a moving image of eternity, and while he was ordering the universe he made of eternity that abides in unity an eternal image moving according to number, even that which we have named time. For whereas days and nights and months and years were not before the universe was created, he then devised the generation of them along with the fashioning of the universe. Now all these are portions of time, and was and shall be are forms of time that have come to be, although we wrongly ascribe them unawares to the eternal essence. For we say that it was and is and shall be, but in verity is alone belongs to it: and was and shall be it is meet should be applied only to Becoming which moves in time; for these are motions. But that which is ever changeless without motion must not become elder or younger in time, neither must it have become so in past nor be so in the future; nor has it to do with any attributes that Becoming attaches to the moving objects of sense: these have come into being as forms of time, which is the image of eternity and revolves according to number. Moreover we say that the become is the become, and the becoming is the becoming, and that which shall become is that which shall become, and not-being is not-being. In all this we speak incorrectly. But concerning these things the present were perchance not the right season to inquire particularly.
    • 38b, as quoted by R. D. Archer-Hind, The Timaeus of Plato (1888)
  • Time then has come into being along with the universe, that being generated together, together they may be dissolved, should a dissolution of them ever come to pass; and it was made after the pattern of the eternal nature, that it might be as like to it as was possible. For the pattern is existent for all eternity; but the copy has been and is and shall be throughout all time continually. So then this was the plan and intent of God for the generation of time; the sun and the moon and five other stars which have the name of planets have been created for defining and preserving the numbers of time. ...and a month is fulfilled when the moon, after completing her own orbit, overtakes the sun; a year, when the sun has completed his own course. But the courses of the others men have not taken into account, save a few out of many... they do not know that time arises from the wanderings of these, which are incalculable in multitude and marvellously intricate. None the less however can we observe that the perfect number of time fulfils the perfect year at the moment when the relative swiftnesses of all the eight revolutions accomplish their course together and reach their starting-point, being measured by the circle of the same and uniformly moving. In this way then and for these causes were created all such of the stars as wander through the heavens and turn about therein, in order that this universe may be most like to the perfect and ideal animal by its assimilation to the eternal being.
  • [L]et us assign the figures that have come into being in our theory to fire and earth and water and air. To earth let us give the cubical form; for earth is least mobile of the four and most plastic of bodies: and that substance must possess this nature in the highest degree which has its bases most stable. Now of the triangles which we assumed as our starting-point that with equal sides is more stable than that with unequal; and of the surfaces composed of the two triangles the equilateral quadrangle necessarily is more stable than the equilateral triangle... Now among all these that which has the fewest bases must naturally in all respects be the most cutting and keen of all, and also the most nimble, seeing it is composed of the smallest number of similar parts... Let it be determined then... that the solid body which has taken the form of the pyramid [tetrahedron] is the element and seed of fire; and the second in order of generation let [octahedron] us say to be that of air, and the third [icosahedron] that of water. Now all these bodies we must conceive as being so small that each single body in the several kinds cannot for its smallness be seen by us at all; but when many are heaped together, their united mass is seen...
  • When earth meets with fire and is dissolved by the keenness of it, it would drift about, whether it were dissolved in fire itself, or in some mass of air or water, until the parts of it meeting and again being united became earth once more; for it never could pass into any other kind. But when water is divided by fire or by air, it may be formed again and become one particle of fire and two of air: and the divisions of air may become for every particle broken up two particles of fire. And again when fire is caught in air or in waters or in earth, a little in a great bulk, moving amid a rushing body, and contending with it is vanquished and broken up, two particles of fire combine into one figure of air: and when air is vanquished and broken small, from two whole and one half particle one whole figure of water will be composed. Let us also reckon it once again thus: when any of the other kinds is intercepted in fire and is divided by it through the sharpness of its angles and its sides, if it forms into the shape of fire, it at once ceases from being divided...


  • οὐκ εἰσὶν οἱ παμπλούσιοι ἀγαθοί
    • The very rich are not good.
      • Book 5, 743c


