Over 200 Socrates Quotes – Philosophical Thoughts And Wisdom

Socrates is one of the most quoted philosophers of all time. His teachings have been influential for centuries, and his ideas are still studied by philosophers today. This collection has over 200 of the best quotes by Socrates.

Socrates – Philosopher

Socrates was a classical Greek philosopher credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy.

Known for his philosophical teachings and for his trial and execution, his legacy continues to influence Western thought.

Famous Socrates Quotes

All thinking begins with wondering.

– Socrates

All thinking begins with wondering. - Socrates

Whatever authority I may have rests solely on knowing how little I know.

– Socrates


Let the questions be the curriculum.

– Socrates


The tongue of a fool is the key of his counsel, which, in a wise man, wisdom hath in keeping.

– Socrates


To be is to do.

– Socrates


Know thyself.

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


Do not grieve over someone who changes all of the sudden. It might be that he has given up acting and returned to his true self.

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


Living well and beautifully and justly are all one thing.

– Socrates


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

– Socrates

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


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

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


If one knows what is right, he will do it; nobody wants to be evil.

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


Best Socrates Quotes

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


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

– Socrates


Either I do not corrupt the young or, if I do, it is unwillingly.

– Socrates


Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty.

– Socrates

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


I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance.

– Socrates


True wisdom lies in one’s confession about the limits of one’s knowledge.

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


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.

– Socrates


He who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god.

– Socrates


The first key to greatness is to be in reality what we appear to be.

– Socrates

The first key to greatness is to be in reality what we appear to be. - Socrates


Athletics have become professionalized.

– Socrates


Get not your friends by bare compliments but by giving them sensible tokens of your love.

– Socrates


A multitude of books distracts the mind.

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


I am a Citizen of the World, and my Nationality is Goodwill.

– Socrates


Quotes by Socrates

Wisdom is knowing how little we know.

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


To find yourself, think for yourself.

– Socrates


Do not go through life like leaf blown from here to there believing whatever you are told.

– Socrates


All things in moderation, including moderation.

– Socrates


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


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

– Socrates


When our feet hurt, we hurt all over.

– Socrates

When our feet hurt, we hurt all over. - Socrates


I know you won’t believe me, but the highest form of Human Excellence is to question oneself and others.

– Socrates


It has been shown that to injure anyone is never just anywhere.

– Socrates


Fear of women love more than hate the man.

– Socrates


Fame is the perfume of heroic deeds.

– Socrates


If what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even Useful, why tell it to me at all.

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


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


Socrates Quotes About Life

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

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


Beware the barrenness of a busy life.

– Socrates

Beware the barrenness of a busy life. - Socrates


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

– Socrates


The heart of the person before you is a mirror. See there your own form.

– Socrates


The misuse of language induces evil in the soul.

– Socrates


Malice drinketh up the greater part of its own poison.

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


The right way to begin is to pay attention to the young, and make them just as good as possible.

– Socrates


The more I learn, the less I realize I know.

– Socrates


Four things belong to a judge: to hear courteously, to answer wisely, to consider soberly, and to decide impartially.

– Socrates


There is no solution; seek it lovingly.

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


Follow the argument wherever it leads.

– Socrates


Quotes of Socrates

In every person there is a sun. Just let them shine.

– Socrates


Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


Death offers mankind a full view of truth.

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


You will know that the divine is so great and of such a nature that it sees and hears everything at once, is present everywhere, and is concerned with everything.

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


The perfect human being is all human beings put together, it is a collective, it is all of us together that make perfection.

– Socrates


The soul, like the body, accepts by practice whatever habit one wishes it to contact.

– Socrates


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


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

– Socrates


Our lives are but specks of dust falling through the fingers of time. Like sands of the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.

– Socrates


Philosophy Quotes Socrates

Are not all things which have opposites generated out of their opposites?

– Socrates


It is not living that matters, but living rightly.

– Socrates

It is not living that matters, but living rightly. - Socrates


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

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


Improve yourself by other men’s writings thus attaining effortlessly what they acquired through great difficulty.

– Socrates


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.

– Socrates


An honest man is always a child.

– 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


There is no possession more valuable than a good and faithful friend.

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions. Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?

– Socrates


I have good hope that there is something remaining for the dead.

– Socrates


Our purpose in founding the city was not to make any one class in it surpassingly happy, but to make the city as a whole as happy as possible.

– Socrates


Living or dead, to a good man there can come no evil.

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


I shall never fear or avoid things of which I do not know…

– Socrates


Socrates Sayings and Quotes

People learn more on their own rather than being force fed.

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


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


The body cannot be cured without regard for the soul.

– Socrates


To be uncertain is to be uncomfortable, but to be certain is to be ridiculous.

