Inspiration and wisdom from divine felines

199 Quotes About Socrates

Wikipedia Summary for Socrates

Socrates (Ancient Greek: Σωκράτης Sōkrátēs [sɔːkrátɛːs]; c. 470 – 399 BC) was a Greek philosopher from Athens who is credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, and as being the first moral philosopher of the Western ethical tradition of thought.

An enigmatic figure, he authored no texts, and is known chiefly through the accounts of classical writers composing after his lifetime, particularly his students Plato and Xenophon. Other sources include the contemporaneous Antisthenes, Aristippus, and Aeschines of Sphettos. Aristophanes, a playwright, is the main contemporary author to have written plays mentioning Socrates during Socrates' lifetime, although a fragment of Ion of Chios' Travel Journal provides important information about Socrates' youth.

Plato's dialogues are among the most comprehensive accounts of Socrates to survive from antiquity, from which Socrates has become renowned for his contributions to the fields of ethics and epistemology. It is this Platonic Socrates who lends his name to the concepts of Socratic irony and the Socratic method, or elenchus. However, questions remain regarding the distinction between the real-life Socrates and Plato's portrayal of Socrates in his dialogues.

Socrates exerted a strong influence on philosophers in later antiquity and in the modern era. Depictions of Socrates in art, literature and popular culture have made him one of the most widely known figures in the Western philosophical tradition.

sunset

I am very conscious that I am not wise at all.

--Socrates

white rose enclosed photograph

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

--Socrates

Oak Creek Sedona

One should eat to live; not live to eat.

--Socrates

woman standing on forest

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

--Socrates

fine trees waving

Is it not, then, better to be ridiculous and friendly than clever and hostile?

--Socrates

man in blue jacket and blue pants carrying black and red backpack standing on snow covered

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.

--Socrates

white and red flower with green leaves

The easiest and noblest way is not to be crushing others, but to be improving yourselves.

--Socrates

sunset

Whoever would have his body supple, easy and healthful should learn to dance.

--Socrates

white and purple flower in macro shot

There is no illness of the body except for the mind.

--Socrates

black dragonfly perched on green grass in close up photography during daytime

In every sort of danger there are various ways of winning through, if one is ready to do and say anything whatever.

--Socrates


depth photography of purple petaled flowers

The life of which meaning one never ponders is not worth living.

--Socrates

silhouette of mountains under blue sky during daytime

A disorderly mob is no more an army than a heap of building materials is a house.

--Socrates

light blue

God would seem to indicate to us and not allow us to doubt that these beautiful poems are not human, or the work of man, but divine and the work of God; and that the poets are only the interpreters of the Gods.

--Socrates

sunflower

Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others.

--Socrates

silhouette of three men falling in line while walking during golden hour

Let the questions be the curriculum.

--Socrates

yellow bee beside purple petaled flower during daytime

I don't care what people say about me. I do care about my mistakes.

--Socrates

silhouette photo of mountain during nighttime

Know thyself.

--Socrates

rock formation under starry skies

True perfection is a bold quest to seek. Only the willing and true of heart will seek the betterment of many.

--Socrates

mountains under starry sky during nighttime

Admitting one's ignorance is the first step in acquiring knowledge.

--Socrates

birds flying under cloudy sky during daytime

The greatest flood has the soonest ebb; the sorest tempest the most sudden calm; the hottest love the coldest end; and from the deepest desire oftentimes ensues the deadliest hate.

--Socrates

orange room with open door

By all means marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy. If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.

--Socrates


clear glass hour glass with black liquid

Once made equal to man, woman becomes his superior.

--Socrates

landscape photography of mountain hit by sun rays

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.

--Socrates

aerial photography of pine trees

All thinking begins with wondering.

--Socrates

man standing outdoors

If thou continuous to take delight in idle argumentation thou mayest be qualified to combat with the sophists, but will never know how to live with men.

--Socrates

green grass field

It is better to make a mistake with full force of your being than to carefully avoid mistakes with a trembling spirit.

--Socrates

beige concrete wall

You never know a line is crooked unless you have a straight one to put next to it.

--Socrates


shallow focus photography of white flowers

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.

