Socrates Quotes Of Wisdom

Occupation: Philosopher

Born: 469 BC in Athens, Greece

Died: 399 BC in Athens, Greece

Socrates was a Greek philosopher who helped form the foundation of Western philosophy. His ideas were thought to be rather radical at the time and he was sentenced to death be Hemlock poisoning.

Here is a list of some of his many wisdom filled quotes.


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Socrates Philosophy

“The beginning of wisdom is a definition of terms.”

“What a lot of things there are a man can do without.”

“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.”

“Slanderers do not hurt me because they do not hit me.”

“I was afraid that by observing objects with my eyes and trying to comprehend them with each of my other senses I might blind my soul altogether.”

“To find yourself, think for yourself. ”

“Know thyself.”

“He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.”

“If a man is proud of his wealth, he should not be praised until it is known how he employs it.”

“Where there is reverence there is fear, but there is not reverence everywhere that there is fear, because fear presumably has a wider extension than reverence.”

“They are not only idle who do nothing, but they are idle also who might be better employed.”

“One thing only I know, and that is that I  know nothing”

“Our prayers should be for blessings in general, for God knows best what is good for us.”

“I only wish that ordinary people had an unlimited capacity for doing harm; then they might have an unlimited power for doing good.”

“See one promontory, one mountain, one sea, one river and see all.”

“A system of morality which is based on relative emotional values is a mere illusion, a thoroughly vulgar conception which has nothing sound in it and nothing true.”

“By all means marry. If you get a good wife you will become happy, and if you get a bad one you will become a philosopher.”

“When desire, having rejected reason and overpowered judgment which leads to right, is set in the direction of the pleasure which beauty can inspire, and when again under the influence of its kindred desires it is moved with violent motion towards the beauty of corporeal forms, it acquires a surname from this very violent motion, and is called love.”

“Nature has given us two ears, two eyes, and but one tongue-to the end that we should hear and see more than we speak.”

“In childhood be modest, in youth temperate, in adulthood just, and in old age prudent.”

“The end of life is to be like God, and the soul following God will be like Him.”

“We are in fact convinced that if we are ever to have pure knowledge of anything, we must get rid of the body and contemplate things by themselves with the soul by itself. It seems, to judge from the argument, that the wisdom which we desire and upon which we profess to have set our hearts will be attainable only when we are dead and not in our lifetime.”

“Let him that would move the world, first move himself.”

“The comic and the tragic lie inseparably close, like light and shadow.”

“I am not an Athenian, nor a Greek, but a citizen of the world.”

“Call no man unhappy until he is married.”

“Happiness is unrepentant pleasure.”

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

“Wars and revolutions and battles are due simply and solely to the body and its desires. All wars are undertaken for the acquisition of wealth; and the reason why we have to acquire wealth is the body, because we are slaves in its service.”

“No man undertakes a trade he has not learned, even the meanest; yet everyone thinks himself sufficiently qualified for the hardest of all trades, that of government.”

“The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.”

“The nearest way to glory is to strive to be what you wish to be thought to be.”

“Be slow to fall into friendship; but when thou art in, continue firm and constant.”

‘False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.”

“The fewer our wants the more we resemble the Gods.”

“Life contains but two tragedies. One is not to get your heart’s desire; the other is to get it.”

“Whenever, therefore, people are deceived and form opinions wide of the truth, it is clear that the error has slid into their minds through the medium of certain resemblances to that truth.”

“If I tell you that I would be disobeying the god and on that account it is impossible for me to keep quiet, you won’t be persuaded by me, taking it that I am ionizing. And if I tell you that it is the greatest good for a human being to have discussions every day about virtue and the other things you hear me talking about, examining myself and others, and that the unexamined life is not livable for a human being, you will be even less persuaded.”

“The hour of departure has arrived and we go our ways; I to die, and you to live. Which is better? Only God knows.”

“To fear death, my friends, is only to think ourselves wise, without being wise: for it is to think that we know what we do not know. For anything that men can tell, death may be the greatest good that can happen to them: but they fear it as if they knew quite well that it was the greatest of evils. And what is this but that shameful ignorance of thinking that we know what we do not know?”

“Think not those faithful who praise all thy words and actions, but those who kindly reprove thy faults.”

“Give me beauty in the inward soul; may the outward and the inward man be at one.”

“He is rich who is content with the least; for contentment is the wealth of nature.”

“Remember, no human condition is ever permanent. Then you will not be overjoyed in good fortune nor too scornful in misfortune.”

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”

“There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.”

“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.”

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

“Every action has its pleasures and its price.”

“Remember what is unbecoming to do is also unbecoming to speak of.”

“Be as you wish to seem.”

“I know that I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing.”

“Are you not ashamed of heaping up the greatest amount of money and honor and reputation, and caring so little about wisdom and truth and the greatest improvement of the soul?”

“Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs; therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity, or undue depression in adversity.”

“We cannot live better than in seeking to become better.”

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

“Smart people learn from everything and everyone, average people from their experiences, stupid people already have all the answers.”

“Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.”

“Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.”

“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”

“Falling down is not a failure. Failure comes when you stay where you have fallen.”

“Be nicer than necessary to everyone you meet. Everyone is fighting some kind of battle.”

“All wars are fought for the acquisition of wealth.”

“Thou shouldst eat to live; not live to eat.”

“If you want to be a good saddler, saddle the worst horse; for if you can tame one, you can tame all.”

“One should never do wrong in return, nor mistreat any man, no matter how one has been mistreated by him.”

“Be the kind of person that you want people to think you are.”


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