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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Plato and the dialogues


Photo source: Wikimedia Commons, Marie-Lan Nguyen (Jastrow)

Photo license: CC BY 3.0


Plato (427-347 BC) was a Greek philosopher best known as the founder of the Academy in Athens and regarded by some as the most influential philosopher in history. Physicist Wolfgang Pauli said,


"Modern man, seeking a middle position in the evaluation of sense impression and thought, can follow 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 behavior." (Writings on Physics and Philosophy, 1994 posthumous)


The rest of this post is some quotes from Plato.




"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." (Menexenus)


"How can you prove whether at this moment we are sleeping, and all our thoughts are a dream; or whether we are awake, and talking to one another in the waking state?" (




"A poet, you see, is a light thing, and winged and holy, and cannot compose before he gets inspiration and loses control of his senses and his reason has deserted him." (


"All that is said by us can only be imitation and representation." (Critias)


"Calligraphy is a geometry of the soul which manifests itself physically." (




"Beauty of style, harmony, grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity - mean the true simplicity of a rightly and nobly ordered mind and character..." (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." (The Republic)