  • I shall assume that your silence gives consent
    • 435b

Alcibiades I

  • Your pride has been too much for the pride of your admirers; they were numerous and high-spirited, but they have all run away, overpowered by your superior force of character; not one of them remains.  And I want you to understand the reason why you have been too much for them.  You think that you have no need of them or of any other man, for you have great possessions and lack nothing, beginning with the body, and ending with the soul.
    • Socrates speaking to Alcibiades
  • My love, Alcibiades, which I hardly like to confess, would long ago have passed away, as I flatter myself, if I saw you loving your good things, or thinking that you ought to pass life in the enjoyment of them.
    • Socrates speaking to Alcibiades
  • As you hope to prove your own great value to the state, and having proved it, to attain at once to absolute power, so do I indulge a hope that I shall be the supreme power over you, if I am able to prove my own great value to you.
    • Socrates speaking to Alcibiades
  • You want to know whether I can make a long speech, such as you are in the habit of hearing; but that is not my way.
    • Socrates speaking to Alcibiades
  • Socrates:  The shoemaker, for example, uses a square tool, and a circular tool, and other tools for cutting?
Alcibiades:  Yes.
Socrates:  But the tool is not the same as the cutter and user of the tool?
Alcibiades:  Of course not. …
Socrates:  Then what shall we say of the shoemaker?  Does he cut with his tools only or with his hands?
Alcibiades:  With his hands as well.
Socrates:  He uses his hands too?
Alcibiades:  Yes. …
Socrates:  And does not a man use the whole body?
Alcibiades:  Certainly.
Socrates:  And that which uses is different from that which is used?
Alcibiades:  True.
Socrates:  Then a man is not the same as his own body?
Alcibiades:  That is the inference.
Socrates:  What is he, then?
Alcibiades:  I cannot say.
Socrates:  Nay, you can say that he is the user of the body.
Alcibiades:  Yes.
Socrates:  And the user of the body is the soul?
Alcibiades:  Yes, the soul.


  • Wonder is the feeling of a philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder.
    • 155, The Dialogues of Plato, Volume 3, 1871, p. 377


  • No one should be discouraged, Theaetetus, who can make constant progress, even though it be slow.
    • Original Greek, from Sophist 261b: θαρρεῖν, ὦ Θεαίτητε, χρὴ τὸν καὶ σμικρόν τι δυνάμενον εἰς τὸ πρόσθεν ἀεὶ προϊέναι.
    • Also quoted in variant forms such as: Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow

In Diogenes Laërtius


  • Successful people never worry about what others are doing.
    • Alleged source in Plato unknown. Earliest occurrence to have been located is a Tweet from 2011.
  • Ignorance, the root and stem of all evil.
    • Attributed to Plato on quotes sites but never sourced.


  • Watch a man at play for an hour and you can learn more about him than in talking to him for a year.
    • Attributed to Plato in Confidence : How to Succeed at Being Yourself (1987) by Alan Loy McGinnis, this is probably a paraphrase of a statement which occurs in Letter of Advice to a Young Gentleman Leaving the University Concerning His Behaviour and Conversation in the World (1907) by Richard Lindgard:  "Take heed of playing often or deep at Dice and Games of Chance, for that is more chargeable than the seven deadly sins; yet you may allow yourself a certain easie Sum to spend at Play, to gratifie Friends, and pass over the Winter Nights, and that will make you indifferent for the Event.  If you would read a man’s Disposition, see him Game; you will then learn more of him in one hour, than in seven Years Conversation, and little Wagers will try him as soon as great Stakes, for then he is off his Guard."
    • Variants:
    • You can learn more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.
      • Attributed to Plato in Food Is the Frosting-Company Is the Cake (2007) by Maggie Marshall
    • You learn more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.
  • Necessity is the mother of invention.
    • Commonly misattributed due to Benjamin Jowett's popular idiomatic translation (1871) of Plato's Republic, Book II, 369c as "The true creator is necessity, who is the mother of our invention."  Jowett's translation is noted for injecting flowery, if not florid, language familiar to his Victorian era audience.  (See "Note on the Translation", by Elizabeth Watson Scharffenberger, ed., in Republic (2005), Spark Educational Publishing, ISBN 1593080972, p. liii.)  Jowett himself, in Plato's Republic: The Greek Text, Vol. III "Notes", 1894, p. 82, gives a literal translation of Plato as "our need will be the real creator," without the proverbial flourish. The Greek text is: ποιήσει δὲ αὐτήν, ὡς ἔοικεν, ἡ ἡμετέρα χρεία
  • Music is a moral law.  It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, gaiety and life to everything.  It is the essence of order, and leads to all that is good, just, and beautiful, of which it is the invisible, but nevertheless dazzling, passionate, and eternal form.
    • This quotation is not known to exist in Plato's writings.  It apparently first appeared as a quotation attributed to Plato in The Pleasures of Life, Part II by Sir John Lubbock (Macmillan and Company, London and New York), published in 1889.
  • 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.
    • This quotation, often attributed on the Internet to Plato, cannot be found in any of Plato's writings, nor can it be found in any published work anywhere until recent years. If it really were a quotation by Plato, then some author in the recorded literature of the last several centuries would have mentioned that quote, but they did not. The sentiment isn't new, however. The ancient Roman Seneca, in his work on "Morals," quoted an earlier Roman writer, Lucretius (who wrote about the year 50 B.C.), as saying "we are as much afraid in the light as children in the dark." (Seneca was paraphrasing a longer passage by Lucretius from De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things), Book II, lines 56 et seq.)

