Socrates Quotes

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Short Bio: Socrates was born in Athens, Greece in 469 BC and died age 70 in 399 BC. He was a Clasical Greek philosopher credited as one of the founders of Western Philosophy. Plato’s dialogues are among the most comprehensive accounts of Socrates to survive from antiquity.  Perhaps his most important contribution to Western thought is his dialectic method of inquiry, known as the Socratic Method.


It was first described by Plato in the Socratic Dialogues. To solve a problem, it would be broken down into a series of questions, the answers to which gradually distill the answer a person would seek. The influence of this approach is most strongly felt today in the use of the scientific method, in which hypothesis is the first stage.


Socrates died after being found guilty of both corrupting the minds of the youth of Athens and of impiety (“not believing in the gods of the state and subsequently sentenced to death by drinking a mixture containing poison hemlock.

“A Life without criticism and status is not a worth living.”
“Be as you wish to seem”
“Be nicer than necessary to everyone you meet. Everyone is fighting some kind of battle.”
“Be slow to fall into friendship, but when you are in, continue firm and constant.”
“Be true to thine own self”
“Beauty is a short-lived tyranny”
“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.”
“Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty”.
“Death may be the greatest of all human blessings.”
“Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have laboured hard for.”
“Envy is the ulcer of the soul.”
“Every action has its pleasures and its price.”
“Everything is plainer when spoken than when unspoken.”
“From the deepest desires often come the deadliest hate.”
“Get not your friends by bare compliments, but by giving them sensible tokens of your love.”
“Having the fewest wants, I am nearest to the gods.”
“He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.”
“He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.”
“He who would change the world should first change himself.”
“How many things can I do without?”
“I cannot teach anybody anything I can only make them think”
“I know you won’t believe me, but the highest form of Human Excellence is to question oneself and others.”
“If you don’t get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don’t want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can’t hold on to it forever. Your mind is your predicament. It wants to be free of change. Free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death. But change is law and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.”
“It is better to change an opinion than to persist in a wrong one.”
“It is better to suffer wrong than to do wrong”
“Know thyself.”
“Let him who would move the world first move himself.”
“Life contains but two tragedies. One is not to get your heart’s desire; the other is to get it.”
“Mankind is made of two kinds of people: wise people who know they’re fools, and fools who think they are wise.”
“May the inward and outward man be as one.”
“My advice to you is get married: if you find a good wife you’ll be happy; if not, you’ll become a philosopher.”
“No one knows whether death may not be the greatest of all blessings for a man, yet men fear it as if they knew it was the greatest of evils.”
“Once made equal to man, woman becomes his superior.”
“One should never do wrong in return, nor mistreat any man, no matter how one has been mistreated by him.”
“Prefer knowledge to wealth, for the one is transitory, the other perpetual.”

“Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs; therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity, or undue depression in adversity.”
“Remember, no human condition is ever permanent. Then you will not be overjoyed in good fortune, nor too sorrowful in misfortune.”
“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 beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.”
“The greatest way to live with honour in this world is to be what we pretend to be.”
“The highest realms of thought are impossible to reach without first attaining an understanding of compassion.”
“The hottest love has the coldest end.”

“The mind is everything; what you think you become”
“The mind is the pilot of the soul.”
“The more I know, the more I realize I know nothing.”
“The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.”
“The poets are only the interpreters of the Gods.”
“The really important thing is not to live, but to live well. And to live well meant, along with more enjoyable things in life, to live according to your principles.”
“The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not fighting the old, but on building the new.”
“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”
“The unexamined life is not worth living.”
“The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavour to be what you desire to appear.”
“Those who are hardest to love need it the most.”
“To be is to do”
“To find yourself, think for yourself.”
“To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge.”
“To move the world we must move ourselves.”
“True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, & the world around us.”
“Virtue does not come from wealth, but…wealth, and every other good thing which men have….comes from virtue.”
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
“Wealth does not bring about excellence, but excellence makes wealth and everything else good for men, both individually and collectively.”
“What screws us up the most in life is the picture in our head of what it’s supposed to be.”
“When the debate is over, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”
“When you want wisdom and insight as badly as you want to breathe, it is then you shall have it.”
“Wisdom begins in wonder.”
“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.”
“Worthless people live only to eat and drink; people of worth eat and drink only to live.”

2 comments on Socrates Quotes

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