“Unrighteousness runs faster than death”, this philosophical aphorism, describes how the mind orders everything. Oftentimes, we are shackled by the chains we have created for ourselves, and this causes us to be misled by our methods. But we can change our circumstances if we want to. This article will give us an overview of Plato’s famous quotes, along with an explanation of each one.
Unrighteousness runs faster than death
According to Socrates, the path to happiness starts with abstinence from wrongdoing. Socrates compares death to unrighteousness and argues that it reaches a person before death does. Death is an extreme punishment but it is far less terrible than the consequences of ignorance. Thus, a man’s private life must come before his political and social obligations. Then, he can choose a path to happiness based on what he values.
Mind ordering all things
It’s easy to forget that Protarchus, a philosopher, also said that order is the result of the mind. He believed that free souls should pursue studies that are natural, rather than slavishly pursuing them. After all, what is learned by compulsion doesn’t stay with the mind, right? But does this make Plato’s famous line about mind ordering all things any less true?
Despite Plato’s eminently humanist outlook, his ethical thought is rooted in metaphysics. Interestingly, this metaphysical interest grew over the course of his long life. While the first and third dialogues don’t explicitly show the transcendence of virtue, the middle dialogues indicate a shift toward the metaphysical foundation of knowledge. This shift results in a positing of ‘Forms’ as the true nature of all things and the Form of the Good as a transcendent principle.
Being comfortable in one’s own chains
Socrates is a character in Plato’s famous ‘Allegory of the Cave.’ He says “Being comfortable in one’s own chains is the most important thing, because without chains we cannot progress or even live.” This quote is famous for several reasons, and the message of Socratic poetry is a good one. Plato’s famous line about being comfortable in one’s own chains reflects a common human concern for self-improvement.
Being misled by Method
Aristotle was of the opinion that Plato overrated the destructive effects of poetry and other works of art. But, Plato did not explicitly deny that they have destructive effects. The famous line about being misled by Method is a reminder of the difficulty of understanding the works of art in its full glory. Here, we take a look at the line in a more detailed way.
According to Plato, imitation is the production or reproduction of an image, something that exists in a particular state. Painting, for example, is a form of imitation, and it can be used as an example for all these cases. Impersonation, then, has an effect on the soul of the person who performs it. As such, we should be aware of the consequences of ignoring this fact.
This line is especially important for understanding the nature of imitative art. In Laws II, 668b-c, Plato associates music with the idea of correct imitation. The distinction is based on whether the object of imitation is true in both its qualitative and quantitative aspect. In other words, the image is correct if it is accurate, as Plato notes. To do this, we must understand that Plato’s line is a warning against imitating heroes, such as Achilles.
Mimesis is a difficult concept to define, and Plato’s argument is that we can’t understand it until we learn how to use it. As a result, we are misled by a faulty conception of it. But Plato is aware of this problem and strives to find a middle ground. Using painting as an example of mimesis, he suggests that an ideally beautiful figure is actually better than one that merely produces a similar image.
The famous line about being misled by Method is a key idea in Plato’s work, and a central theme throughout his Republic. This principle has become the hallmark of philosophy and helped define what we consider a good. Ultimately, this is the responsibility of a philosopher, and he is the only one qualified to govern society. During the Republic, Plato makes Socrates narrate his conversation with the philosopher. Throughout the dialogue, he talks about four regimes in reality: plutocracy, timocracy, and despotism.