A Philosopher's Blog

Plato & The Law of Attraction

Posted in Metaphysics, Philosophy by Michael LaBossiere on May 2, 2007
Oddly enough, people who push the “law of attraction” claim that Plato accepted this principle.In the Republic, Book IV, Plato writes: “It would seem, Adeimantus, that the direction in which education starts a man, will determine his future life. Does not like always attract like?”It must be noted that Socrates is discussing education with Adeimantus and the others. He is not endorsing anything like the so called “law of attraction.” His view is that if a person is properly educated in his/her youth, s/he will tend to continue on the proper path. This is a far cry from the rather odd view of causality put forth in the “law of attraction” presented in works like The Secret.

If you doubt this, pick up a credible translation of the Republic and read Book IV carefully. You’ll see quite clearly what Plato is and is not claiming here.

It is also claimed by some that Aristotle held a view like that presented in The Secret. As a professional philosopher, I can assure you that is not the case. Again, if you have doubts I’d suggesting reading Aristotle’s writings. You’ll find some interesting stuff in there, but nothing like the “law of attraction” being pushed these days.

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12 Responses

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  1. Chin WH said, on May 8, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    It’s great to know that more and more people are getting exposed to The Secret and The Science of Getting Program. Recently Bob Proctor is talking about how to accelerate the process of attraction in an interview. Great stuff! You can get a copy of the interview here: http://www.visualizationtechnique.com

  2. mlabossi said, on May 10, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    Actually, it is not great. The law of attraction is implausible and has morally reprehensible implications. The fact that people are cashing in on poor reasoning and false hopes just makes it worse.

    • kelly martin said, on January 11, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      Why is the law of attraction implausible? How can a positive mindset be ‘poor reasoning’? If one is positive and treats the world around them positively, whilst accepting there will always be barriers, negativity and tragedy no matter how positive they think…surely that person is better off and well equipped than the one that has the negative mind set. For the positive person, life’s experiences are limitless. For the negative individual there is little hope, only the same repetitive strife. How is the positive better than the negative?

      • Darla J. said, on January 5, 2014 at 3:08 am

        I agree, Kelly Martin-I have been living my life mostly in a negative outlook…honestly since Ive been practicing the Law of Attraction, and having a positive mind set, I feel better Physically (disabled from a car accident) and I have been able to get rid of my Anxiety Medicine and My Anti-depressant…My husband is a Buddhist and I am a believer of the pagan Gods and Goddesses, and I asked my husband to watch “The Secret” after I have been gone for two months visiting my children and grandchildren, so this way when I get home we can be in sync with each other and full of a positive mind set and spirit together. I have already seen a big difference in my attitude, and how everything around me seems brighter, not gloomy, and full of hope and excitement, not dread. Im so grateful for being enlightened about the Law of Attraction-I don’t know about all the philosophy stuff, but it makes sense that when we are positive we attract positive, and when we are negative, we attract negative and spread it, I was pulling my husband down, these last few years with all my negativity, and now, my goal is to lift him up with my positive energy, why are people so afraid of this, and want to tear it down…they must not want a happy life…thats sad.

  3. Everything is energy said, on April 28, 2008 at 9:53 am

    It is great that we now get in the 21st century and get a global consciousness!

    Cheers

  4. gabbylynne said, on July 7, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    Is there any one sentence known as “Plato’s Law”?? I’ve been given such a sentence and have been trying to research and find it and have discovered that there seems to be no ONE Plato’s law. Not being a philosopher by education, but an accountant by education, and an artist at heart, philosophy research is a luxury for me that I am thoroughly enjoying. I have subscribed to your blog. If you could drop some hints my way, I would certainly appresciate it. And, by the way, I have had much trouble hearing my friends quote the book “The Secret” and attribute it to Plato, for I am thoroughly educated and knew without research that this was certainly not true.

  5. Michael LaBossiere said, on July 7, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    I can’t think of any reference to “Plato’s Law” in the sense of there being just one sentence that expresses his one law. However, there is a dialogue by Plato with the title “Laws.” The text of it is here: http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/laws.html

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  7. TheIntentionalSage said, on August 6, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    What if the world were different? What if the world were a place where everybody was happy? What if the world were a place where everything (animals and plant life included) was at peace? What if we, as humans, lived harmoniously with our surroundings? What if the purpose of life was to be joyful – all the time? The intention of this blog is to provide examples of answers to these questions.

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    Adhering to this premise, all of the posts that can be found at “Imagine Into Being” are intended to co-create the future. These “imaginings” are wonderful additions to the possibilities of what is to happen in the future. Every thought ever created is part of a grander collection of thoughts. The more times a thought is believed and energy it garners (by way of more and more people believing it), the more likely it is that this thought is going to occur. This is the perfect reason for this blog.

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  8. Naufal Andra (@Fal_Andra) said, on October 15, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Sorry, but I cant found The Republic Book XX by Plato. It’s end after Book X. Anyone can find it?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 16, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      Sorry, that should be book IV. Not sure why the original had Book XX. Book XX is only accessible to the Most Interesting Man in the World (hence the XX). Book XXX is only accessible to Vin Diesel.

  9. Paul David Burton said, on July 13, 2013 at 4:05 am

    I’ll be honest, the law of attraction is not a sound worldview. It is actually ignoring that which doesn’t go your way and only perceiving what you want to perceive. It is a like a self-hypnosis that leaves the individual as the god of their own universe, creating their own truth. Sure, things are made up of energy, but if there is objective truth (which I believe that there is) then the law of attraction cannot be it.


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