The classical Greek philosopher Plato has been the most studied of all the wise scholars of the ancient world making him integral to the influence on western thought. He grew up in the shadow of his teacher Socrates who taught him the art of relentlessly questioning everything in a bid to stimulate critical thinking.
Plato founded the Academy that many refer to as the father of universities and it was here that he discovered a prodigious talent called Aristotle that he helped to mold into one of the ancient worlds most eminent philosophers.
Unlike many of his ancient Greek philosophical peers most of the writings of Plato have remained intact, meaning he has become one of the most studied writers of his era. His dialogues have been dissected, discussed and digested by generations of students eager to learn how his teaching had an influence on both western and Islamic societies alike.
Plato was not just a philosopher as he was passionate about mathematics courtesy of being inspired by Pythagoras and so he continued to promote maths as a way of solving all sorts of problems as well as giving a greater understanding of many things in the real world.
As you would expect from such an eminent teacher of scholars he was good for a quip or two also, so here is my compilation of 20 of the best Plato quotes
Quotes About Plato
The mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead talked about foundations:
"The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato"
The English philosopher George Henry Lewes was respectful in his words:
"Plato was the most artistic of philosophers... among men of great eminence"
Galileo Galilei made this comparison:
"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"
Immanuel Kant made this observation:
"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"
From the world of science Isaac Newton came to this conclusion:
"Plato is my friend - Aristotle is my friend - but my greatest friend is truth"
The philosopher Bertrand Russell gave this assessment:
"It has always been correct to praise Plato, but not to understand him"