On The Virtues Of Asceticism:
The soul reasons best when none of the senses troubles it… when it is most by itself, taking leave of the body and as far as possible having no contact or association with it in its search for reality.
(Plato, Phaedo, pp 102)
The body keeps us busy in a thousand ways because of its need for nurture… It fills us with wants, desires, fears, all sorts of illusions and much nonsense, so that, as it is said, in truth and in fact no thought of any kind ever comes to us from the body. Only the body and its desires cause war, civil discord, and battles… all this makes us too busy to practice philosophy.
(Plato, Phaedo, pp 103)
Philosophy sees that the worst feature of this imprisonment [to the body] is that it is due to desires, so that the prisoner himself is contributing to his own incarceration most of all. As I say, the lovers of learning know that philosophy gets hold of their soul when it is in that state, then gently encourages it and tries to free it by showing them that investigation through the eyes is full of deceit…
(Plato, Phaedo, pp 121)
On Reasonable Discourse:
There is no greater evil one can suffer than to hate reasonable discourse.
(Plato, Phaedo, pp 127)
You know how those in particular who spend their time studying contradiction in the end believe themselves to be very wise and that they alone have understood that there is no soundness or reliability in any object or in any argument.. it would be pitiable when a true and reliable argument, and one that can be understood, if a man who has dealt with such arguments as appear at one time true, and another time untrue, should not blame himself or his own lack of skill but, because of his distress, in the end gladly shift the blame away from himself to the arguments, and spend the rest of his life hating and reviling reasoned discussion and so be deprived of truth and knowledge of reality
(Plato, Phaedo, pp 128)
Arguments of which the proof is based on probability are pretentious..
(Plato, Phaedo, pp 130)
No one knows whether death may not be the greatest of all blessings for a man, yet men fear it as if they knew that it is the greatest of evils.
(Plato, Phaedo, pp 33)
On The Mediocrity Of Man:
The very good and the very wicked are both quite rare.. most men are between those extremes.
(Plato, Phaedo, pp 127)