Quotes about Plato

Sorted chronologically


  • Why write about Plato nearly 2400 years after his death? Don’t we understand him by now? We do and we don’t. But more important than whether humanity’s collective knowledge about Plato, built up over centuries, includes mastery of his systematic philosophy is whether our generation understands Plato at all.
    • Danielle Allen, Why Plato Wrote (2010), Prologue: Why Think about Plato?
  • What is Plato, but Moses speaking in Attic Greek?
    • Aristobulus of Paneas
    • Note: The late antique Jewish philosophers considered Plato and Moses, thus Judaism, in concord. Christians inherited this idea and actively learnt Greek philosophers to develop their theoretical thinkings.
  • From Plato: the man who has an elevated mind and takes a view of all time and of all substance, dost thou suppose it possible for him to think that human life is anything great? It is not possible, he said. Such a man then will think that death also is no evil.
  • This is a fine saying of Plato: That he who is discoursing about men should look also at earthly things as if he viewed them from some higher place; should look at them…a mixture of all things and an orderly combination of contraries.
  • Justice is, for Plato, at once a part of human virtue and the bond, which joins man together in society. It is the identical quality that makes good and social. Justice is an order and duty of the parts of the soul, it is to the soul as health is to the body. Plato says that justice is not mere strength, but it is a harmonious strength. Justice is not the right of the stronger but the effective harmony of the whole. All moral conceptions revolve about the good of the whole-individual as well as social.
  • Plato held that those souls which in a previous state of existence (antedating Athens) had obtained the clearest glimpses of eternal truth entered into the bodies of persons who became philosophers. Plato himself was a philosopher. The souls that had least contemplated divine truth animated the bodies of usurpers and despots. Dionysius I, who had threatened to decapitate the broad- browed philosopher, was a usurper and a despot. Plato, doubtless, was not the first to construct a system of philosophy that could be quoted against his enemies; certainly he was not the last.
  • The classifications of 'early' and 'middle-period' dialogues rest squarely on the interpretative theses concerning the progress of Plato's work, philosophically and literarily, outlined above. As such, they are an unsuitable basis for bringing anyone to the reading of these works. To use them in that way is to announce in advance the results of a certain interpretation of the dialogues and to canonize that interpretation under the guise of a presumably objective order of composition—when in fact no such order is objectively known. And it thereby risks prejudicing an unwary reader against the fresh, individual reading that these works demand. For these reasons, I urge readers not to undertake the study of Plato’s works holding in mind the customary chronological groupings of 'early', 'middle', and 'late' dialogues. It is safe to recognize only the group of six late dialogues. Even for these, it is better to relegate thoughts about chronology to the secondary position they deserve and to concentrate on the literary and philosophical content of the works, taken on their own and in relation to the others.
    • John M. Cooper, Introduction to Plato's Complete Works (1996)
  • Plato's dialogues are writings—books—too; like all books, once written, their words are fixed for all time and all readers. But because they demand that the reader interpret and reinterpret the meaning of what is said, going ever deeper in their own questioning and their own understanding both of the writings themselves and of the truth about the subjects addressed in them, these writings speak in a unique new way to the reader. It may remain true that only a mind, and no book, can contain the knowledge of anything important. But a Platonic dialogue makes a unique claim to do what a book can do to engage a person effectively in the right sort of search for truth.
    • John M. Cooper, Introduction to Plato's Complete Works (1996)
  • My suggested approach to the reading of Plato pays full respect to this renunciation. But—with the reservations already noted about Plato's openness and experimental spirit—it also accepts the overwhelming impression, not just of Antiochus, but of every modern reader of at least many of his dialogues, that Platonism nonetheless constitutes a systematic body of 'philosophical doctrine'—about the soul and its immortality; the nature of human happiness and its dependence on the perfection of mind and character that comes through the virtues of wisdom, justice, temperance, and courage; the eternal and unaltering Forms whose natures structure our physical world and the world of decent human relations within it; the nature of love and the subservience of love in its genuine form to a vision of that eternal realm. These and many other substantive philosophical ideas to be explored in Plato’s dialogues are his permanent contribution to our Western philosophical culture. But we would fail to heed his own warnings if we did not explore these in a spirit of open-ended inquiry, seeking to expand and deepen our own understandings as we interrogate his texts, and ourselves through them.
    • John M. Cooper, Introduction to Plato's Complete Works (1996)
  • For the Greeks who believed in the immortality of the soul it may have been harder to accept the Christian preaching of the resurrection than it was for others. … The teaching of the great philosophers Socrates and Plato can in no way be brought into consonance [agreement] with that of the New Testament.
  • Despite the vociferous claims of the Platonists and Neoplatonists, Plato was not a mathematician. To Plato and his followers mathematics was largely a means to an end... they viewed the technical aspects of mathematics as a mere device for sharpening one's wits, or at most a course of training peparatory to handling the larger issued of philosophy. This is reflected in the very name "mathematics,"... a course of studies or... a curriculum. the Dialogues... such topics as harmony, triangular numbers, figurate numbers... which we view today as more or less irrelevant, if not trivial, were taken up at length. ...the guiding motive behind the... Pythagoreans and Platonists was... metaphysical ...which for the nonprofessional have all the earmarks of the occult.
