Socrates Quotes

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.

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

The unexamined life is not worth living.

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

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

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

Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.

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

To find yourself, think for yourself.

Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.

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.

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

Be slow to fall into friendship, but when you are in, continue firm and constant.

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.

The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.

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

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.

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

Let him who would move the world first move himself.

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 come easily by what others have labored hard for.

The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our separate ways, I to die, and you to live. Which of these two is better only God knows.

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

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

I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.

Every action has its pleasures and its price.

Socrates

I examined the poets, and I look on them as people whose talent overawes both themselves and others, people who present themselves as wise men and are taken as such, when they are nothing of the sort.

From poets, I moved to artists. No one was more ignorant about the arts than I; no one was more convinced that artists possessed really beautiful secrets. However, I noticed that their condition was no better than that of the poets and that both of them have the same misconceptions. Because the most skillful among them excel in their specialty, they look upon themselves as the wisest of men. In my eyes, this presumption completely tarnished their knowledge. As a result, putting myself in the place of the oracle and asking myself what I would prefer to be — what I was or what they were, to know what they have learned or to know that I know nothing — I replied to myself and to the god: I wish to remain who I am.

We do not know — neither the sophists, nor the orators, nor the artists, nor I— what the True, the Good, and the Beautiful are. But there is this difference between us: although these people know nothing, they all believe they know something; whereas, I, if I know nothing, at least have no doubts about it. As a result, all this superiority in wisdom which the oracle has attributed to me reduces itself to the single point that I am strongly convinced that I am ignorant of what I do not know.

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

We cannot live better than in seeking to become better.

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.

Beware the barrenness of a busy life.

Understanding a question is half an answer.

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

The hottest love has the coldest end.

Envy is the ulcer of the soul.

Be as you wish to seem.

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

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

True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.

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.

Socrates

From the deepest desires often come the deadliest hate.

Be nicer than necessary to everyone you meet.

Everyone is fighting some kind of battle.

Once made equal to man, woman becomes his superior.

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

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

The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.

If a man comes to the door of poetry untouched by the madness of the Muses, believing that technique alone will make him a good poet, he and his sane compositions never reach perfection, but are utterly eclipsed by the performances of the inspired madman.

I pray Thee, O God, that I may be beautiful within.

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

Regard your good name as the richest jewel you can possibly be possessed of — for credit is like fire; when once you have kindled it you may easily preserve it, but if you once extinguish it, you will find it an arduous task to rekindle it again. The way to a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.

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

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

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

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

I only know that I know nothing.

Those who are hardest to love need it the most.

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

Books by Socrates

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