--Socrates

person holding white mini bell alarmclock

Knowledge is our ultimate good.

--Socrates

gray hummingbird

True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing.

--Socrates

Longer Version:

True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing. And in knowing that you know nothing, that makes you the smartest of all.


close shot of yellow flowers

Better to do a little well, then a great deal badly.

--Socrates

body of water surrounded with plants under cloudy sky

As to marriage or celibacy, let a man take which course he will, he will be sure to repent.

--Socrates

white swan on blue sea during daytime

No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.

--Socrates

desert grassland

The understanding of mathematics is necessary for a sound grasp of ethics.

--Socrates

yellow sunflower field under blue sky during daytime

I prefer to be refuted than to refute, for it is a greater good for oneself to be freed from the greatest evil than to free another.

--Socrates

photo of pine tree

The poets are only the interpreters of the Gods.

--Socrates

empty brown concrete stairs beside green grass under starry sky long-exposure photography

The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.

--Socrates


sunset with rainbow

Beauty is the bait which with delight allures man to enlarge his kind.

--Socrates

man playing soccer during daytime

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

--Socrates

white pampas grasses near body of water at daytime

The rest of the world lives to eat, while I eat to live.

--Socrates


toddlers standing outdoors

The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.

--Socrates

silhouette of hugging couple

Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers.

--Socrates

bonfire in forest

To them, I said, the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images.

--Socrates

woman wearing black top standing near yellow wall

It is not the purpose of a juryman's office to give justice as a favor to whoever seems good to him, but to judge according to law, and this he has sworn to do.

--Socrates

pot on window with flowers

I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.

--Socrates

green palm tree during daytime

I soon realized that poets do not compose their poems with knowledge, but by some inborn talent and by inspiration, like seers and prophets who also say many fine things without any understanding of what they say.

--Socrates

white wooden door

Man must rise above the Earth -- to the top of the atmosphere and beyond -- for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives.

--Socrates

woman snorkeling

I have not sought during my life to amass wealth and to adorn my body, but I have sought to adorn my soul with the jewels of wisdom, patience, and above all with a love of liberty.

--Socrates

black and white photography of alarm clock displaying 1:37 time

The nearest way to glory a shortcut, as it were is to strive to be what you wish to be thought to be.

--Socrates

leafless tree under gray sky

I am wiser than this man, for neither of us appears to know anything great and good; but he fancies he knows something, although he knows nothing; whereas I, as I do not know anything, so I do not fancy I do.

--Socrates

Longer Version:

I am wiser than this man, for neither of us appears to know anything great and good; but he fancies he knows something, although he knows nothing; whereas I, as I do not know anything, so I do not fancy I do. In this trifling particular, then, I appear to be wiser than he, because I do not fancy I know what I do not know.



white Starbuck plastic cup on brown fabric armchair

The greatest blessing granted to mankind come by way of madness, which is a divine gift.

--Socrates

brown mountain

Though flattery blossoms like friendship, yet there is a vast difference in the fruit.

--Socrates

person holding sunflower

She soars on her own wings.

--Socrates

woman in blue denim jacket and black pants standing beside train

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

--Socrates

woman in black shirt walking on sidewalk near brown concrete wall partition

The shortest and surest way to live with honor in the world, is to be in reality what we would appear to be, all human virtues increase and strengthen themselves by the practice and experience of them.

--Socrates

water on seashore

Beloved Pan and all ye other gods who haunt this place, give me beauty in the inward soul, and may the outward and the inner man be at one.

--Socrates

leafless tree under gray sky

Aren't you ashamed to be concerned so much about making all the money you can and advancing your reputation and prestige, while for truth and wisdom and the improvement of your souls you have no thought or car?

--Socrates

white pampas grasses near body of water at daytime

I am a citizen, not of Athens, or Greece, but of the world.

--Socrates


person holding sunflower bouquet during daytime

I am that gadfly which God has attached to the state, and all day long and in all places am always fastening upon you, arousing and persuading and reproaching you.

--Socrates

white flower

Why should I resent it when an ass kicks me?

--Socrates

white oriental lily flower

In all of us, even in good men, there is a lawless wild-beast nature, which peers out in sleep.