  • His considered answer to what God was doing before creating the universe was "the world was made with time and not in time." Augustine's God is a being who transcends time, a being located outside time altogether and responsible for creating time as well as space and matter. Thus Augustine skillfully avoided the problem of why the creation happened at that moment rather than some earlier moment. There were no earlier moments. Identical reasoning applies to the scientific problem. If the universe originated in time, then it cannot have been caused by any physical process that has a finite probability, because if it did, then the event would already have happened, an infinite time ago. ...He wasn't even the first person to hit on the idea of time coming into being with the universe. Plato said much the same thing hundreds of years earlier. The history of philosophy is so rich and diverse that it would be astonishing if theories emerging from science hadn't been foreshadowed in some vague way by somebody.
    • Paul Davies, Cosmic Jackpot: Why Our Universe is Just Right for Life (2007)
  • Plato had defined Man as an animal, biped and featherless, and was applauded. Diogenes plucked a fowl and brought it into the lecture-room with the words, "Behold Plato's man!"
  • Xenophon, too, does not appear to have been very friendlily disposed towards him: and accordingly they have, as if in rivalry of one another, both written books with the same title, the Banquet, the Defence of Socrates, Moral Reminiscences. Then, too, the one wrote the Cyropaedia and the other a book on Politics ; and Plato in his Laws says, that the Cyropaedia is a mere romance, for that Cyrus was not such a person as he is described in that book. And though they both speak so much of Socrates, neither of them ever mentions the other, except that Xenophon once speaks of Plato in the third book of his Reminiscences.
  • What Plato lacks above all, perhaps, is the Heracleitean sense of flux and change; he is too anxious to have the moving picture of this world become a fixed and still tableau. He loves order exclusively, like any timid philosopher; he has been frightened by the democratic turbulence of Athens into an extreme neglect of individual values; he arranges men in classes like an entomologist classifying flies; and he is not averse to using priestly humbug to secure his ends. His state is static; it might easily become an old-fogey society, ruled by inflexible octogenarians hostile to invention and jealous of change. It is mere science without art; it exalts order, so dear to the scientific mind, and quite neglects that liberty which is the soul of art; it worships the name of beauty, but exiles the artists who alone can make beauty or point it out. It is a Sparta or a Prussia, not an ideal state.
    • Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers (1926), reprinted in Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books, 1991.
  • And now that these unpleasant necessities are candidly written down, it remains to do willing homage to the power and profundity of Plato’s conception. Essentially he is right–is he not?–what this world needs is to be ruled by its wisest men. It is our business to adapt his thought to our own times and today we must take democracy for granted: we cannot limit the suffrage as Plato proposed; but we can put restrictions on the holding of office, and in this way secure that mixture of democracy and aristocracy which Plato seems to have in mind. We may accept without quarrel his contention that statesmen should be as specifically and thoroughly trained as physicians; we might establish departments of political science and administration in our universities; and when these departments have begun to function adequately we might make men ineligible for nomination to political office unless they were graduates of such political schools. We might even make every man eligible for an office who had been trained for it, and thereby eliminate entirely that complex system of nominations in which the corruption of our democracy has its seat; let the electorate choose any man who, properly trained and qualified, announces himself as a candidate. In this way democratic choice would be immeasurably wider than now, when Tweedledum and Tweedledee stage their quadrennial show and sham. Only one amendment would be required to make quite democratic this plan for the restriction of office to graduates in administrative technique; and that would be such equality of educational opportunity as would open to all men and women, irrespective of the means of their parents, the road to university training and political advancement. It would be very simple to have and counties and states offer scholarships to all graduates of grammar school, high school and who had shown. a certain standard’ of ability, and whose parents were financially unable to see them through the next stage of the educational process. That would be a democracy worthy of the name.
    • Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers (1926), reprinted in Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books, 1991.
  • He filled his writings with mathematical discoveries, and exhibited on every occasion the remarkable connection between mathematics and philosophy.
  • But it's a false argument, because it assumes somehow that government is a way in which you put unselfish and ungreedy men in charge of selfish and greedy men. But government is an institution whereby the people who have the greatest drive to get power over their fellow men, get in a position of controlling them. Look at the record of government. Where are these philosopher kings that Plato supposedly was trying to develop?
  • Plato's most enduring influence on science was his advice to approach the study of nature as an exercise in geometry. Through this "geometrization of nature," which could best be done in disciplines that could be suitably idealized, such as astronomy, one can formulate laws that are as "certain" as those in geometry. As Plato has Socrates remark in the Republic: "Let's study astronomy by means of problems, as we do in geometry, and leave the things in the sky alone."


