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Socrates Quotes On Life, Wisdom & Philosophy To Inspire You

Break free from conformity and think beyond your time with Socrates quotes as your guide!

An amazing collection of Socrates quotes that will help you know yourself better.

Socrates was a Greek philosopher who’s renowned for his contribution to the field of ethics.

Socrates the Greek Philosopher

He is regarded as one of the most influential philosophers of the ancient era and is credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy.

Although he remains an enigmatic figure, he left no writings and most of his teachings are known from the writings of his students, particularly Plato and Xenophon.

Because he did not conform to the local traditions, many felt that his teachings threatened their way of life. He was sentenced to death and died after being forced to drink poison hemlock.

From one of the greatest philosophers of all time, we found these ancient wisdom quotes from Socrates on love, youth and philosophy – that can hopefully provide you with actionable insight. Enjoy!!

Here’s is our collection of inspirational, wise, and thought-provoking Socrates quotes and sayings, collected from a variety of sources over the years.

Famous Socrates quotes about life from his writings and overall philosophy

1. “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” – Socrates (see more wise words)

50 Socrates Quotes on Love, Youth and Philosophy


2. “Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” – Socrates

3. “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

50 Socrates Quotes on Love, Youth and Philosophy

4. “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

5. “Be as you wish to seem.” – Socrates

6. “To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge.” – Socrates

Socrates Quotes on Love, Youth and Philosophy

7. “I know that I am intelligent because I know that I know nothing.” – Socrates

50 Socrates Quotes on Love, Youth and Philosophy

8. “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

9. “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” – Socrates

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

Also check out our list of stoic quotes that will strengthen your perspective on life.

Socrates Quotes about life

11. “The unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates

50 Socrates Quotes on Love, Youth and Philosophy

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

13. “I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.” – Socrates

Socrates Quotes that will make you wise

14. “Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.” – Socrates

15. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Socrates

50 Socrates Quotes on Love, Youth and Philosophy

16. “To find yourself, think for yourself.” – Socrates

17. “Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.” – Socrates

18. “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel. – Socrates

Don’t forget to also read these inspirational Machiavelli quotes.

Best Socrates Quotes

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

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

50 Socrates Quotes on Love, Youth and Philosophy

21. “Death may be the greatest of all human blessings.” – Socrates

22. “Envy is the ulcer of the soul.” – Socrates

Famous Socrates Quotes

23. “Get not your friends by bare compliments, but by giving them sensible tokens of your love.” – Socrates

If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to check out our collection of Friedrich Nietzsche quotes on life and love.

24. “If a man is proud of his wealth, he should not be praised until it is known how he employs it.” – Socrates

50 Socrates Quotes on Love, Youth and Philosophy

24. “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 gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.” – Socrates

Socrates Quotes that are full of wisdom

25. “Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs; therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity, or undue depression in adversity.” – Socrates
If you’re enjoying these quotes, you’ll love our collection of powerful depression quotes that will provide perspective.

26. “Remember what is unbecoming to do is also unbecoming to speak of.” – Socrates

50 Socrates Quotes on Love, Youth and Philosophy

27. “The shortest and surest way to live with honour in the world, is to be in reality what we would appear to be; and if we observe, we shall find, that all human virtues increase and strengthen themselves by the practice of them.” – Socrates

28. “Think not those faithful who praise all thy words and actions; but those who kindly reprove thy faults.” – Socrates

29. “Thou shouldst eat to live; not live to eat.” – Socrates

50 Socrates Quotes on Love, Youth and Philosophy

30. “Bad men live that they may eat and drink, whereas good men eat and drink that they may live.” – Socrates

31. “Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued.” – Socrates

Have you see these Karl Marx quotes that inspire critical thinking and questioning of society?

Socrates Quotes on life and love

32. “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

33. “Once made equal to man, woman becomes his superior.” – Socrates

50 Socrates Quotes on Love, Youth and Philosophy

34. “Only the extremely ignorant or the extremely intelligent can resist change.” – Socrates

35. “The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.” – Socrates

36. “The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.” – Socrates

50 Socrates Quotes on Love, Youth and Philosophy

37. “People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid.” – Socrates

38. “Wisdom begins in wonder.” – Socrates

39. “When the debate is over, slander becomes the tool of the loser.” – Socrates

40. “The hour of departure has arrived and we go our ways; I to die, and you to live. Which is better? Only God knows.” – Socrates

