Should a man live underground, and there converse with the works of art and mechanism, and should afterwards be brought up into the open day, and see the several glories of the heaven and earth, he would immediately pronounce them the work of such a Being as we define God to be.
It is just that we should be grateful, not only to those with whose views we may agree, but also to those who have expressed more superficial views; for these also contributed something, by developing before us the powers of thought.
It is clearly better that property should be private, but the use of it common; and the special business of the legislator is to create in men this benevolent disposition.
I call that law universal, which is conformable merely to dictates of nature; for there does exist naturally an universal sense of right and wrong, which, in a certain degree, all intuitively divine, even should no intercourse with each other, nor any compact have existed.
In the case of some people, not even if we had the most accurate scientific knowledge, would it be easy to persuade them were we to address them through the medium of that knowledge; for a scientific discourse, it is the privilege of education to appreciate, and it is impossible that this should ext
If then it be possible that one contrary should exist, or be called into existence, the other contrary will also appear to be possible.
We ought to be able to persuade on opposite sides of a question; as also we ought in the case of arguing by syllogism: not that we should practice both, for it is not right to persuade to what is bad; but in order that the bearing of the case may not escape us, and that when another makes an unfair
It is not easy to determine the nature of music, or why any one should have a knowledge of it.
While fiction is often impossible, it should not be implausible.
Every effort therefore must be made to perpetuate prosperity. And, since that is to the advantage of the rich as well as the poor, all that accrues from the revenues should be collected into a single fund and distributed in block grants to those in need, if possible in lump sums large enough for the
Property should be in a general sense common, but as a general rule private... In well-ordered states, although every man has his own property, some things he will place at the disposal of his friends, while of others he shares the use of them.
We must speak first about the division of land and about those who cultivate it: who should they be and what kind of person? We do not agree with those who have said that property should be communally owned, but we do believe that there should be a friendly arrangement for its common use, and that n
We should aim rather at leveling down our desires than leveling up our means.
How strange it is that Socrates, after having made the children common, should hinder lovers from carnal intercourse only, but should permit love and familiarities between father and son or between brother and brother, than which nothing can be more unseemly, since even without them love of this sor
Property should be in a certain sense common, but, as a general rule, private; for, when every one has a distinct interest, men will not complain of one another, and they will make more progress, because every one will be attending to his own business.
In the first place, then, men should guard against the beginning of change, and in the second place they should not rely upon the political devices of which I have already spoken invented only to deceive the people, for they are proved by experience to be useless.
The error of Socrates must be attributed to the false notion of unity from which he starts. Unity there should be, both of the family and of the state, but in some respects only. For there is a point at which a state may attain such a degree of unity as to be no longer a state, or at which, without
Every man should be responsible to others, nor should anyone be allowed to do just as he pleases; for where absolute freedom is allowed there is nothing to restrain the evil which is inherent in every man. But the principle of responsibility secures that which is the greatest good in states; the rig
There is an error common to both oligarchies and to democracies: in the latter the demagogues, when the multitude are above the law, are always cutting the city in two by quarrels with the rich, whereas they should always profess to be maintaining their cause; just as in oligarchies the oligarchs sh
Special care should be taken of the health of the inhabitants, which will depend chiefly on the healthiness of the locality and of the quarter to which they are exposed, and secondly on the use of pure water; this latter point is by no means a secondary consideration. For the elements which we use t
Women should marry when they are about eighteen years of age, and men at seven and thirty; then they are in the prime of life, and the decline in the powers of both will coincide.
Men must be able to engage in business and go to war, but leisure and peace are better; they must do what is necessary and indeed what is useful, but what is honorable is better. On such principles children and persons of every age which requires education should be trained.
Since the whole city has one end, it is manifest that education should be one and the same for all, and that it should be public, and not private - not as at present, when every one looks after his own children separately, and gives them separate instruction of the sort which he thinks best; the tra
That education should be regulated by law and should be an affair of state is not to be denied, but what should be the character of this public education, and how young persons should be educated, are questions which remain to be considered. As things are, there is disagreement about the subjects. F
Nature herself, as has been often said, requires that we should be able, not only to work well, but to use leisure well; for, as I must repeat once again, the first principle of all action is leisure. Both are required, but leisure is better than occupation and is its end.
The laws are, and ought to be, relative to the constitution, and not the constitution to the laws. A constitution is the organization of offices in a state, and determines what is to be the governing body, and what is the end of each community. But laws are not to be confounded with the principles o
It is evident, then, that there is a sort of education in which parents should train their sons, not as being useful or necessary, but because it is liberal or noble.
Any change of government which has to be introduced should be one which men, starting from their existing constitutions, will be both willing and able to adopt, since there is quite as much trouble in the reformation of an old constitution as in the establishment of a new one, just as to unlearn is
Youth should be kept strangers to all that is bad, and especially to things which suggest vice or hate. When the five years have passed away, during the two following years they must look on at the pursuits which they are hereafter to learn. There are two periods of life with reference to which educ
Women who are with child should be careful of themselves; they should take exercise and have a nourishing diet. The first of these prescriptions the legislator will easily carry into effect by requiring that they should take a walk daily to some temple, where they can worship the gods who preside ov