  • I would not do so much wrong to Plato, but yet I may truly say with Aristotle, that he too much lost himself in, and too much doted upon that, his Geometry: for that in conclusion these Mathematical subtilties, Salviatus, are true in abstract, but applied to sensible and Physical matter, they hold not good. For the Mathematicians will very well demonstrate for example, that Sphæra tangit planum in puncto [the sphere touches the plane at the point]; a position like to that in dispute, but when one cometh to the matter, things succeed quite another way. And so I may say of these angles of contact, and these proportions; which all evaporate into Air, when they are applied to things material and sensible.
  • We speak of a clock as an instrument for measuring time. In Plato and Aristotle's scheme of things, time (χρόνος) is itself a kind of clock, not just the passage of events, but a standard by which that passage can be measured. At one point Plato notes ...'men scarcely realize that the journeyings of these planets are time.' ...time is to be actually identified with the planetary motions.
    • W. K. C. Guthrie, A History of Greek Philosophy Vol. 1, "The Earlier Presocratics and the Pythagoreans" (1962)
  • 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.
  • In Plato and to a lesser extent in Aristotle we read that practical concerns are low and vulgar. It follows that business, as an inherently practical enterprise, is hardly worthy of esteem. Given the place of Plato and Aristotle on the intellectual landscape, we have a partial explanation of the disdain that members of the cultural elite have always exhibited toward business.
    • Stephen Hicks (2003). "Ayn Rand and Contemporary Business Ethics." Journal of Accounting, Ethics & Public Policy, Volume 3, Number 1 (Winter 2003), pp. 1–26
  • Plato was aware that divination is something inferior that pertains to the non-rational soul. The main point is that they [clairvoyants] name their illnesses, especially chronic nervous disorders that are not yet fully developed. Also, rheumatism, toothaches, yield to magnetism. Remarkably, it seems to have an effect on the maladies of menstruation. The somnambulists especially know how to specify these disorders and it is easy to admit that they discover deficiencies. They describe these conditions, but in an entirely ordinary manner, not in the manner of one who understands anatomy. Then they indicate the remedy for their disease.
  • Friendship in the Greek tradition, in the Roman tradition, in the old tradition, was always viewed as the highest point which virtue can reach. Virtue, meaning here, "the habitual facility of doing the good thing," which is fostered by what the Greeks called politaea, political life, community life. I know it was a political life in which I wouldn't have liked to participate, with the slaves around and with the women excluded, but I still have to go to Plato or to Cicero. They conceived of friendship as a supreme flowering, of the interaction which happens in a good political society.
  • The light dove cleaving in free flight the thin air, whose resistance it feels, might imagine that her movements would be far more free and rapid in airless space. Just in the same way did Plato, abandoning the world of sense because of the narrow limits it sets to the understanding, venture upon the wings of ideas beyond it, into the void space of pure intellect. He did not reflect that he made no real progress by all his efforts; for he met with no resistance which might serve him for a support, as it were, whereon to rest, and on which he might apply his powers, in order to let the intellect acquire momentum for its progress. It is, indeed, the common fate of human reason in speculation, to finish the imposing edifice of thought as rapidly as possible, and then, for the first time to begin to examine whether the foundation is a solid one or no.
  • Until the eleventh century, when the thinking of Aristotle reached Western Europe, men had believed along with Plato that man had three ways of knowing:
    1. He knew by sense experience.
    2. He knew by reason.
    3. And he knew by what Plato called Divine madness, or a direct contact with nonphysical reality; myths were one result of this last kind of knowing.
    • Morton Kelsey, Myth, History & Faith: The Mysteries of Christian Myth & Imagination (1974)
  • In one place revolutionary philosophers went on strike because they got a reading list including Plato, Descartes and other bourgeois idiots, instead of relevant great philosophers like Che Guevara and Mao.
    • Leszek Kolakowski, commenting on leftist campus radicals of the 1960s, in "My Correct Views on Everything: A Rejoinder to Edward Thompson's 'Open Letter to Leszek Kolakowski'", Socialist Register (1974)
  • 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.
    • Mark R. Levin, (2012) Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America, NY: Threshold Editions, ISBN 97814391732544 Invalid ISBN, p. 36
  • Plato was the most artistic of philosophers, and, among men of great eminence, one of the worst of investigators; not, assuredly, from deficient power, but from his disastrous misconception of Method. In spite of a certain loitering diffuseness of style, and an oppressive circumstantiality in refuting trivial considerations, no one before Plato, no one since, has managed the extremely difficult art of dramatic debate on philosophic topics with such commanding success; and in consequence of this fascinating art, aided by the union of dialectical subtlety with mystical yearnings, a subtlety which seems to give a hope to mysticism, and a warrant to transcendentalism, no one has exercised a more pernicious influence on culture. The charm of the artist has immortalized the vices of the thinker.
  • It is not in Science only that Plato is misled by his Method. The same confidence in deduction from unverified premisses vitiates his teaching in every other department of inquiry, moral and political; but in Science his errors are more patent, because his statements admit of a readier, and less equivocal, confrontation with fact.


