Socrates

+ 340 The poets are only the interpreters of the Gods. Socrates


+ 235 And what, Socrates, is the food of the soul? Surely, I said, knowledge is the food of the soul. Plato


+ 210 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


+ 241 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


+ 213 If all 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. Socrates


+ 204 One who is injured ought not to return the injury, for on no account can it be right to do an injustice; and it is not right to return an injury, or to do evil to any man, however much we have suffered from him. Socrates


+ 234 The end of life is to be like God, and the soul following God will be like Him. Socrates


+ 213 Beauty is the bait which with delight allures man to enlarge his kind. Socrates


+ 197 I only wish that ordinary people had an unlimited capacity for doing harm; then they might have an unlimited power for doing good. Socrates


+ 184 The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear. Socrates


+ 203 Beauty is a short-lived tyranny. Socrates


+ 178 As to marriage or celibacy, let a man take which course he will, he will be sure to repent. Socrates


+ 205 If a man is proud of his wealth, he should not be praised until it is known how he employs it. Socrates


+ 218 I was really too honest a man to be a politician and live. Socrates


+ 156 It is not living that matters, but living rightly. Socrates


+ 263 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


+ 192 Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued. Socrates


+ 173 The unexamined life is not worth living. Socrates


+ 177 Once made equal to man, woman becomes his superior. Socrates


+ 206 He is a man of courage who does not run away, but remains at his post and fights against the enemy. Socrates


+ 178 To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge. Socrates


+ 181 Be as you wish to seem. Socrates


+ 178 I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance. Socrates


+ 199 Death may be the greatest of all human blessings. Socrates


+ 203 As for me, all I know is that I know nothing. Socrates


+ 238 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. Socrates


+ 210 The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be. Socrates


+ 209 From the deepest desires often come the deadliest hate. Socrates


+ 193 Beware the barrenness of a busy life. Socrates


+ 158 Worthless people live only to eat and drink; people of worth eat and drink only to live. Socrates


+ 166 True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing. Socrates


+ 196 Be slow to fall into friendship; but when thou art in, continue firm and constant. Socrates


+ 198 An honest man is always a child. Socrates


+ 227 Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for. Socrates


+ 207 He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature. Socrates


+ 218 False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil. Socrates


+ 215 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


+ 178 All men's souls are immortal, but the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine. Socrates


+ 204 I know that I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing. Socrates


+ 187 True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us. Socrates


+ 185 I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing. Socrates


+ 170 Wisdom begins in wonder. Socrates


+ 227 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


+ 180 The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. Socrates


+ 249 By means of beauty all beautiful things become beautiful. For this appears to me the safest answer to give both to myself and others; and adhering to this, I think that I shall never fall, but that it is a safe answer both for me and any one else to give — that by means of beauty beautiful things become beautiful. Socrates


+ 242 He who has lived as a true philosopher has reason to be of good cheer when he is about to die, and that after death he may hope to receive the greatest good in the other world. Socrates


+ 230 False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil. Socrates


+ 226 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


+ 223 Oh dear Pan and all the other gods of this place, grant that I may be beautiful inside. Let all my external possessions be in friendly harmony with what is within. May I consider the wise man rich. As for gold, let me have as much as a moderate man could bear and carry with him. Socrates


+ 201 Has a philosopher like you failed to discover that our country is more to be valued and higher and holier far than mother or father or any ancestor, and more to be regarded in the eyes of the gods and of men of understanding? Socrates


+ 156 Wonder is the feeling of a philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder. Socrates


+ 296 I am called wise, for my hearers always imagine that I myself possess wisdom which I find wanting in others: but the truth is, O men of Athens, that God only is wise; and in this oracle he means to say that the wisdom of men is little or nothing... as if he said, He, O men, is the wisest, who like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing. And so I go on my way, obedient to the god, and make inquisition into anyone, whether citizen or stranger, who appears to be wise; and if he is not wise, then in vindication of the oracle I show him that he is not wise; and this occupation quite absorbs me, and I have no time to give either to any public matter of interest or to any concern of my own, but I am in utter poverty by reason of my devotion to the god.


+ 284 Someone will say: And are you not ashamed, Socrates, of a course of life which is likely to bring you to an untimely end? To him I may fairly answer: There you are mistaken: a man who is good for anything ought not to calculate the chance of living or dying; he ought only to consider whether in doing anything he is doing right or wrong — acting the part of a good man or a bad. ...For wherever a man's place is, whether the place he has chosen or that where he has been placed by a commander. there he ought to remain in the hour of danger; he should not think of death or of anything, but of disgrace.


+ 281 Someone will say: Yes, Socrates, but cannot you hold your tongue, and then you may go into a foreign city, and no one will interfere with you? Now I have great difficulty in making you understand my answer to this. For if I tell you that this would be a disobedience to a divine command, and therefore that I cannot hold my tongue, you will not believe that I am serious; and if I say that the greatest good of a man is daily to converse about virtue, and all that concerning which you hear me examining myself and others, and that the life which is unexamined is not worth living — that you are still less likely to believe.


+ 200 The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being. Socrates


+ 236 I would not have him sorrow at my hard lot, or say at the burial, Thus we lay out Socrates, or, Thus we follow him to the grave or bury him; for false words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil. Be of good cheer then, my good Crito, and say that you are burying my body only, and do with that as is usual, and as you think best.


