The Republic Quotes

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The Republic The Republic by Plato
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The Republic Quotes (showing 1-30 of 96)
“The heaviest penalty for declining to rule is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself.”
Plato, The Republic
“I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.”
Plato, The Republic
“If women are expected to do the same work as men, we must teach them the same things.”
Plato, The Republic
“The beginning is the most important part of the work.”
Plato, The Republic
“Musical innovation is full of danger to the State, for when modes of music change, the laws of the State always change with them.”
Plato, Plato's Republic: The Theatre of the Mind
“The object of education is to teach us to love what is beautiful.”
Plato, The Republic
“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.”
Plato, The Republic of Plato
“Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.”
Plato, The Republic
“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, The Republic
“Have you ever sensed that our soul is immortal and never dies?”
Plato, The Republic
“Either we shall find what it is we are seeking or at least we shall free ourselves from the persuasion that we know what we do not know.”
Plato, The Republic
“The society we have described can never grow into a reality or see the light of day, and there will be no end to the troubles of states, or indeed, my dear Glaucon, of humanity itself, till philosophers become rulers 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, Plato's Republic
“In practice people who study philosophy too long become very odd birds, not to say thoroughly vicious; while even those who are the best of them are reduced by...[philosophy] to complete uselessness as members of society.”
Plato, Plato's Republic: The Theatre of the Mind
“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, The Republic
“Come then, and let us pass a leisure hour in storytelling, and our story shall be the education of our heroes.”
Plato, The Republic
“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, The Republic
“The philosopher whose dealings are with divine order himself acquires the characteristics of order and divinity.”
Plato, The Republic
“Excess of liberty, whether it lies in state or individuals, seems only to pass into excess of slavery.”
Plato, The Republic
“Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul.”
Plato, The Republic
“And whenever any one informs us that he has found a man who knows all the arts, and all things else that anybody knows, and every single thing with a higher degree of accuracy than any other man –whoever tells us this, I think that we can only imagine him to be a simple creature who is likely to have been deceived by some wizard or actor whom he met, and whom he thought all-knowing, because he himself was unable to analyze the nature of knowledge and ignorance and imitation.”
Plato, The Republic
“Reading Plato should be easy; understanding Plato can be difficult.”
Robin A.H. Waterfield, Republic
“... when someone sees a soul disturbed and unable to see something, he won't laugh mindlessly, but he'll take into consideration whether it has come from a brighter life and is dimmed through not having yet become accustomed to the dark or whether it has come from greater ignorance into greater light and is dazzled by the increased brillance.”
Plato, The Republic
“Here's something else I'd like your opinion about," I said. "If he went back underground and sat down again in the same spot, wouldn't the sudden transition from the sunlight mean that his eyes would be overwhelmed by darkness?"

"Certainly," he replied.

"Now, the process of adjustment would be quite long this time, and suppose that before his eyes had settled down and while he wasn't seeing well, he had once again to compete against those same old prisoners at identifying those shadows. Would he make a fool of himself? Wouldn't they say that he'd come back from his upward journey with his eyes ruined, and that it wasn't even worth trying to go up there? And would they -- if they could -- grab hold of anyone who tried to set them free and take them up there and kill him?”
Plato, The Republic
“Imagine that the keeper of a huge, strong beast notices what makes it angry, what it desires, how it has to be approached and handled, the circumstances and the conditions under which it becomes particularly fierce or calm, what provokes its typical cries, and what tones of voice make it gentle or wild. Once he's spent enough time in the creature's company to acquire all this information, he calls it knowledge, forms it into a systematic branch of expertise, and starts to teach it, despite total ignorance, in fact, about which of the creature's attitudes and desires is commendable or deplorable, good or bad, moral or immoral. His usage of all these terms simply conforms to the great beast's attitudes, and he describes things as good or bad according to its likes and dislikes, and can't justify his usage of the terms any further, but describes as right and good the things which are merely indispensable, since he hasn't realised and can't explain to anyone else how vast a gulf there is between necessity and goodness.”
Plato, The Republic
“What shall we say about those spectators, then, who can see a plurality of beautiful things, but not beauty itself, and who are incapable of following if someone else tries to lead them to it, and who can see many moral actions, but not morality itself, and so on? That they only ever entertain beliefs, and do not know any of the things they believe?”
Plato, The Republic
“χαλεπὰ τὰ καλά

Nothing beautiful without struggle.”
Plato, The Republic
“Those who don't know must learn from those who do.”
Plato, The Republic
“And then, at this stage, every dictator comes up with the notorious and typical demand: he asks the people for bodyguards to protect him, the people's champion.”
Plato, The Republic
“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, The Republic
“Money-makers are tiresome company, as they have no standard but cash value.”
Plato, The Republic

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