  • Aristotle feels this so strongly with reference to Plato's external, as contrasted with his own immanent, teleology that, forgetting his own concession elsewhere, he once roundly asserts that the final cause is 'not touched by the Ideas'. Again, what is the relation of the Idea of the Good to other ends (Ideas) or to the special functions of things? Efficient causes Plato attributes at one time to Idea, at another to soul: which is his real doctrine? and what is the relation of Idea to soul? Aristotle, therefore, while willing to admit that Plato made 'stammering' efforts in the direction of efficient and final causes, was perfectly justified in thinking that he had not 'fully worked them out'.
    • James McLean Watson, Aristotle's criticisms of Plato (1909)
  • These ideas of planning [by dictators and would-be dictators] go back to Plato’s treatise on the form of the commonwealth. Plato was very outspoken. He planned a system ruled exclusively by philosophers. He wanted to eliminate all individual rights and decisions. Nobody should go anywhere, rest, sleep, eat, drink, wash, unless he was told to do so. Plato wanted to reduce persons to the status of pawns in his plan. What is needed is a dictator who appoints a philosopher as a kind of prime minister or president of the central board of production management. The program of all such consistent socialists—Plato and Hitler, for instance—planned also for the production of future socialists, the breeding and education of future members of society.
    During the 2300 years since Plato, very little opposition has been registered to his ideas. Not even by Kant. The psychological bias in favor of socialism must be taken into consideration in discussing Marxian ideas. This is not limited to those who call themselves Marxian.
    • Ludwig von Mises (1952, 2006) Marxism Unmasked: From Delusion to Destruction (Foundation for Economic Education, ISBN 1-57246-210-8
The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.
Alfred North Whitehead
  • Amicus Plato—amicus Aristotles—magis amica veritas

    (Plato is my friend—Aristotle is my friend—but my greatest friend is truth.)

    • Isaac Newton, Quaestiones Quaedam Philosophicae (Certain Philosophical Questions) (c. 1664)
  • It is no idle question to wonder whether Plato, if he had stayed free of the Socratic spell, might not have found an even higher type of the philosophical man, now lost to us forever.
  • Even Plato seems to me to be in all main points only a Brahmin’s good pupil.
    • Friedrich Nietzsche, Letter to Peter Gast, May 31, 1888. KSA 14.420. Quoted from Elst, Koenraad. Manu as a weapon against egalitarianism: Nietzsche and Hindu political philosophy in : Siemens & Vasti Roodt, eds.: Nietzsche, Power and Politics (Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2008).
  • The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.
  • [I]n my early manhood I learned to respect ignorance, to regard ignorance as an object of legitimate interest and reflection; and as I say, a sort of unconsidered preparation for this attitude of mind appears to have run back almost to my infancy. Moreover, when I got around to read Plato, I found that he reinforced and copper-fastened the notion which experience had already rather forcibly suggested, that direct attempts to overcome and enlighten ignorance are a doubtful venture; the notion that it is impossible, as one of my friends puts it, to tell anybody anything which in a very real sense he does not already know. It seemed extraordinary that this should be so. Nevertheless, there it was; and apparently no one could give,—certainly no one, not even Plato, did give,—any more intelligent and satisfying reason why it should be so than I could give; and I could give none at all.
    • Albert Jay Nock, Memoirs of a Superflous Man (NY: Harper and Brothers, 1943), pp. 16–17
  • Modern man, seeking a middle position in the evaluation of sense impression and thought, can, following Plato, interpret the process of understanding nature as a correspondence, that is, a coming into congruence of pre-existing images of the human psyche with external objects and their behaviour. Modern man, of course, unlike Plato, looks on the pre-existent original images also as not invariable, but as relative to the development of a conscious point of view, so that the word "dialectic" which Plato is fond of using may be applied to the process of development of human knowledge.
  • 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."
  • Socrates had only one worthy successor, his old friend Antisthenes, the last of the Great Generation. Plato, his most gifted disciple, was soon to prove the least faithful. He betrayed Socrates, just as his uncles had done. These, besides betraying Socrates, had also tried to implicate him in their terrorist acts, but they did not succeed, since he resisted. Plato tried to implicate Socrates in his grandiose attempt to construct the theory of the arrested society ; and he had no difficulty in succeeding, for Socrates was dead.