--Socrates

pink flower with green stem

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

--Socrates

raging waves through shores

By far the greatest and most admirable form of wisdom is that needed to plan and beautify cities and human communities.

--Socrates

brown pathway between green plants

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is a habit.

--Socrates

sunflower field under white sky during daytime

Do not be angry with me if I tell you the truth.

--Socrates


four wooden boat on teal sea

I know one thing, that I know nothing.

--Socrates



silhouette of elephant on brown sand during sunset

Only the knowledge that comes from inside is the real Knowledge.

--Socrates

yellow painted wall

To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.

--Socrates

silhouette of man standing on hill during starry night

If the whole world depends on today's youth, I can't see the world lasting another 100 years.

--Socrates


black and white rectangular frame

If measure and symmetry are absent from any composition in any degree, ruin awaits both the ingredients and the composition... Measure and symmetry are beauty and virtue the world over.

--Socrates

silhouette of person on top of mountain pointing flashlight on sky filled with stars at night time

Man's life is like a drop of dew on a leaf.

--Socrates


silhouette of person standing beside bare tree under stary sky

When you want wisdom and insight as badly as you want to breathe, it is then you shall have it.

--Socrates

Longer Version:

For this fear of death is indeed the pretense of wisdom, and not real wisdom, being the appearance of knowing the unknown; since no one knows whether death, which they in their fear apprehend to be the greatest evil, may not be the greatest good. Is there not here conceit of knowledge, which is a disgraceful sort of ignorance? And this is the point in which, as I think, I am superior to men in general, and in which I might perhaps fancy myself wiser than other men, - that whereas I know but little of the world below, I do not suppose that I know: but I do know that injustice and disobedience to a better, whether God or man, is evil and dishonorable, and I will never fear or avoid a possible good rather than a certain evil.


purple flowers under sunny sky

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

--Socrates

river between trees under blue sky

He who has lived as a true philosopher has reason to be of good cheer when he is about to die, and that after death he may hope to receive the greatest good in the other world.

--Socrates

pink petaled flower on white surface

Listen not to a tale-bearer or slanderer, for he tells thee nothing out of good-will; but as he discovereth of the secrets of others, so he will of thine in turn.

--Socrates

multicolored heart LED light on wall

Prefer knowledge to wealth, for the one is transitory, the other perpetual.

--Socrates

backdrop orange

By all implies marry if you get a great wife husband, you are going to be pleased. If you get a bad a single, you are going to become a philosopher.

--Socrates

brown and red paint brushes

Exercise till the mind feels delight in reposing from the fatigue.

--Socrates

selective focus of white flower

Why should we pay so much attention to what 'most people' think? The really reasonable people, who have more claim to be considered, will believe that the facts are exactly as they are.

--Socrates

coconut tree near body of water

The Delphic Oracle said I was the wisest of all the Greeks. It is because that I alone, of all the Greeks, know that I know nothing.

--Socrates


person standing on rock formation during daytime

All men's souls are immortal, but the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine.

--Socrates

green-leafed trees during daytime

An unexamined life is not worth living.

--Socrates

blue sky with stars during night time

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

--Socrates

selective focus photo of green snake plant

Flattery is like friendship in show, but not in fruit.

--Socrates

silhouette of a person during sunset

Who knows if to live is to be dead, and to be dead, to live? And we really, it may be, are dead; in fact I once heard sages say that we are now dead, and the body is our tomb.

--Socrates



grassland landscape

There is no learning without remembering.

--Socrates

person with black tattoo on left hand

If you would seek health, look first to the spine.

--Socrates

road during night time

Do it because it's in your heart. Not because you want something in return. Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for.

--Socrates

yellow and black striped background

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.

--Socrates

elephants on green grass field during daytime

The years wrinkle our skin, but lack of enthusiasm wrinkles our soul.

--Socrates

sunset

The real danger in life is not death, but living an evil life.

--Socrates

black and white bird on seashore

The individual leads in order that those who are led can develop their potential as human beings and thereby prosper.

--Socrates

green leafed plant

Virtue is the beauty of the soul.

--Socrates

a couple holding hands with a wedding ring visible

Sometimes you have to let go to see if there was anything worth holding onto.

