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Wikipedia Summary for Socrates

Socrates (Ancient Greek: Σωκράτης Sōkrátēs [sɔːkrátɛːs]; c. 470 – 399 BC) was a Greek philosopher from Athens who is credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, and as being the first moral philosopher of the Western ethical tradition of thought.

An enigmatic figure, he authored no texts, and is known chiefly through the accounts of classical writers composing after his lifetime, particularly his students Plato and Xenophon. Other sources include the contemporaneous Antisthenes, Aristippus, and Aeschines of Sphettos. Aristophanes, a playwright, is the main contemporary author to have written plays mentioning Socrates during Socrates' lifetime, although a fragment of Ion of Chios' Travel Journal provides important information about Socrates' youth.

Plato's dialogues are among the most comprehensive accounts of Socrates to survive from antiquity, from which Socrates has become renowned for his contributions to the fields of ethics and epistemology. It is this Platonic Socrates who lends his name to the concepts of Socratic irony and the Socratic method, or elenchus. However, questions remain regarding the distinction between the real-life Socrates and Plato's portrayal of Socrates in his dialogues.

Socrates exerted a strong influence on philosophers in later antiquity and in the modern era. Depictions of Socrates in art, literature and popular culture have made him one of the most widely known figures in the Western philosophical tradition.

photo of author Socrates with quote

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
photo of author Socrates with quote

The nearest way to glory is to strive to be what you wish to be thought to be.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

One should eat to live; not live to eat.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

A disorderly mob is no more an army than a heap of building materials is a house.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

May the outward and inward man be at one.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

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
photo of author Socrates with quote

Death is one of two things. Either it is annihilation, and the dead have no consciousness of anything; or, as we are told, it is really a change: a migration of the soul from one place to another.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

He is rich who is content with the least; for contentment is the wealth of nature.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

All thinking begins with wondering.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

An unexamined life is not worth living.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

If you would seek health, look first to the spine.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

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

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

The understanding of mathematics is necessary for a sound grasp of ethics.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

Let the questions be the curriculum.

--Socrates

photo of author Socrates with quote

You never know a line is crooked unless you have a straight one to put next to it.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

Falling down is not a failure. Failure comes when you stay where you have fallen.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is a habit.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

Exercise till the mind feels delight in reposing from the fatigue.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

It is not the purpose of a juryman's office to give justice as a favor to whoever seems good to him, but to judge according to law, and this he has sworn to do.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

In every sort of danger there are various ways of winning through, if one is ready to do and say anything whatever.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

Flattery is like friendship in show, but not in fruit.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

Though flattery blossoms like friendship, yet there is a vast difference in the fruit.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

Flattery is like a painted armor; only for show.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

To harm another is to harm oneself.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

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

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

Is it not, then, better to be ridiculous and friendly than clever and hostile?

--Socrates

photo of author Socrates with quote

The Delphic Oracle said I was the wisest of all the Greeks. It is because that I alone, of all the Greeks, know that I know nothing.

--Socrates
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Just as you ought not to attempt to cure eyes without head or head without body, so you should not treat body without soul.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

God would seem to indicate to us and not allow us to doubt that these beautiful poems are not human, or the work of man, but divine and the work of God; and that the poets are only the interpreters of the Gods.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

Aren't you ashamed to be concerned so much about making all the money you can and advancing your reputation and prestige, while for truth and wisdom and the improvement of your souls you have no thought or car?

--Socrates
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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
photo of author Socrates with quote

Talk in order that I may see you.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

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

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

I am confident that there truly is such a thing as living again, that the living spring from the dead, and that the souls of the dead are in existence.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

The nearest way to glory a shortcut, as it were is to strive to be what you wish to be thought to be.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

There is no difference between knowledge and temperance; for he who knows what is good and embraces it, who knows what is bad and avoids it, is learned and temperate.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

Trust not a woman when she weeps, for it is her nature to weep when she wants her will.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

It is not difficult to avoid death, gentlemen of the jury; it is much more difficult to avoid wickedness, for it runs faster than death.

--Socrates
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To them, I said, the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images.

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

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

You don't know what you don't know.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

Obscurity is dispelled by augmenting the light of discernment, not by attacking the darkness.