    I know of course that this judgement will seem outrageously harsh, even to those who arc critical of Plato . But if we look upon the Apology and the Crito as Socrates' last will, and if we compare these testaments of his old age with Plato's testament, the Laws, then it is difficult to judge otherwise. Socrates had been condemned, but his death was not intended by the initiators of the trial. Plato's Laws remedy this lack of intention. Here he elaborates coolly and carefully the theory of inquisition. Free thought, criticism of political institutions, teaching new ideas to the young, attempts to introduce new religious practices or even opinions, are all pronounced capital crimes. In Plato's state, Socrates might have never been given the opportunity of defending himself publicly ; he would have been handed over to the secret Nocturnal Council for the purpose of 'attending' to his diseased soul, and finally for punishing it.

    I cannot doubt the fact of Plato's betrayal, nor that his use of Socrates as the main speaker of the Republic was the most successful attempt to implicate him. But it is another question whether this attempt was conscious.

    • Karl Popper (1947, 2011), The Open Society And Its Enemies. Vol I: The Spell of Plato, p. 184.
  • Socrates had refused to compromise his personal integrity. Plato, with all his uncompromising canvas-cleaning, was led along a path on which he compromised his integrity with every step he took. He was forced to combat free thought and the pursuit of truth. He was led to defend lying, political miracles, tabooistic superstition, the suppression of truth, and ultimately, brutal violence.

    The lesson which we thus should learn from Plato is the exact opposite of what he tries to teach us. It is a lesson which must not be forgotten. Excellent as Plato's sociological diagnosis was, his own development proves that the therapy he recommended is worse than the evil he tried to combat.

    • Karl Popper (1947, 2011), The Open Society And Its Enemies. Vol I: The Spell of Plato, p. 189.
  • It has always been correct to praise Plato, but not to understand him.
    • Bertrand Russell; History of Western Philosophy, Chapter XIII: The Sources of Plato's Opinions
  • Plato certainly shows something significant. It is on average better to be just. The unjust man must always fear that others will discover his in justices and defend themselves against him, and is exposed to anxieties the just man escapes.
    • Alan Ryan, Introduction in Justice (1993) edited by Alan Ryan
  • Knowing why Plato took the short way he did is important, because philosophers, political theorists, and many rulers have been tempted to follow him; but, as Aristotle complained, Plato does not so much purify politics as purify it to death.
    • Alan Ryan, On Politics: A History of Political Thought: From Herodotus to the Present (2012), Ch. 2 : Plato and Antipolitics


  • We can imagine that the Academy, which could be attended only by men of leisure, was a cradle of discontent. The author of the Laws was a disgruntled old man, full of political rancor, fearing and hating the crowd and above all their demagogues; his prejudices had crystallized and he had become an old doctrinaire, unable to see anything but the reflections of his own personality and to hear anything but the echoes of his own thoughts. The worst of it was that he, a noble Athenian, admired the very Spartans who had defeated and humiliated his fatherland. Plato was witnessing a social revolution (even as we are) and he could not bear it at all. His main concern was: how could one stop it.
  • The New Deal gave us a proliferation of alphabetized federal agencies to do what Plato envisioned could be done, namely to plan for and direct the course of economic systems.
    • Butler Shaffer (2012). The Wizards of Ozymandias: Reflections on the Decline and Fall, Auburn, Alabama: Mises Institute, ISBN 978-1-610160-252-4 Invalid ISBN, p. 108
  • Philosophers from Plato to John Dewey have been keenly aware that good or bad education is primarily a matter of good or bad philosophy.
    • Christina Hoff Sommers, "Feminism and Resentment", Reason Papers, No. 18, Fall 1993, pp. 1–15
  • [A] eugenist does not have to be a Darwinian. Plato, for example, was a eugenist thousands of years before Darwinism was thought of.
    • David Stove (1995). Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity, and Other Fables of Evolution, ISBN 185972 306 3
  • Plato's discovery went as follows.
It is possible for something to be a certain way and for something else to be the same way.
There are universals.
(Tumultuous applause, which lasts, despite occasional subsidences, 2,400 years.)[…]
'Universals' is simply the name philosophers give to the ways in which two or more things can be the same.
  • David Stove (1995). Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity, and Other Fables of Evolution, ISBN 185972 306 3
  • Plato wove together separate threads from three earlier philosophers: the mathematics of Pythagoras, the atomism of Demokritos, and the four elements of Empedokles. As happens with the best scientific syntheses, the resulting theory transformed the components from which it started, and was intellectually more powerful than any of them. For these geometrical atoms differed from those of Demokritos in having a limited number of definite shapes, governed by precise mathematical theorems; and furthermore, they were no longer immutable, but could change into one another in ways that could be related back to their geometrical compositions. As a result, Plato could envisage transmutations of a kind that Demokritos did not allow for, and so introduced a new, quantitative element into the analysis of material change. ...For the regular solids can all be built up from two simple triangles... the fundamental elements of his theory.
  • The Platonic-Aristotelian problem seems to me as well to be the inevitable starting-point. I see it in the following way: at the center of Platonic political thinking stand the fundamental experiences, which are tied together with the person and death of Socrates—catharsis through consciousness of death and the enthusiasm of eros both pave the way for the right ordering of the soul (Dike). The theoretical political-ethical achievement seems secondary to these fundamental experiences. Only when the fundamental order of the soul is defined, can the field of social relations determined by it be systematically ordered. In this sense, I understand the theoretical-scientific achievement of Plato as founded in myth (which he conveys as the representation of the fundamental experiences in the Phaedo, Symposium, the Republic and the Laws). The problem is thereby complicated in that Plato orients his idea of science to the nonmythical, person-peripheral sphere of logic, mathematics, and dialectic.
    • Eric Voegelin, letter to Leo Strauss, December 9, 1942, published in Faith And political Philosophy: The Correspondence between Leo Strauss and Eric Voegelin, 1934-1964 (2004)
  • Throughout the Middle Ages the Timaeus... shaped the scientific imagination of the West, and together with Genesis challenged medieval thinkers to fashion their own "likely story" of the world's beginnings.
    • Arthur Zajonc, Catching the Light: The Entwined History of Light and Mind (1993)

