100+ Socrates Quotes

Socrates is considered one of the most significant and influential philosophers in history. He was a Greek philosopher who lived in Athens from 470/469 BC to 399 BC. The ideas of Socrates have been a major influence in the development of Western philosophy. This article aims to provide a detailed overview of Socrates’ life, philosophy, and impact on the world.

Early Life and Education

Socrates was born in Athens in 470/469 BC to a sculptor father and a midwife mother. Not much is known about his early life except that he started his career as a stonemason before becoming a philosopher. His education came from discussing and debating in the Agora of Athens. Socrates once mentioned that the only thing he knew was that he knew nothing, which supposedly led him to the study of philosophy.

Socratic Method

Socrates is primarily known for his method of inquiry called the Socratic method. The Socratic method entails posing a series of questions to a person, requiring that person to examine their beliefs and knowledge deeply, and in the process, questioning their own assumptions. The ultimate aim of the Socratic method is to lead a person towards a deeper understanding of their thoughts, actions, and beliefs.

The Socratic method is used in philosophy, education, and even in law. Some of the techniques used in the Socratic method include asking questions, analyzing and breaking down the arguments, and finding contradictions. The Socratic method is considered one of the most influential teaching techniques in history.

Contributions to Philosophy

Socrates made several significant contributions to philosophy. His most important ideas include his belief in ethical intellectualism, his conviction that knowledge is innate, and his position that virtue is knowledge. These ideas have contributed to the development of Western Philosophy and Ethics.

Socrates’ ideas would also go on to inspire and influence other great philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle, who would eventually contribute to the establishment of classical philosophy. Some contemporary philosophical concepts like the scientific method, critical thinking, and logic can be traced directly back to Socratic philosophy.

Accusation and Trial

Socrates was arrested and charged with impiety and corrupting the youth of Athens. He was accused of questioning the moral and political values of the city-state. He was found guilty by a jury of 500 Athenians. Socrates was subsequently sentenced to death by drinking poison hemlock in 399 BC.

The trial of Socrates has been a topic of great debate among scholars over the centuries. Some believe that it reflects the fundamental issues of Athenian democracy; others suggest it was a reflection of Athenian’s fear of philosophical questioning.


Socrates’ influence on Western philosophy and intellectual thought is immeasurable. Although he left no written works, his ideas and teachings continue to resonate with people today.

Socrates teachings of critical thinking, ethics, and the Socratic method has been influential in producing independent and ethical thinkers throughout history. Socrates remains an inspiration to millions, and his philosophy continues to be studied today, with scholars and students alike continuing to debate his ideas.


Socrates’ philosophy and method of inquiry have continued to shape the way we think and question things, in fields like philosophy and education. Socrates has left an indelible mark on the world of philosophy, and his teachings continue to be studied and adapted by scholars, students, and educators the world over. Socrates’ example has inspired generations of thinkers to question their beliefs and strive for knowledge and critical thinking.


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

”The beginning of wisdom is a definition of terms.”-Socrates

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

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

”Slanderers do not hurt me because they do not hit me.”-Socrates

”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

“To find yourself, think for yourself. ” -Socrates

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

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

”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.”-Socrates

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

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

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

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

”How many are the things I can do without!-Socrates

”I was really too honest a man to be a politician and live.”-Socrates

”Ordinary people seem not to realize that those who really apply themselves in the right way to philosophy are directly and of their own accord preparing themselves for dying and death.”-Socrates

“The hottest love has the coldest end.” -Socrates

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

”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.”-Socrates

”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.”-Socrates

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

“The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear. ” -Socrates

”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

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

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

”Nothing is to be preferred before justice.”-Socrates

“Death may be the greatest of all human blessings.” -Socrates

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

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

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

”Call no man unhappy until he is married.”-Socrates

”Happiness is unrepentant pleasure.”-Socrates

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” -Socrates

”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.”-Socrates

”The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.”-Socrates

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

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

“Enjoy yourself — it’s later than you think.” -Socrates

”Worthless people love only to eat and drink; people of worth eat and drink only to live.”-Socrates

”Once made equal to man, woman becomes his superior.”-Socrates

”Crito, I owe a cock to Asclepius; will you remember to pay the debt?-Socrates

”Fame is the perfume of heroic deeds.”-Socrates

”The envious person grows lean with the fatness of their neighbor.”-Socrates

“From the deepest desires often come the deadliest hate.” -Socrates

”An education obtained with money is worse than no education at all.”-Socrates

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

”The fewer our wants the more we resemble the Gods.”-Socrates

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

“A multitude of books distracts the mind.” -Socrates

”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.”-Socrates

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

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

“Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty.” -Socrates

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

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

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

”Beauty is a short-lived tyranny.”-Socrates

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

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

“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.” -Socrates

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

”Every action has its pleasures and its price.”-Socrates

”Remember what is unbecoming to do is also unbecoming to speak of.”-Socrates

”Be as you wish to seem.”-Socrates

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

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” -Socrates

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

”I know that I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing.”-Socrates

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

”We cannot live better than in seeking to become better.”-Socrates

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

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

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

”I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance.”-Socrates

“Silence is a profound melody, for those who can hear it above all the noise.” -Socrates

”There are two kinds of disease of the soul, vice and ignorance.”-Socrates

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

”Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.”-Socrates

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

“When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.” -Socrates

”Having the fewest wants, I am nearest to the gods.”-Socrates

”The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.”-Socrates

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

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

”Get not your friends by bare compliments, but by giving them sensible tokens of your love.”-Socrates

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

”All wars are fought for the acquisition of wealth.”-Socrates

”Thou shouldst eat to live; not live to eat.”-Socrates

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

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

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

“Understanding a question is half the answer.” -Socrates

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

”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.”-Socrates

”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.”-Socrates

”Children nowadays are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannise their teachers.”-Socrates










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

“There is no possession more valuable than a good and faithful friend.” -Socrates

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

”The highest realms of thought are impossible to reach without first attaining an understanding of compassion.”-Socrates

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

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

”To move the world we must move ourselves.”-Socrates

”Through your rags I see your vanity.”-Socrates

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