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


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


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

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


The beginning of wisdom is a definition of terms.

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


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

– Socrates

Related: 300+ Courage Quotes To Help You Face Fears And Overcome Adversity


Once made equal to man, woman becomes his superior.

– Socrates


Happiness is unrepented pleasure.

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


It seems that God took away the minds of poets that they might better express His.

– Socrates


Inspirational Quotes by Socrates

The fewer our wants the more we resemble the Gods.

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


We cannot live better than in seeking to become better.

– Socrates


How can you wonder your travels do you no good, when you carry yourself around with you?

– Socrates


It is a disgrace to grow old through sheer carelessness before seeing what manner of man you may become by developing your bodily strength and beauty to their highest limit.

– Socrates


I am a fool, but I know I’m a fool and that makes me smarter than you.

– Socrates


It is better to suffer an injustice than to commit one.

– Socrates


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


Fellow citizens, why do you burn and scrape every stone to gather wealth and take so little care of your children to whom you must one day relinquish all?

– Socrates


Creation is man’s immortality and brings him nearest to the gods.

– Socrates


Be as you wish to seem.

– 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


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

– Socrates


The best seasoning for food in hunger; for drink, thirst.

– Socrates

The best seasoning for food in hunger; for drink, thirst. - Socrates


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

– Socrates


Quotations by Socrates

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

– Socrates


You are wrong, sir, if you think that a man who is any good at all should take into account the risk of life or death; he should look to this only in his actions, whether what he does is right or wrong, whether he is acting like a good or a bad man.

– Socrates


To move the world we must move ourselves.

– Socrates

To move the world we must move ourselves. - Socrates


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


Death may be the greatest of all human blessings.

– Socrates


The unexamined life is not worth living.

– Socrates

The unexamined life is not worth living - Socrates


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

– Socrates


Every action has its pleasures and its price.

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.

– Socrates


How can you call a man free when his pleasures rule over him.

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


How many things are there which I do not want.

– Socrates


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

– 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


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

– Socrates


Socrates Famous Quotes

One thing I know, that I know nothing. This is the source of my wisdom.

– Socrates


There is no learning without remembering.

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


Those who want the fewest things are nearest to the gods.

– Socrates


Talk in order that I may see you.

– Socrates

Talk in order that I may see you. - Socrates


To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge. For a man who claims to have the knowledge, while actually knowing nothing, is less smarter than you, who claim to know nothing.

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


Wisdom begins in wonder.

– Socrates


To use words and phrases in an easygoing manner without scrutinizing them too curiously is not in general a mark of ill-breeding. On the contrary, there is something low-bred in being too precise. But sometimes there is no help for it.

– Socrates


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


Pride divides the men, humility joins them.

– Socrates

Pride divides the men, humility joins them. - Socrates


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

– 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


He is the richest who is content with the least.

– Socrates


Philosophical Quotes by Socrates

When you want success as badly as you want the air, then you will get it. There is no other secret of success.

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


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

– Socrates

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


If you want to be wrong then follow the masses.

– Socrates

If you want to be wrong then follow the masses. - Socrates


Be true to thine own self.

– Socrates

Be true to thine own self. - Socrates


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

– Socrates


The hardest task needs the lightest hand or else its completion will not lead to freedom but to a tyranny much worse than the one it replaces.

– Socrates


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


The end of life is to be like unto God; and the soul following God, will be like unto Him; He being the beginning, middle, and end of all things.

– Socrates


Wisest is he who knows he knows not.

– Socrates

Wisest is he who knows he knows not. - Socrates


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


Anybody can be a hellene, by his heart, his mind, his spirit…

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


Knowledge is our ultimate good.

– Socrates

Knowledge is our ultimate good. - Socrates


There is a doctrine whispered in secret that a man is a prisoner who has no right to open the door and run away; this is a great mystery which I do not quite understand.

– Socrates


Socrates Quotations

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

– Socrates


What screws us up the most in life is the picture in our head of what it’s supposed to be.

– Socrates


Nothing is to be preferred before justice.

– Socrates

Nothing is to be preferred before justice. - Socrates


Why should we pay so much attention to what the majority thinks?

– Socrates


Thou shouldst eat to live; not live to eat.

– 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


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

– Socrates


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


Understanding a question is half an answer.

– Socrates

Understanding a question is half an answer. - Socrates


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

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


The greater the power that deigns to serve you, the more honor it demands of you.

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


Envy is the ulcer of the soul.

– Socrates

Envy is the ulcer of the soul. - Socrates


From the deepest desires often come the deadliest hate.

– Socrates

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


Words of Wisdom by Socrates

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

– Socrates


Neither I nor any other man should, on trial or in way, contrive to avoid death at any cost.

– Socrates


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

– Socrates


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



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