"You are wrong, my friend, if
you think a man with a spark of decency in him ought to calculate life or death; the only thing
he ought to consider, if he does anything, is whether he does right or wrong, whether it is
what a good man does or a bad man."
"Trees and fields tell me nothing: men are my teachers."
from THE REPUBLIC
"Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is
acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind."
"Rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul."
"Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another."
"But, whether true or false, my opinion is that in the
world of knowledge the idea of good appears last of all, and is seen only with an effort; and,
when seen, is also inferred to be the universal author of all things beautiful and right, parent
of light and of the lord of light in this visible world, and the immediate source of reason and
truth in the intellectual; and that this is the power upon which he who would act rationally,
either in public or private life must have his eye fixed."
"I am the wisest man in Athens because I know I don't know. I am only singularly ignorant.
The rest of the citizens are twice ignorant. They think they know, but they still don't know."
"I have hardly ever known a mathematician who was capable of reasoning."
"And what is good, Phaedrus? And what is not good? Need we ask anyone to tell us these
"To use words and phrases in an easygoing manner without scrutinizing
them too curiously is not in general a mark of ill-breeding. On the
contrary, there is something low-bred in being too precise. But
sometimes there is no help for it."
"Not one of them who took up in his youth with this opinion that there are
no gods, ever continued until old age faithful to his conviction."