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A HISTORY OF WESTERN PHILOSOPHY IN 66 QUOTATIONS

Get a quote or short passage from a classic work of philosophy delivered to your inbox each day along with related articles, videos, and podcasts to help you easily learn more. The first five quotes in the series are listed below:

1.

By convention are sweet and bitter, hot and cold, by convention is colour; in truth are atoms and the void.

– Democritus, Fragment 125

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2.

I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance.

– Socrates, as quoted in Diogenes Laertius, Lives of the Philosophers, Bk. II, Socrates

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3.

The unexamined life is not worth living.

– Socrates, as quoted in Plato, Apology, 37B, trans. Benjamin Jowett

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4.

And now, let me show in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened:—Behold! human beings living in an underground den; here they have been from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them, being prevented by the chains from turning round their heads. Above and behind them a fire is blazing at a distance….

They see only their own shadows, or the shadows of one another, which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave. To them, the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of reality.

– Plato, (edited version of) The Republic, 514A, trans. Benjamin Jowett

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5.

Until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes of this world have the spirit and power of philosophy … cities will never have rest from their evils, –nor the human race, as I believe.

– Plato, The Republic, V, 473A, trans. Benjamin Jowett

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