See also

Ancient Greek schools of philosophy
Pre-Socratic AnaxagorasAnaximanderAnaximenesDemocritusEmpedoclesHeraclitus • Leucippus • MelissusParmenidesProtagorasPythagorasThalesZeno of Elea
Socratic Antisthenes • Aristippus • AristotleDiogenes of Sinope • Euclid of Megara • Phaedo of Elis • PlatoSocrates
Hellenistic Apollonius of TyanaAugustineEpictetusEpicurus • John Philoponus • LucretiusPlotinusProclus • Pyrrho • Sextus EmpiricusZeno of Citium
Philosophy of science
ConceptsAnalysisA priori and a posterioriCausalityDemarcation problemFactInductive reasoningInquiryNatureObjectivityObservationParadigmProblem of inductionScientific methodScientific revolutionScientific theory
Related topicsAlchemyEpistemologyHistory of scienceLogicMetaphysicsPseudoscienceRelationship between religion and scienceSociology of scientific knowledge
Philosophers of science PlatoAristotleStoicism
AverroesAvicennaRoger BaconWilliam of Ockham
Francis BaconThomas HobbesRené DescartesGalileo GalileiPierre GassendiIsaac NewtonDavid Hume
Immanuel KantFriedrich SchellingWilliam WhewellAuguste ComteJohn Stuart MillHerbert SpencerWilhelm WundtCharles Sanders PeirceHenri PoincaréPierre DuhemRudolf SteinerKarl Pearson
Alfred North WhiteheadBertrand RussellAlbert EinsteinOtto NeurathC. D. BroadMichael PolanyiHans ReichenbachRudolf CarnapKarl PopperW. V. O. QuineThomas KuhnImre LakatosPaul FeyerabendJürgen HabermasIan HackingBas van FraassenLarry LaudanDaniel Dennett

Social and political philosophy
PhilosophersAmbedkarArendtAristotleAugustineAurobindoAquinasAronAverroesAzurmendiBadiouBakuninBaudrillardBaumanBenthamBerlinBurkeJudith ButlerCamusChanakyaChomskyCiceroComteConfuciusDe BeauvoirDebordDu BoisDurkheimEmersonEngelsFanonFoucaultFourierFranklinGandhiGentileGramsciGrotiusHabermasHan FeiHayekHegelHeideggerHobbesHumeIrigarayJeffersonKantKierkegaardKirkKropotkinLaoziLeibnizLeninLockeLuxemburgMachiavelliMaistreMalebrancheMaoMarcuseMaritainMarxMenciusMichelsMillMisesMontesquieuMoziMuhammadNegriNiebuhrNietzscheNozickOakeshottOrtegaPaineParetoPlatoPolanyiPopperRadhakrishnanRandRawlsRenanRothbardRousseauRoyceRussellSadeSantayanaSartreSchmittSearleSkinnerSmithSocratesSombartSpencerSpinozaStirnerStraussSunSun TzuTaineTaylorThucydidesThoreauTocquevilleVivekanandaVoltaireWalzerWeberŽižek
Social theoriesAnarchismAuthoritarianismCollectivismCommunismConfucianismConservatismFascismIndividualismLiberalismLibertarianismRepublicanismSocial constructionismSocialismUtilitarianism
ConceptsCivil disobedienceJusticeLawPeacePropertyRevolutionRightsSocial contractSocietyTyrannyWar
Forms of ruleAristocracyBureaucracyDemocracyMeritocracyPlutocracyTechnocracy
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