66 Socrates Quotes On Democracy, Change, Life, Death, Love

Viewed by many as the founding figure of Western philosophy, Socrates (469-399 B.C.) is at once the most exemplary and the strangest of the Greek philosophers. He grew up during the golden age of Pericles’ Athens, served with distinction as a soldier, but became best known as a questioner of everything and everyone. His style of teaching—immortalized as the Socratic method—involved not conveying knowledge, but rather asking question after clarifying question until his students arrived at their own understanding. He wrote nothing himself, so all that is known about him is filtered through the writings of a few contemporaries and followers, most notably his student Plato. Socrates was accused of corrupting the youth of Athens and sentenced to death. Choosing not to flee, he spent his final days in the company of his friends before drinking the executioner’s cup of poisonous hemlock. These Socrates quotes will motivate you in life.

Best Socrates Quotes

  1. “Falling down is not a failure. Failure comes when you stay where you have fallen.” ~ Socrates
  2. “When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.” ~ Socrates
  3. “To fear death, my friends is only to think ourselves wise, without being wise: for it is to think that we know what we do not know. For anything that men can tell, death may be the greatest good that can happen to them: but they fear it as if they knew quite well that it was the greatest of evils.” ~ Socrates, Socrates quotes on death
  4. “Awareness of ignorance is the beginning of wisdom.” ~ Socrates
  5. “If you want to be wrong then follow the masses.” ~ Socrates

  6. “The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” ~ Socrates
  7. “Most people, including ourselves, live in a world of relative ignorance. We are even comfortable with that ignorance because it is all we know. When we first start facing truth, the process may be frightening, and many people run back to their old lives. But if you continue to seek truth, you will eventually be able to handle it better. In fact, you want more! It’s true that many people around you now may think you are weird or even a danger to society, but you don’t care. Once you’ve tasted the truth, you won’t ever want to go back to being ignorant” ~ Socrates
  8. “True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.” ~ Socrates, Socrates quotes on life
  9. “In every person, there is a sun. Just let them shine.” ~ Socrates
  10. “To find yourself, think for yourself.” ~ Socrates

  11. “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
  12. “He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.” ~ Socrates
  13. “No one can teach, if by teaching we mean the transmission of knowledge, in any mechanical fashion, from one person to another. The most that can be done is that one person who is more knowledgeable than another can, by asking a series of questions, stimulate the other to think, and so cause him to learn for himself.” ~ Socrates
  14. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is a habit.” ~ Socrates

  15. “This is a universe that does not favor the timid.” ~ Socrates
  16. “I know that I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing.” ~ Socrates
  17. “Lies are the greatest murder. They kill the Truth.” ~ Socrates
  18. “It is better to make a mistake with full force of your being than to carefully avoid mistakes with a trembling spirit.” ~ Socrates
  19. “I know you won’t believe me, but the highest form of Human Excellence is to question oneself and others.” ~ Socrates
  20. “Wisdom begins in wonder.” ~ Socrates

  21. “I call myself a Peaceful Warrior… because the battles we fight are on the inside.” ~ Socrates
  22. “I am a fool, but I know I’m a fool and that makes me smarter than you.” ~ Socrates
  23. “Silence is a profound melody, for those who can hear it above all the noise.” ~ Socrates
  24. “Obligation sends the children to bed on time, but love tucks the covers in around their necks and passes out kisses and hugs. Yesterday is about experience; tomorrow is about hope; today is about transitioning from one to the other. The happiest people on earth don’t have the best of everything… they make the best of everything I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.” ~ Socrates, Socrates quotes on love
  25. “He is the richest who is content with the least.” ~ Socrates

  26. “The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they alone knew everything and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for girls, they are forward, immodest and unwomanly in speech, behavior, and dress.” ~ Socrates
  27. “Sometimes you have to let go to see if there was anything worth holding onto.” ~ Socrates
  28. “There is no possession more valuable than a good and faithful friend.” ~ Socrates
  29. “Nothing is so well learned as that which is discovered.” ~ Socrates
  30. “All that I know is nothing – I’m not even sure of that.” ~ Socrates

  31. “The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.” ~ Socrates
  32. “Prefer knowledge to wealth, for the one is transitory, the other perpetual.” ~ Socrates
  33. “Marry or marry not, in any either case you’ll regret it” ~ Socrates
  34. “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
  35. “Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” ~ Socrates
  36. “Better to do a little well, then a great deal badly.” ~ Socrates

  37. “One should never do wrong in return, nor mistreat any man, no matter how one has been mistreated by him.” ~ Socrates
  38. “Four things belong to a judge: to hear courteously, to answer wisely, to consider soberly, and to decide impartially.” ~ Socrates
  39. “It is better to suffer an injustice than to commit one” ~ Socrates
  40. “To move the world we must move ourselves.” ~ Socrates
  41. “How can you call a man free when his pleasures rule over him.” ~ Socrates
  42. “The years wrinkle our skin, but lack of enthusiasm wrinkles our soul.” ~ Socrates

  43. “If what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even Useful, why tell it to me at all” ~ Socrates
  44. “We are what we think we are” ~ Socrates
  45. “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
  46. “I am a Citizen of the World, and my Nationality is Goodwill.” ~ Socrates
  47. “There are two kinds of disease of the soul, vice and ignorance.” ~ Socrates
  48. “An education obtained with money is worse than no education at all.” ~ Socrates

  49. “When you want success as badly as you want the air, then you will get it. There is no other secret of success.” ~ Socrates
  50. “Serenity, regularity, absence of vanity, Sincerity, simplicity, veracity, equanimity, Fixity, non-irritability, adaptability, Humility, tenacity, integrity, nobility, magnanimity, charity, generosity, purity. Practice daily these eighteen “ities” You will soon attain immortality.” ~ Socrates
  51. “Trust not a woman when she weeps, for it is her nature to weep when she wants her will.” ~ Socrates
  52. “We can do nothing without the body, let us always take care that it is in the best condition to sustain us.” ~ Socrates
  53. “Be the kind of person that you want people to think you are.” ~ Socrates

  54. “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, Socrates quotes on change
  55. “The rest of the world lives to eat, while I eat to live.” ~ Socrates
  56. “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
  57. “Understanding a question is half an answer.” ~ Socrates
  58. “Why should we pay so much attention to what the majority thinks?” ~ Socrates

  59. “To Believe without evidence and demonstration is an act of ignorance and folly” ~ Socrates
  60. “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.” ~ Socrates
  61. “When a woman is allowed to become a man’s equal, she becomes his superior.” ~ Socrates
  62. “When I was young, I believed that life might unfold in an orderly way, according to my hopes and expectations. But now I understand that the Way winds like a river, always changing, ever onward.. My journeys revealed that the Way itself creates the warrior; that every path leads to peace, every choice to wisdom. And that life has always been, and will always be, arising in Mystery.” ~ Socrates
  63. “All thinking begins with wondering” ~ Socrates

  64. “Remember, no human condition is ever permanent. Then you will not be overjoyed in good fortune nor too scornful in misfortune.” ~ Socrates
  65. “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.” ~ Socrates
  66. “It is possible that a man could live twice as long if he didn’t spend the first half of his life acquiring habits that shortens the other half” ~ Socrates

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