Socrates Quotes (137 Quotes)


    How many things I can do without.

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

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

    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.

    I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance.


    My advice to you is get married: if you find a good wife you'll be happy; if not, you'll become a philosopher.

    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.

    Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued.

    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


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

    Worthless people live only to eat and drink; people of worth eat and drink only to live.

    The poets are only the interpreters of the Gods.

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

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

    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.

    Some have courage in pleasures, and some in pains some in desires, and some in fears, and some are cowards under the same conditions.

    I decided that it was not wisdom that enabled poets to write their poetry, but a kind of instinct or inspiration, such as you find in seers and prophets who deliver all their sublime messages without knowing in the least what they mean.

    If all the misfortunes of mankind were cast into a public stack in order to be equally distributed among the whole species, those who now think themselves the most unhappy would prefer the share they are already possessed of before that which would fall to them by such a division.

    I swear it upon Zeus an outstanding runner cannot be the equal of an average wrestler.

    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.

    Eat to live, not live to eat.

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

    Once made equal to man, woman becomes his superior.

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

    Be of good cheer about death, and know this of a truth, that no evil can happen to a good man, either in life or after death.

    Beware the barrenness of a busy life.

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

    To find yourself, think for yourself.

    In every one of us there are two ruling and directing principles, whose guidance we follow wherever they may lead the one being an innate desire of pleasure the other, an acquired judgment which aspires after excellence.

    If all our 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.

    One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing.

    Virtue is the beauty, and vice the deformity, of the soul.

    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.

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

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

    The difficulty, my friends, is not in avoiding death, but in avoiding unrighteousness for that runs faster than death.

    To gain a good reputation, endeavor to be what you desire to appear.

    Only the extremely ignorant or the extremely intelligent can resist change.

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

    Whom do I call educated First, those who manage well the circumstances they encounter day by day. Next, those who are decent and honorable in their intercourse with all men, bearing easily and good naturedly what is offensive in others and being as agreeable and reasonable to their associates as is humanly possible to be... those who hold their pleasures always under control and are not ultimately overcome by their misfortunes... those who are not spoiled by their successes, who do not desert their true selves but hold their ground steadfastly as wise and sober -- minded men.

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

    Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for.

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

    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.


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

    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.

    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.


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