30 Socrates Quotes on True Wisdom, Virtue and Valor


A Greek philosopher from Athens, Socrates is credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy. He didn’t have any written accounts so his teachings came from classical writers, his student Plato in particular. Plato’s Socratic Dialogues gave birth to the Socratic method, a type of inquiry used to scrutinize essential moral concepts like goodness. The application of this method is one of Socrates’ long-lasting contributions that manifests up to this day. It’s even thought to be the defining component of American legal education.

It is estimated that he was born some time around 470 BC. He served in military as a citizen-soldier and was present in many battles for Athens. His bravery during this period was recounted in several dialogues. His position as a staunch critic of Athenian politics and society eventually led to his trial and death sentence. It is believed that Socrates could have escaped with the help of his followers but chose to stay for his execution.

Socrates believed that the best way for people to live was to concentrate on the pursuit of virtue rather than material possessions. Various accounts described him as one to always encourage people to focus more on friendships and strengthen relationships in the community. For him, it was the best way to achieve growth and not in the acquisition of wealth. His actions also lived up to what he believed was right even up to the end.

Here are 30 Socrates quotes to rouse your mind.

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

Beware the barrenness of a busy life. – Socrates

Let him who would move the world first move himself. – Socrates

socrates world quote

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

socrates happiness quote

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

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

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

socrates contented quote

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

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

The unexamined life is not worth living. – Socrates

socrates living quote

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

To fear death, gentlemen, is no other than to think oneself wise when one is not, to think one knows what one does not know. No one knows whether death may not be the greatest of all blessings for a man, yet men fear it as if they knew that it is the greatest of evils. – Socrates

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

socrates wisdom quote

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

Wonder is the beginning of wisdom. – Socrates

socrates wonder quote

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

He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature. – 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

socrates happy quote

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

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. – Socrates

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

socrates compassion quote

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

I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world. – Socrates

socrates citizen quote

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

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

socrates pray quote

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

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

Share these 30 Socrates quotes to inspire others for some self-restrospection.

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