+ 306 What do you say about making a libation out of this cup to any god? ...I may and I must pray to the gods to prosper my journey from this to that other world--may this, then, which is my prayer, be granted to me. [Then holding the cup to his lips, quite readily and cheerfully he drank off the poison. And hitherto most of us had been able to control their sorrow; but now, when we saw him drinking, and saw too, that he had finished the draft, we could no longer forbear, and in spite of myself my own tears were flowing fast; so that I covered my face and wept over myself, for certainly I was not weeping over him, but at my own calamity at having lost such a companion. Nor was I the first, for Crito, when he found himself unable to restrain his tears, had got up, and moved away, and I followed; and at that moment, Apollodorus, who had been weeping all the time, broke out in a loud cry which made cowards of us all. Socrates alone retained his calmness:] What is this strange outcry? ...I sent away the women mainly in order that they might not offend in this way, for I have heard that a man should die in peace. Be quiet then, and have patience.


+ 235 Socrates having heard Plato read the Lysis, said, "O Hercules! what a number of lies the young man has told about me." For he had set down a great many things as sayings of Socrates which he never said.


+ 224 The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. Socrates


+ 305 And so, from this day forth, we want all the more to let our thoughts revolve around and hover over Socrates and Christ at all times, openly taking pride that they are more alive for us than all those living today and that we listen to and love them as we do none of the living.


+ 216 Socrates and Christ speak to us everlastingly of mankind. ... It belongs to the great, to the greatest men to say how things are with mankind, how they stand in its innerness and which way it is going; it belongs to Socrates and Christ. These absolutely extraordinary, eternally alive people penetrate to the groundless depth of human nature and understand the speech of ordinary people, of those who are scarcely alive from one day to the next.


+ 232 What then is the chastisement of those who accept it not? To be as they are. Is any discontented with being alone? let him be in solitude. Is any discontented with his parents? let him be a bad son, and lament. Is any discontented with his children? let him be a bad father.—"Throw him into prison!"—What prison?—Where he is already: for he is there against his will; and wherever a man is against his will, that to him is a prison. Thus Socrates was not in prison since he was there with his own consent.


+ 179 It was the first and most striking characteristic of Socrates never to become heated in discourse, never to utter an injurious or insulting word—on the contrary, he persistently bore insult from others and thus put an end to the fray.


+ 227 Seemeth it nothing to you, never to accuse, never to blame either God or Man? to wear ever the same countenance in going forth as in coming in? This was the secret of Socrates: yet he never said that he knew or taught anything... Who amongst you makes this his aim? Were it indeed so, you would gladly endure sickness, hunger, aye, death itself.


+ 188 It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, are of a different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the question. The other party to the comparison knows both sides.


+ 225 Political leaders are never leaders. For leaders we have to look to the Awakeners! Lao Tse, Buddha, Socrates, Jesus, Milarepa, Gurdjiev, Krishnamurti. Henry Miller


+ 261 There is nothing more remarkable in the life of Socrates than that he found time in his old age to learn to dance and play on instruments, and thought it was time well spent.


+ 225 Socrates ... is the first philosopher of life [Lebensphilosoph], … Thinking serves life, while among all previous philosophers life had served thought and knowledge. ... Thus Socratic philosophy is absolutely practical: it is hostile to all knowledge unconnected to ethical implications.


+ 222 We cannot help but see Socrates as the turning-point, the vortex of world history.


+ 244 The wisest of you men is he who has realized, like Socrates, that in respect of wisdom he is really worthless.


+ 295 We are told that Socrates, though indifferent to wine, could, on occasion, drink more than anybody else, without ever becoming intoxicated. It was not drinking that he condemned, but pleasure in drinking. In like manner, the philosopher must not care for the pleasures of love, or for costly raiment, or sandals, or other adornments of the person. He must be entirely concerned with the soul, and not with the body: "He would like, as far as he can, to get away from the body and to turn to the soul."


+ 292 The Platonic Socrates was a pattern to subsequent philosophers for many ages... His merits are obvious. He is indifferent to worldly success, so devoid of fear that he remains calm and urbane and humorous to the last moment, caring more for what he believes to be the truth than for anything else whatever. He has, however, some very grave defects. He is dishonest and sophistical in argument, and in his private thinking he uses intellect to prove conclusions that are to him agreeable, rather than in a disinterested search for knowledge. There is something smug and unctuous about him, which reminds one of a bad type of cleric. His courage in the face of death would have been more remarkable if he had not believed that he was going to enjoy eternal bliss in the company of the gods. Unlike some of his predecessors, he was not scientific in his thinking, but was determined to prove the universe agreeable to his ethical standards. This is treachery to truth, and the worst of philosophic sins. As a man, we may believe him admitted to the communion of saints; but as a philosopher he needs a long residence in a scientific purgatory.


+ 229 Socrates was the chief saint of the Stoics throughout their history; his attitude at the time of his trial, his refusal to escape, his calmness in the face of death, and his contention that the perpetrator of injustice injures himself more than his victim, all fitted in perfectly with Stoic teaching. So did his indifference to heat and cold, his plainness in matters of food and dress, and his complete independence of all bodily comforts.


+ 226 It's important to remember that Thomas Huxley recognized Socrates as the first agnostic. Socrates very much believed in a God, although his deity was somewhat vague and outside of his people's polytheistic religion. Philosophically Socrates was the very essence of agnosticism.


+ 213 I would trade all of my technology for an afternoon with Socrates. Steve Jobs


+ 167 By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you will become happy; if you get a bad one, you will become a philosopher. Socrates


+ 235 The ideas I stand for are not mine. I borrowed them from Socrates. I swiped them from Chesterfield. I stole them from Jesus. And I put them in a book. If you don’t like their rules, whose would you use? Dale Carnegie


+ 181 I would trade all of my technology for an afternoon with Socrates. Steve Jobs — Newsweek 2001


+ 197 Our prayers should be for blessings in general, for God knows best what is good for us. Socrates


+ 22 The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. Socrates


+ 19 The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. Socrates


+ 2 Let him that would move the world first move himself. Socrates