--Socrates

five children sitting on bench front of trees

To harm another is to harm oneself.

--Socrates

pet dog sitting down on snow

Envy is the ulcer of the soul.

--Socrates

silhouette of hugging couple

Whenever a number of individuals have a common name, we assume them to have also a corresponding idea or form.

--Socrates

crescent moon above mountain

It is not difficult to avoid death, gentlemen of the jury; it is much more difficult to avoid wickedness, for it runs faster than death.

--Socrates


blue and black abstract painting

Is it true; is it kind, or is it necessary?

--Socrates

landscape photography of mountains with cloudy skies during golden hour

If I save my insight, I don't attend to weakness of eyesight.

--Socrates

brown and white wooden star print board

The unexamined life is not worth living.

--Socrates


green mountain ]

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

--Socrates

A white stripe pattern made up of concrete facade ribs

To fear death, gentlemen, is no other than to think oneself wise when one is not, to think one knows what one does not know.

--Socrates

Longer Version:

To fear death, gentlemen, is no other than to think oneself wise when one is not, to think one knows what one does not know. 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.



chocolate

The cure of many diseases remains unknown to the physicians of Hellos (Greece) because they do not study the whole person.

--Socrates

woman in white and black stripe long sleeve shirt standing beside brown concrete building during daytime

Beauty comes first. Victory is secondary. What matters is joy.

--Socrates

brown sand under blue sky during daytime

When you propose ridiculous things to believe, too many men will choose to believe nothing at all.

--Socrates


silhouette of mountain

He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.

--Socrates

pink and white flowers on white surface

The fewer our wants the more we resemble the Gods.

--Socrates

pink and blue painted wall

My friend… care for your psyche… know thyself, for once we know ourselves, we may learn how to care for ourselves.

--Socrates

pink flower petals in macro photography

If all misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart.

--Socrates

brown rock formation

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

--Socrates

green

Death may be the greatest of all human blessings.

--Socrates

shallow focus photography of hand with red paint

Wealth does not bring about excellence, but excellence makes wealth and everything else good for men, both individually and collectively.

--Socrates

sunflower field under white sky during daytime

It is not living that matters, but living rightly.

--Socrates

clear liquid on leaf

May the outward and inward man be at one.

--Socrates

closeup photography of black and brown bird

Having the fewest wants, I am nearest to the gods.

--Socrates

silhouette photography of person in gray sailing boat in the middle of body of water

I would rather die having spoken in my manner, than speak in your manner and live.

--Socrates


green-leafed plant

This sense of wonder is the mark of the philosopher. Philosophy indeed has no other origin.

--Socrates

red

The bad one is that way because of the ignorance, therefore he can be healed with wisdom.

--Socrates

brown french bulldog wearing red and white santa hat sitting on yellow pasta

An honest man is always a child.

--Socrates

American Eagles during daytime

Be as you wish to seem.

--Socrates

woman standing on cliff

Nobody knows anything, but I, knowing nothing, am the smartest man in the world.

--Socrates

woman in black shirt walking on sidewalk near brown concrete wall partition

Are you not ashamed of your eagerness to possess as much wealth, reputation, and honors as possible, while you do not care for nor give thought to wisdom or truth, or the best possible state of your soul?

--Socrates

black and white giraffe on brown grass field

Death is one of two things. Either it is annihilation, and the dead have no consciousness of anything; or, as we are told, it is really a change: a migration of the soul from one place to another.

--Socrates

white flower in grayscale photography

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.

--Socrates

pink and blue sky with moon

Not by wisdom do they poets make what they compose, but by a gift of nature and an inspiration similar to that of the diviners and the oracles.

--Socrates


close-up photo of two men shaking hands near beach at sunset

No man has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training.

--Socrates

blue parrot standing on brown tree branch

All of the wisdom of this world is but a tiny raft upon which we must set sail when we leave this earth. If only there was a firmer foundation upon which to sail, perhaps some divine word.

--Socrates

red and black floral textile

There is no difference between knowledge and temperance; for he who knows what is good and embraces it, who knows what is bad and avoids it, is learned and temperate.

--Socrates



three clear glass cups

Obscurity is dispelled by augmenting the light of discernment, not by attacking the darkness.

