1. “The heaviest penalty for declining to rule is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself.”
  2. “Come then, and let us pass a leisure hour in storytelling, and our story shall be the education of our heroes.” 
  3. “Musical innovation is full of danger to the State, for when modes of music change, the laws of the State always change with them.”
  4. “I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.”
  5. “Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul.”
  6. “The beginning is the most important part of the work.”
  7. “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.”
  8. “If women are expected to do the same work as men, we must teach them the same things.”
  9. “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.”
  10. “The object of education is to teach us to love what is beautiful.”
  11. “Have you ever sensed that our soul is immortal and never dies?” 
  12. “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.” 
  13. “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.”
  14. “The philosopher whose dealings are with divine order himself acquires the characteristics of order and divinity.” 
  15. “…if a man can be properly said to love something, it must be clear that he feels affection for it as a whole, and does not love part of it to the exclusion of the rest.” 
  16. “Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.” 
  17. “The man who finds that in the course of his life he has done a lot of wrong often wakes up at night in terror, like a child with a nightmare, and his life is full of foreboding: but the man who is conscious of no wrongdoing is filled with cheerfulness and with the comfort of old age.” 
  18. “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.” 
  19. “…it’s better in fact to be guilty of manslaughter than of fraud about what is fair and just.” 
  20. “Then we shan’t regard anyone as a lover of knowledge or wisdom who is fussy about what he studies…” 
  21. “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?
  22. 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….” 
  23. “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.”
  24. “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.” 
  25. “Excess of liberty, whether it lies in state or individuals, seems only to pass into excess of slavery.” 
  26. “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.”