Socrates Quotes

Do you have any favorite Socrates quotes?

Socrates was a Greek philosopher who is believed to have been have lived from 469-399 BC. He is often credited for being the founder or father of western philosophy. Socrates’ impact on his generation and his students has really contributed to various breakthroughs in human civilization.

Some of the popular students of Socrates include the philosopher Plato and the historian Xenophon. Plato went on to teach other great philosophers like Aristotle.

Here are some of the most famous and funny Socrates quotes on love, life, self, change, education, youth, democracy and death:

Famous Socrates Quotes

famous Socrates quotes

1. To be is to do. -Socrates

2. Wonder is the beginning of wisdom. -Socrates

3. Beware the barrenness of a busy life. -Socrates

4. Understanding a question is half an answer. -Socrates

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

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

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

8. Once made equal to man, woman becomes his superior. -Socrates

9. I know that I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing. -Socrates

10. Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others.


11. Envy is the ulcer of the soul. -Socrates

12. The mind is everything; what you think you become. -Socrates

13. He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature. -Socrates

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

15. Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people. -Socrates

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

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

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

19. One should never do wrong in return, nor mistreat any man, no matter how one has been mistreated by him. -Socrates

20. 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

Funny Socrates Quotes

funny Socrates quotes

21. 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

22. 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.


23. If a man comes to the door of poetry untouched by the madness of the Muses, believing that technique alone will make him a good poet, he and his sane compositions never reach perfection, but are utterly eclipsed by the performances of the inspired madman. -Socrates

Socrates Quotes On Love

Socrates quotes on love

24. Those who are hardest to love need it the most. -Socrates

25. One word frees us of all the weight and pain in life, and that word is love. -Socrates

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

27. The hottest love has the coldest end.


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

29. Love is a madness. The madness of love is the greatest of Heaven’s blessings. -Socrates

30. When desire, having rejected reason and overpowered judgment which leads to right, is set in the direction of the pleasure which beauty can inspire, and when again under the influence of its kindred desires it is moved with violent motion towards the beauty of corporeal forms, it acquires a surname from this very violent motion, and is called love. -Socrates

Socrates Quotes About Life

Socrates quotes about life

31. The unexamined life is not worth living. -Socrates

32. Every action has its pleasures and its price. -Socrates

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

34. Living well and beautifully and justly are all one thing. -Socrates

35. I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world. -Socrates (As quoted in Plutarch‘s Of Banishment)

36. Life contains but two tragedies. One is not to get your heart’s desire; the other is to get it. -Socrates

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

38. 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

39. Regard your good name as the richest jewel you can possibly be possessed of — for credit is like fire; when once you have kindled it you may easily preserve it, but if you once extinguish it, you will find it an arduous task to rekindle it again. The way to a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear. -Socrates

40. I examined the poets, and I look on them as people whose talent overawes both themselves and others, people who present themselves as wise men and are taken as such, when they are nothing of the sort.

From poets, I moved to artists. No one was more ignorant about the arts than I; no one was more convinced that artists possessed really beautiful secrets. However, I noticed that their condition was no better than that of the poets and that both of them have the same misconceptions. Because the most skillful among them excel in their specialty, they look upon themselves as the wisest of men. In my eyes, this presumption completely tarnished their knowledge. As a result, putting myself in the place of the oracle and asking myself what I would prefer to be — what I was or what they were, to know what they have learned or to know that I know nothing — I replied to myself and to the god: I wish to remain who I am.

We do not know — neither the sophists, nor the orators, nor the artists, nor I— what the True, the Good, and the Beautiful are. But there is this difference between us: although these people know nothing, they all believe they know something; whereas, I, if I know nothing, at least have no doubts about it. As a result, all this superiority in wisdom which the oracle has attributed to me reduces itself to the single point that I am strongly convinced that I am ignorant of what I do not know.


41. Be as you wish to seem. -Socrates

42. Thou shouldst eat to live; not live to eat. -Socrates

43. We cannot live better than in seeking to become better. -Socrates

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

45. Be nicer than necessary to everyone you meet. Everyone is fighting some kind of battle. -Socrates

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

47. 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

48. 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

49. 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

50. And therefore if the head and the body are to be well, you must begin by curing the soul; that is the first and essential thing. And the care of the soul, my dear youth, has to be effected by the use of certain charms, and these charms are fair words; and by them temperance is implanted in the soul, and where temperance comes and stays, there health is speedily imparted, not only to the head, but to the whole body. -Socrates

Socrates Quotes About Self

Socrates quotes about self

51. Know thyself. -Socrates

52. To find yourself, think for yourself. -Socrates

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

54. To express oneself badly is not only faulty as far as the language goes, but does some harm to the soul. -Socrates

55. My friend…care for your psyche…know thyself, for once we know ourselves, we may learn how to care for ourselves.


56. Be true to thine own self. -Socrates

57. To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom. -Socrates

58. Let him who would move the world first move himself. -Socrates

59. Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for. -Socrates

60. I did not care for the things that most people care about– making money, having a comfortable home, high military or civil rank, and all the other activities, political appointments, secret societies, party organizations, which go on in our city . . . I set myself to do you– each one of you, individually and in private– what I hold to be the greatest possible service. I tried to persuade each one of you to concern himself less with what he has than with what he is, so as to render himself as excellent and as rational as possible. -Socrates

Socrates Quotes On Change

Socrates quotes on change

61. It is better to change an opinion than to persist in a wrong one. -Socrates

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

63. If you don’t get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don’t want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can’t hold on to it forever. Your mind is your predicament. It wants to be free of change. Free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death. But change is law and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.


64. Only the extremely ignorant or the extremely intelligent can resist change. -Socrates

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

Socrates Quotes On Education

Socrates quotes on education

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

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

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


69. An education obtained with money is worse than no education at all. -Socrates

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

Socrates Quotes About Youth

Socrates quotes about youth

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

72. The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.


73. If the whole world depends on today’s youth, I can’t see the world lasting another 100 years. -Socrates

74. I do nothing but go about persuading you all, old and young alike, not to take thought for your persons or your properties, but and chiefly to care about the greatest improvement of the soul. -Socrates

Socrates Quotes About Democracy

Socrates quotes about democracy

75. Birthright democracy is inevitably susceptible to demagoguery. -Socrates

76. Democracy is only as good as the education that surrounds it.


77. Democracy…would, it seems, be a delightful form of government, arnachic and motley, assigning a kind of equality indiscriminately to equals and unequals alike. -Socrates

Socrates Quotes On Death

Socrates quotes on death

78. The wise man seeks death all his life, and for this reason death is not terrifying to him. -Socrates

79. It is not difficult to avoid death. It is much more difficult to avoid wickedness, for it runs faster than death. -Socrates

80. 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

81. The soul is pure when it leaves the body and drags nothing bodily with it, by virtue of having no willing association with the body in life but avoiding it…..Practicing philosophy in the right way is a training to die easily. -Socrates

82. Death may be the greatest of all human blessings.


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

84. The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our separate ways, I to die, and you to live. Which of these two is better only God knows. -Socrates

85. 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

86. 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

87. 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