Another quotation that I have come across is the following, attributed to Plato:
Who are the true philosophers? Those whose passion is to see the truth.
Who are the true philosophers? Those whose passion is to love the truth.
It sounds a bit cute, doesn’t it? We have so many bogus quotes online. But it turns out that this one really does represent Plato’s views, even if the words are a summary. This commentary (online here) gives these exact words, as a summary of Republic, book 5, 475e. Looking at the old online Loeb, vol. 1 of the Republic, translated by Shorey, I see the sentiment is at the start of book 5, chapter 20, p.517.
XX, ” Whom do you mean, then, by the true philosophers? ” “Those for whom the truth is the spectacle of which they are enamoured,” said I.
Somewhat annoyingly I find that I have disposed of my copy of Sir Desmond Lee’s translation of the Republic in the Penguin series. (I remember writing him a fan letter, to which he very courteously responded). So here instead are the same lines in another modern translation:
“Who do you say are the true ones?” [philosophers] he said.
“The lovers of the sight of the truth,” I said.
More or less the same. We may allow the “quote”.
- R C Cross, A D Woozley, Plato’s Republic: A Philosophical Commentary, Springer (1979), p.139.↩