--Socrates

black mountain under blue sky during night time

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

--Socrates


macro photography of green bird on tree branch

Eat to live, not live to eat.

--Socrates

purple-petaled flower on selective focus photography

I will not yield to any man contrary to what is right, for fear of death, even if I should die at once for not yielding.

--Socrates


yellow and white abstract painting

Be of good hope in the face of death. Believe in this one truth for certain, that no evil can befall a good man either in life or death, and that his fate is not a matter of indifference to the gods.

--Socrates

green mountain ]

I call myself a Peaceful Warrior... because the battles we fight are on the inside.

--Socrates

blue and white striped textile

The alphabet will create forgetfulness in the learners' souls. They will trust the written characters and not remember themselves.

--Socrates

shallow focus photography of woman standing outdoors

He is the richest who is content with the least.

--Socrates

shallow focus photography of white flowers

The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.

--Socrates



brown and white butterfly on purple petaled flower

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

--Socrates

yellow painted wall

Beware the barrenness of a busy life.

--Socrates

aerial photo of green trees

By means of beauty all beautiful things become beautiful.

--Socrates

aerial view of gray building on brown sand

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

--Socrates

man wearing knit cap on grey background

It was far too cold. The second I got out I had this incredible headache, I'm just not used to it. The last time I saw snow was years and years ago.

--Socrates



mountains under white clouds at daytime

Talk in order that I may see you.

--Socrates

red wallpaper

Are you not ashamed of caring so much for the making of money and for fame and prestige, when you neither think nor care about wisdom and truth and the improvement of your soul?

--Socrates

silhouette of man in water

I do nothing but go about persuading you all, old and young alike, not to take thought for your persons or your properties, but and chiefly to care about the greatest improvement of the soul.

--Socrates


mountains covered with fog

Virtue does not come from wealth, but wealth, and every other good thing which men have comes from virtue.

--Socrates

yellow sunflower in close up photography

Just as you ought not to attempt to cure eyes without head or head without body, so you should not treat body without soul.

--Socrates

green leaf

It is never right to do wrong or to requite wrong with wrong, or when we suffer evil to defend ourselves by doing evil in return.

--Socrates

yellow flower field under clear sky

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

--Socrates

pair of white lace-up shoes

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

--Socrates

minimalist photography of open door

It is best and easiest not to discredit others but to prepare oneself to be as good as possible.

--Socrates

close-up photography of heart shaped fairy lite on brown sand

Bad men live that they may eat and drink, whereas good men eat and drink that they may live.

--Socrates


brown grass field near gray rocky mountain during daytime

Get married, in any case. If you happen to get a good mate, you will be happy; if a bad one, you will become philosophical, which is a fine thing in itself.

--Socrates

white and gray floral bed sheet

I am confident that there truly is such a thing as living again, that the living spring from the dead, and that the souls of the dead are in existence.

--Socrates

red tulip in bloom during daytime

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

--Socrates


selective focus photography of Russian Blue cat

Let him who would move the world first move himself.

--Socrates

leafless tree on body of water during daytime

He is a man of courage who does not run away, but remains at his post and fights against the enemy.

--Socrates

white flower with black background

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

--Socrates

man and woman holding hands in silhouette photography

Let him that would move the world first move himself.

--Socrates

man holding his head

Nobody knows what death is,
nor whether to man
it is perchance the greatest of blessings,
yet people fear it as if they surely knew
it to be the worse of evils.

--Socrates

landscape photo of mountain during nighttime

Trust not a woman when she weeps, for it is her nature to weep when she wants her will.

--Socrates


brown wooden hanging bridge surrounded by green trees during daytime

One who is injured ought not to return the injury, for on no account can it be right to do an injustice.

--Socrates

Longer Version:

One who is injured ought not to return the injury, for on no account can it be right to do an injustice; and it is not right to return an injury, or to do evil to any man, however much we have suffered from him.


brown and white dog in close-up photography

Flattery is like a painted armor; only for show.

--Socrates

shallow focus photography of red flower

You don't know what you don't know.

--Socrates

Thank you for checking out our selection of quotes on life! Please consider sharing and also connect with us on social media. Wishing you a wonderful and fortunate day!