Socrates Quotes

Most popular Socrates Quotes

To do is to be.
— Socrates

action

Wisdom begins in wonder.
— Socrates

wisdom wonder

Beauty is a short reign.
— Socrates

beauty

Speech is a kind of action.
— Socrates (Cratylus)

speech

Contentment is natural wealth.
— Socrates

contentment

As for me, all I know is nothing.
— Socrates

knowledge

Happiness is unrepented pleasure.
— Socrates

happiness pleasure

Fame is the perfume of heroic deeds.
— Socrates

action fame proverbs

The unexamined life isn't worth living.
— Socrates

life philosophy

My belief is that to have no wants is divine.
— Socrates

desire

Know thyself, and thou shalt know the universe.
— Socrates

know yourself

What counts is not to live, but to live aright.
— Socrates

being good

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

life

I pray thee, O God, that I may be beautiful within.
— Socrates

beauty prayers

The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.
— Socrates

wisdom

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

perfection

Wealth is a lot of things that a man can do without.
— Socrates

wealth

Living or dead, to a good man there can come no evil.
— Socrates
Those who want fewest things are nearest to the gods.
— Socrates (Wanting)

desire

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

action change the world

True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing.
— Socrates

knowledge

Let they that would move the world first move themselves.
— Socrates

action change the world

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

good and evil ignorance knowledge

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

brotherhood of man

A promise should be given with caution and kept with care.
— Socrates

promises

Contentment is natural wealth; luxury is artificial poverty.
— Socrates

contentment luxury

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

for teachers teaching

There is only one good, knowledge, and only one evil, ignorance.
— Socrates (Lives of Eminent Philosophers)

ignorance knowledge and ignorance

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

intelligence

You are not only good yourself, but the cause of goodness in others.
— Socrates
I shall never act differently, even I'll have to die for it many times.
— Socrates

death

Wonder is the feeling of a philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder.
— Socrates

wonder

What is in conformity with justice should also be in conformity to the laws.
— Socrates

law

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

reputation

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

friendship

A man is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.
— Socrates

contentment

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

compliments friendship

All human virtues increase and strengthen themselves by the practice and experience of them.
— Socrates

virtue

Bad men live that they may eat and drink, whereas good men eat and drink that they may live.
— Socrates
The tongue of a fool is the key of his counsel, which, in a wise man, wisdom hath in keeping.
— Socrates

holding your tongue

Life contains but two tragedies. One is not to get your heart's desire; the other is to get it.
— Socrates
The right way to begin is to pay attention to the young, and make them just as good as possible.
— Socrates
If a rich man is proud of his wealth, he should not be praised until it is known how he employs it.
— Socrates

wealth

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

critics

The first step to knowledge is to know that we are ignorant. As for me, all I know is that I know nothing.
— Socrates

knowledge

Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parent, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers.
— Socrates

children

The shortest and surest way to live with honor in the world, is to be in reality what we would appear to be.
— Socrates

be yourself pretense

We cannot live better than in seeking to become better, nor more agreeably than in having a clear conscience.
— Socrates

self-improvement

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

marriage

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

marriage

When the mind is thinking, is it simply talking to itself, asking questions and answering them, and saying yes or no.
— Socrates (Theaetetus)

thinking

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

law

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

holding your tongue

Virtue is not given by money, but that from virtue comes money and every other good of a man, public as well as private.
— Socrates

virtue

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

marriage

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

power

Employ your time in improving yourself by other people's writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.
— Socrates

reading

Such as thy words are, such will thy affections be esteemed; and such will thy deeds as thy affections, and such thy life as thy deeds.
— Socrates
A man should inure himself to voluntary labor, and not give up to indulgence and pleasure, as he beget no good constitution of body nor knowledge of mind.
— 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

misfortune

Men who provide much wealth for their children but neglect to improve them in virtue, do like those who feed their horses high, but never train them to be useful.
— Socrates

parenting

When desire, having rejected reason and overpowered judgment which leads to right, is set in the direction of the pleasure which beauty can inspire, ... it is called love.
— Socrates

love

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

poets

The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.
— Socrates

children