Misanthropy develops when, without skill, on puts complete trust in somebody, thinking the person absolutely true and sound and reliable, and then a little later finds him bad and unreliable; and then that happens again with another person; and when it happens often, especially at the hands of those one would regard as one's nearest and dearest friend, one ends up, after repeated hard knocks, hating everyone, thinking there's no soundness whatever in anyone at all. Have you ever noticed that happen? (...) Well, isn't it an ugly thing, and isn't it clear that such a person was setting about handling human beings, without any skill in human relations? Because if one handled them with skill, one would have surely recognized the truth, that extremely good and bad people are both very few in number and the majority lie in between.
Platão, Fédon, 89d5-90, Tradução e introdução de David Gallop, Oxford World Classics, 2009 (reimp.).
ἥ τε γὰρ μισανθρωπία ἐνδύεται ἐκ τοῦ σφόδρα τινὶ πιστεῦσαι ἄνευ τέχνης, καὶ ἡγήσασθαι παντάπασί γε ἀληθῆ εἶναι καὶ ὑγιῆ καὶ πιστὸν τὸν ἄνθρωπον, ἔπειτα ὀλίγον ὕστερον εὑρεῖν τοῦτον πονηρόν τε καὶ ἄπιστον, καὶ αὖθις ἕτερον: καὶ ὅταν τοῦτο πολλάκις πάθῃ τις καὶ ὑπὸ τούτων μάλιστα οὓς ἂν ἡγήσαιτο οἰκειοτάτους τε καὶ ἑταιροτάτους, τελευτῶν δὴ θαμὰ προσκρούων μισεῖ τε πάντας καὶ ἡγεῖται οὐδενὸς οὐδὲν ὑγιὲς εἶναι τὸ παράπαν. ἢ οὐκ ᾔσθησαι σύ πω τοῦτο γιγνόμενον; οὐκοῦν, ἦ δ᾽ ὅς, αἰσχρόν, καὶ δῆλον ὅτι ἄνευ τέχνης τῆς περὶ τἀνθρώπεια ὁ τοιοῦτος χρῆσθαι ἐπεχείρει τοῖς ἀνθρώποις; εἰ γάρ που μετὰ τέχνης ἐχρῆτο, ὥσπερ ἔχει οὕτως ἂν ἡγήσατο, τοὺς μὲν χρηστοὺς καὶ πονηροὺς σφόδρα ὀλίγους εἶναι ἑκατέρους, τοὺς δὲ μεταξὺ πλείστους.