STATEMENTS THAT PLATO NEVER MADE!
My general advice: When you see a quotation attributed to a philosopher, unless someone gives the name of the work (and in Plato’s case, the line numbers), you should be skeptical that the philosopher actually made the statement. The exception to this rule would be a scholarly paper, written by an expert in the field. Without further ado, here are quotations that Plato did not make, based on a search performed on a searchable CD-ROM/Online database of Plato’s work, and a reading of all the dialogues (including ones deemed inauthentic!) and his letters.
(1) "We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light." This one is repeated multiple times at these sites, for instance:
[It’s even on a T-Shirt!] http://t-shirts.cafepress.com/item/plato-dark-tshirt/80727557
(2) "Only the dead have seen the end of war."
Here’s an explanation of where this one came from: http://plato-dialogues.org/faq/faq008.htm
Here are two (# 3 and #4) that you can get T-Shirts, mugs, etc. made, from http://www.spaceandmotion.com/philosophy-shop/ancient-greek-philosophy-posters-t-shirts.htm
This is very uncharacteristic of Plato, given that he holds that dialectic (conversing to try to understand the essence of things, questioning assumptions, etc.) is the best part of philosophy, and it's modeled in the dialogue form itself.
(4) "He was a wise man who invented beer."
Besides that he never uses the word beer in the dialogues, Plato doesn't really think anything can be invented anyway - there is a Form of Beer, according to Plato, which humans can discover. In fact, according to the ancient biographer, Plato supposedly said,
"He advised those who got drunk to view themselves in a mirror; for they would then abandon the habit which so disfigured them. To drink to excess was nowhere becoming, he used to say, save at the feasts of the god who was the giver of wine." (Lives of the Eminent Philosophers, III.39)
"People are like dirt. They can either nourish you and help
you grow as a person or they can stunt your growth and make
you wilt and die."
This one is
found here (and elsewhere): http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/308591-people-are-like-dirt-they-can-either-nourish-you-and
(6) "Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something."
(7) "Music is a
moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind,
flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to
Plato does say something like this, here: "education in music
and poetry is most important ... because rhythm and harmony
permeate the inner part of the soul more than anything else,
affecting it most strongly and bringing it grace, so that is
someone is properly educated in music and poetry, it makes him
graceful, but if not, then the opposite. [And] because anyone
who has been properly educated in music and poetry will sense it
acutely when something has been omitted from a thing and when it
hasn't been finely crafted or finely made by nature." (Republic
III 401d-e) Why not just quote something Plato actually
said? : )
behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and
Found here: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato38673.html
(9) "We are twice armed if we
fight with faith."
Found here: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato159576.html
(10) "Every heart sings a song,
incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who
wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover,
everyone becomes a poet."
Found here: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato394857.html
(11) "Good people do not need
laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will
find a way around the laws."
Found here: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato161536.html
(12) "Music is the movement of
sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue."
Found here: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato159582.html
have the phrase "movement of sound", here (and see the (real)
Plato quotation under #7, above): "Acuteness and quickness,
whether in body or soul or in the movement of sound , and
the imitations of them which painting and music
supply, you must have praised yourself before now, or been
present when others praised them." (Statesman 306c-d)
(13) "Poetry is
nearer to vital truth than history." But he did
state, "poets as a class are divinely gifted and are inspired
when they sing" (Laws III 682a).
Please let me know if you are aware of others. Thanks! Dr. Dave Yount (email@example.com)