Poets utter great and wise things which they do not themselves understand.
Courage is knowing what not to fear.
Nothing can be more absurd than the practice that prevails in our country of men and women not following the same pursuits with all their strengths and with one mind, for thus, the state instead of being whole is reduced to half.
The rulers of the state are the only persons who ought to have the privilege of lying, either at home or abroad; they may be allowed to lie for the good of the state.
The most virtuous are those who content themselves with being virtuous without seeking to appear so.
Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.
Knowledge is true opinion.
Know one knows whether death, which people fear to be the greatest evil, may not be the greatest good.
We ought to esteem it of the greatest importance that the fictions which children first hear should be adapted in the most perfect manner to the promotion of virtue.
Thinking: the talking of the soul with itself.
It is clear to everyone that astronomy at all events compels the soul to look upwards, and draws it from the things of this world to the other.
Injustice is censured because the censures are afraid of suffering, and not from any fear which they have of doing injustice.
Cunning... is but the low mimic of wisdom.
Then not only custom, but also nature affirms that to do is more disgraceful than to suffer injustice, and that justice is equality.
The punishment which the wise suffer who refuse to take part in the government, is to live under the government of worse men.
A hero is born among a hundred, a wise man is found among a thousand, but an accomplished one might not be found even among a hundred thousand men.
The first and greatest victory is to conquer yourself; to be conquered by yourself is of all things most shameful and vile.
Entire ignorance is not so terrible or extreme an evil, and is far from being the greatest of all; too much cleverness and too much learning, accompanied with ill bringing-up, are far more fatal.
We do not learn; and what we call learning is only a process of recollection.
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.
If particulars are to have meaning, there must be universals.
A state arises, as I conceive, out of the needs of mankind; no one is self-sufficing, but all of us have many wants.
Wealth is well known to be a great comforter.
Democracy passes into despotism.
I shall assume that your silence gives consent.