50 Socrates Quotes on Love, Youth and Philosophy

41. “The hottest love has the coldest end.” – Socrates

42. “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

Socrates Quotes that will help you improve yourself

43. “Our prayers should be for blessings in general, for God knows best what is good for us.” – Socrates

44. “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

45. “From the deepest desires often come the deadliest hate.” – Socrates

50 Socrates Quotes on Love, Youth and Philosophy

46. “The envious person grows lean with the fatness of their neighbor.” – Socrates

47. “Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty.” – Socrates

48. “Call no man unhappy until he is married.” – Socrates

49. “Let him that would move the world, first move himself.” – Socrates

50 Socrates Quotes on Love, Youth and Philosophy

50. “The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.”– Socrates

Great Socrates quotes for those seeking wisdom

51. “We cannot live better than in seeking to become better.” – Socrates

52. “The nearest way to glory is to strive to be what you wish to be thought to be.” – Socrates

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

54. “False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.” – Socrates

55. “The mind is everything; what you think you become” – Socrates

56. “Remember, no human condition is ever permanent. Then you will not be overjoyed in good fortune nor too scornful in misfortune.” – Socrates

57. “It is better to change an opinion than to persist in a wrong one.” – Socrates

58. “Mankind is made of two kinds of people: wise people who know they’re fools, and fools who think they are wise.” – Socrates

59. “Get not your friends by bare compliments, but by giving them sensible tokens of your love.”– Socrates

60. “By all means marry. If you get a good spouse you’ll become happy, while if you get a bad one you’ll become a philosopher.” – Socrates

Socrates quotes to elevate your perspective

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

62. “If I save my insight, I don’t attend to weakness of eyesight.”― Socrates

63. “In childhood be modest, in youth temperate, in adulthood just, and in old age prudent.” – Socrates

64. “…[R]eal wisdom is the property of God, and… human wisdom has little or no value.”― Socrates

65. “No man undertakes a trade he has not learned, even the meanest; yet everyone thinks himself sufficiently qualified for the hardest of all trades, that of government.” – Socrates

66. “I would rather die having spoken after my manner, than speak in your manner and live.”― Socrates

67. “An education obtained with money is worse than no education at all.” – Socrates

68. “The triumph of my art is in thoroughly examining whether the thought which the mind of the young man brings forth is a false idol or a noble true birth.”― Socrates

69. “Give me beauty in the inward soul; may the outward and the inward man be at one.” – Socrates

70. “Speak, so that I may see you.”― Socrates

Also check out these Medusa quotes about the unique guardian from Greek mythology.

Socrates quotes to elevate your mind

71. “How many are the things I can do without!” – Socrates

72. “We gain our first measure of intelligence when we first admit our own ignorance.”― Socrates

73. “Nothing is to be preferred before justice.” – Socrates

74. “Justice. If only we knew what it was.”― Socrates

75. “Worthless people love only to eat and drink; people of worth eat and drink only to live.” – Socrates

76. “Know Thyself.”― Socrates

77. “Whenever, therefore, people are deceived and form opinions wide of the truth, it is clear that the error has slid into their minds through the medium of certain resemblances to that truth.” – Socrates

78. “It is a disgrace to grow old through sheer carelessness before seeing what manner of man you may become by developing your bodily strength and beauty to their highest limit.”― Socrates

79. “He is rich who is content with the least; for contentment is the wealth of nature.” – Socrates

80. “What I do not know, I do not think I know.”― Socrates

Thoughtful Socrates quotes to inspire you

81. “Slanderers do not hurt me because they do not hit me.” – Socrates

82. “Wisdom is knowing what you don’t know.” – Socrates

83. “I am not an Athenian, nor a Greek, but a citizen of the world.” – Socrates
If you’re enjoying these quotes, read our collection of Greek Philosopher quotes on ancient knowledge to motivate you.

84. “It is better to be at odds with the whole world than, being one, to be at odds with myself.” – Socrates

85. “They are not only idle who do nothing, but they are idle also who might be better employed.” – Socrates

86. “The beginning of wisdom is a definition of terms.” – Socrates

87. “We can do nothing without the body, let us always take care that it is in the best condition to sustain us.” – Socrates

88. “The perfect human being is all human beings put together, it is a collective, it is all of us together that make perfection.” – Socrates

89. “You never know a line is crooked unless you have a straight one to put next to it.” – Socrates

90. “Beauty comes first. Victory is secondary. What matters is joy.” – Socrates

You might also like these philosophical Epicurus quotes for a happy life.

