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Top 10 Plato Quotes That Will Make You Think

Discover the wisdom of Plato with famous quotes by Plato. Dive into the depths of philosophy with Plato philosophy quotes. Unlock timeless wisdom with wisdom quotes by Plato.
by The Blinkist Team | Nov 21 2023

Plato, the ancient Greek philosopher, is widely regarded as one of the most influential thinkers in Western philosophy. His works, written in the 4th century BCE, continue to shape our understanding of ethics, politics, and metaphysics. With his emphasis on reason and the pursuit of knowledge, Plato’s ideas remain relevant and thought-provoking, offering valuable insights into the human condition and the nature of reality.

Plato, the renowned ancient Greek philosopher, was known for his profound and thought-provoking ideas and his dialectic writings  such as “The Republic“. His writings continue to inspire and challenge us to this day. In this article, we have compiled a list of the top 10 Plato quotes that will make you think. These quotes cover a wide range of topics, from love and knowledge to justice and the nature of reality. Get ready to delve into the mind of one of history’s greatest thinkers and discover timeless wisdom that will leave you pondering the deeper questions of life.

10 Inspiring Plato Quotes to Expand Your Mind

Do not expect justice where might is right.


This quote emphasizes the notion that justice cannot be expected in situations where power and strength dictate the outcome. It suggests that fairness and equity are often overshadowed by those who hold the upper hand and can impose their will upon others. This quote serves as a reminder that true justice can only be achieved when the principles of right and wrong prevail over the dominance of might. It encourages us to question and challenge systems or individuals that prioritize power over fairness.

To begin is the most important part of any quest and by far the most courageous.


This quote highlights the significance of taking the first step in any endeavor and emphasizes the bravery required to do so. It suggests that the initial action is crucial and sets the tone for the entire journey. By acknowledging the importance of starting, this quote encourages us to overcome our fears and doubts, reminding us that the first step is often the hardest but also the most essential. It reminds us that courage is necessary to embark on new quests and embrace the unknown.

Poverty doesn’t come because of the decrease of wealth but because of the increase of desires.


Plato offers a thought-provoking insight into the nature of poverty and its relationship to desires. He suggests that poverty is not solely caused by a lack of wealth, but rather by an insatiable increase in desires. This quote challenges the common assumption that material wealth alone can alleviate poverty, highlighting the importance of examining our desires and finding contentment within ourselves. It serves as a reminder to prioritize our needs over our wants and to find fulfillment in simpler things rather than constantly chasing after more.

I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.


This quote reminds us of the importance of humility and self-awareness. It suggests that true wisdom comes from recognizing our own limitations and acknowledging that there is always more to learn. By admitting that we know nothing, we open ourselves up to new knowledge and experiences. This quote encourages us to approach life with a sense of curiosity and a willingness to learn from others. It reminds us that true wisdom lies in recognizing the vastness of what we don’t know and being open to continuous growth and learning.

We become what we contemplate.


This quote highlights the profound impact of our thoughts and the importance of being mindful of what we choose to focus on. It suggests that our thoughts have the power to shape our reality and influence the person we become. By contemplating positive and uplifting ideas, we can cultivate a positive mindset and attract positivity into our lives. Conversely, if we constantly dwell on negative thoughts, we may find ourselves becoming more pessimistic and attracting negativity. This quote reminds us to be mindful of our thoughts and to choose to contemplate ideas that align with our goals and aspirations.

Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow… even if that someone is yourself!


Once again, Plato imparts timeless wisdom with this quote, emphasizing the importance of perseverance and self-encouragement. It serves as a reminder that progress, no matter how gradual, should always be celebrated and supported. Plato encourages us to have patience and compassion for ourselves and others, understanding that growth takes time and effort. This quote inspires us to maintain a positive mindset and to never give up on our journey towards personal development and success.

Better to complete a small task well, than to do much imperfectly.


This quote, attributed to Plato, emphasizes the importance of quality over quantity. It suggests that it is better to focus on completing a small task with excellence rather than attempting to do many things but doing them poorly. Plato’s quote serves as a reminder to prioritize effectiveness and mastery in our actions, rather than spreading ourselves too thin and compromising the quality of our work. It encourages us to approach tasks with intention and dedication, ensuring that we give our best effort to each endeavor we undertake.

Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.


This line emphasizes the importance of intrinsic morality and personal responsibility. It suggests that truly good individuals do not require external rules and regulations to guide their behavior, as their innate sense of right and wrong motivates them to act responsibly. On the other hand, it implies that those who are inclined to act immorally will always find loopholes and ways to evade the constraints of laws. Ultimately, this quote highlights the significance of cultivating a strong moral compass within ourselves, rather than relying solely on external regulations.

The first and the best victory is to conquer self.


This quote emphasizes the significance of self-mastery and personal growth. It suggests that the greatest triumph one can achieve is not over others, but over oneself. By conquering our own fears, weaknesses, and limitations, we are able to unlock our full potential and become the best version of ourselves. This quote encourages us to look inward and focus on self-improvement as the ultimate victory in life.

The cause of all sins in every case lies in the person’s excessive love of self.


Plato offers a thought-provoking insight into the root of human wrongdoing. He suggests that the source of all sins can be traced back to an individual’s excessive self-love. This quote highlights the dangers of egoism and selfishness, emphasizing the importance of cultivating virtues such as humility and selflessness. Plato’s words serve as a reminder to examine our motivations and actions, encouraging us to prioritize the well-being of others over our own self-interests. By recognizing the destructive nature of excessive self-love, we can strive to lead more virtuous and ethical lives.

In conclusion, the wisdom of Plato is as relevant today as it was centuries ago. His insightful quotes have the power to challenge our perspectives, provoke deep thoughts, and encourage us to question the world around us. As we reflect on these profound ideas, let us not only seek knowledge but also strive to apply it in our daily lives. Let Plato’s words inspire us to continue seeking truth, pursuing justice, and cultivating wisdom as we navigate the complexities of existence. May these quotes serve as a catalyst for our own intellectual growth and contribute to a greater understanding of ourselves and the world we inhabit.


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