More Socrates quotes

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

92. “The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” – Socrates

93. “Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others.” – Socrates

94. “Every action has its pleasures and its price.” – Socrates

95. “Prefer knowledge to wealth, for the one is transitory, the other perpetual.” – Socrates

96. “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

97. “Understanding a question is half an answer.” – Socrates

98. “One should never do wrong in return, nor mistreat any man, no matter how one has been mistreated by him.” – Socrates

99. “The greatest blessing granted to mankind came by way of madness, which is a divine gift.” – Socrates

100. “Those who are hardest to love need it the most.” – Socrates

Which are your favorite Socrates quotes

Socrates is regarded as one of the most influential Greek philosophers of ancient times. He inspired many students, including the philosopher Plato.

He emphasized that great leaders should have knowledge, virtue and a complete understanding of themselves. Hopefully, these Socrates quotes have helped you know yourself better.

Did you enjoy these Socrates quotes? Which of the quotes was your favorite? Tell us in the comment section below. We would love to hear all about it.

16 Comments
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16 Comments
  1. Eddie

    October 11, 2020 at 10:19 AM

    Death may be the greatest of all human blessings.” – Socrates

  2. Reuel Ricardo

    June 6, 2020 at 4:39 AM

    It is better to change an opinion than persist on the wrong one.

  3. ENWORO,S.O.

    May 14, 2020 at 3:51 AM

    I SO MUCH LIKE THIS ONE: BY ALL MEANS MARRY,YOU GET A GOOD WIFE, YOU WILL BE HAPPY,BUT IF YOU MARRY A BAD WIFE,YOU WILL BECOME A PHILOSOPHER.

  4. Nancy

    April 12, 2020 at 3:56 PM

    Thank you for compiling this list of quotes from Socrates. I found this site by searching for a Socrates quote that I used to put across the bulletin board in my classroom. It seemed appropriate at this time of the COVID-19 epidemic but I wanted to get it right. He said, ” I’m not a citizen of Greece (?) but a citizen of the world.” Could you help me out with the exact quote. I have been retired for 20 years and I have no idea where I got the quote…probably from a textbook that I had on shelf.

    Nancy

  5. Senga

    February 7, 2020 at 12:42 PM

    I like all quotes of Socrates but the most wonderful is: ‘False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil’.

  6. Yvonne Mathew

    October 17, 2019 at 8:10 AM

    “When the debate is over, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”
    Politicians should have this tattooed upon their foreheads.

  7. Gavacho

    August 9, 2019 at 6:23 AM

    “He is richest who is content with the least.”
    That is, for me at least, THE wisest quote I’ve ever read. It’s an ideology that promotes being true to yourself. And if you are true to yourself, you know yourself. Nobody knows themselves in the world we live in now. But I suspect people did as you go back further& further in time. In other words, modern man is shallow – & getting more shallow as time goes on.

  8. jay

    June 20, 2019 at 2:45 PM

    “Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.”

    Hmm, isn’t that comment discussing people?

  9. Sampa Chisanga

    May 23, 2019 at 10:55 AM

    Those who are hardest to love, need it the most

  10. John Evans

    April 26, 2019 at 4:06 AM

    Call no man unhappy until he is married.

  11. Catherine K

    January 28, 2019 at 4:44 PM

    Inspirational and game changer! How ones perspective can change by taking a few minutes to read these quotes. Thanks so much for sharing. 😉

  12. Bushy Van Eck

    January 26, 2019 at 8:55 AM

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

    If only humanity had the wisdom to understand this, then the world would have been a much better place for all to live in.

  13. Robert Willenkin

    January 23, 2019 at 12:57 PM

    I was told that Socrates said the following: “before you talk to me, take a moment and filter what you are going to say. I call it the Triple Filter Test. The first filter is Truth. Are you sure what you are about to tell me is true? Is what you are about to tell me something good? Is what you are about to tell me going to be useful to me?
    If what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor useful, why tell me at all.

    Do or anyone know if Socrates really said this?

  14. Dawid

    August 31, 2018 at 2:11 PM

    I like this one, “Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.” Discussing ideas might be fruitful towards promoting the social economic growth of the society and discussion of event an advantage in this matter while discussing people may cause a lot of harm to the peace, unity and stability of the Nation.

    • Jeffrey I. Moore

      September 2, 2018 at 5:00 PM

      Thank you for sharing Dawid!!!

      • Max

        April 30, 2019 at 10:59 AM

        The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.
        This combined with:
        Those who are telling us what to do,what is good for us, what option to follow are only trying we to behave their way instead to help us to find our own way.
        Max

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