--Socrates
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It is best and easiest not to discredit others but to prepare oneself to be as good as possible.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

By means of beauty all beautiful things become beautiful.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

Whenever a number of individuals have a common name, we assume them to have also a corresponding idea or form.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

And I say let a man be of good cheer about his soul. When the soul has been arrayed in her own proper jewels -- temperance and justice, and courage, and nobility and truth -- she is ready to go on her journey when the hour comes.

--Socrates

photo of author Socrates with quote

Admitting one's ignorance is the first step in acquiring knowledge.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

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
photo of author Socrates with quote

Beloved Pan and all ye other gods who haunt this place, give me beauty in the inward soul, and may the outward and the inner man be at one.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

The real danger in life is not death, but living an evil life.

--Socrates

photo of author Socrates with quote

The soul then, as being immortal, and having been born again many times, and having seen all things that exist, whether in this world or in the world below, has knowledge of them all ... all enquiry and all learning is but recollection.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

I will not yield to any man contrary to what is right, for fear of death, even if I should die at once for not yielding.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

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
photo of author Socrates with quote

I am that gadfly which God has attached to the state, and all day long and in all places am always fastening upon you, arousing and persuading and reproaching you.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

Bad men live that they may eat and drink, whereas good men eat and drink that they may live.

--Socrates

photo of author Socrates with quote

One who is injured ought not to return the injury, for on no account can it be right to do an injustice.

--Socrates

Longer Version:

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.


photo of author Socrates with quote

If measure and symmetry are absent from any composition in any degree, ruin awaits both the ingredients and the composition... Measure and symmetry are beauty and virtue the world over.

--Socrates

photo of author Socrates with quote

I was afraid that by observing objects with my eyes and trying to comprehend them with each of my other senses I might blind my soul altogether.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

By all implies marry if you get a great wife husband, you are going to be pleased. If you get a bad a single, you are going to become a philosopher.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

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

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

I don't care what people say about me. I do care about my mistakes.

--Socrates


photo of author Socrates with quote

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
photo of author Socrates with quote

I know one thing, that I know nothing.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

Nobody knows anything, but I, knowing nothing, am the smartest man in the world.

--Socrates
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Man's life is like a drop of dew on a leaf.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

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

photo of author Socrates with quote

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
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The individual leads in order that those who are led can develop their potential as human beings and thereby prosper.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

Nobody knows what death is,
nor whether to man
it is perchance the greatest of blessings,
yet people fear it as if they surely knew
it to be the worse of evils.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

The life of which meaning one never ponders is not worth living.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

Why should we pay so much attention to what 'most people' think? The really reasonable people, who have more claim to be considered, will believe that the facts are exactly as they are.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

True perfection is a bold quest to seek. Only the willing and true of heart will seek the betterment of many.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

For this fear of death is indeed the pretense of wisdom, and not real wisdom, being the appearance of knowing the unknown; since no one knows whether death, which they in their fear apprehend to be the greatest evil, may not be the greatest good.

--Socrates

Longer Version:

For this fear of death is indeed the pretense of wisdom, and not real wisdom, being the appearance of knowing the unknown; since no one knows whether death, which they in their fear apprehend to be the greatest evil, may not be the greatest good. Is there not here conceit of knowledge, which is a disgraceful sort of ignorance? And this is the point in which, as I think, I am superior to men in general, and in which I might perhaps fancy myself wiser than other men, - that whereas I know but little of the world below, I do not suppose that I know: but I do know that injustice and disobedience to a better, whether God or man, is evil and dishonorable, and I will never fear or avoid a possible good rather than a certain evil.


photo of author Socrates with quote

When you propose ridiculous things to believe, too many men will choose to believe nothing at all.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

Why should I resent it when an ass kicks me?

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

This sense of wonder is the mark of the philosopher. Philosophy indeed has no other origin.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

I soon realized that poets do not compose their poems with knowledge, but by some inborn talent and by inspiration, like seers and prophets who also say many fine things without any understanding of what they say.

--Socrates

photo of author Socrates with quote

If the whole world depends on today's youth, I can't see the world lasting another 100 years.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

I call myself a Peaceful Warrior... because the battles we fight are on the inside.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

Beauty comes first. Victory is secondary. What matters is joy.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

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
photo of author Socrates with quote

I prefer to be refuted than to refute, for it is a greater good for oneself to be freed from the greatest evil than to free another.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

The bad one is that way because of the ignorance, therefore he can be healed with wisdom.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

The alphabet will create forgetfulness in the learners' souls. They will trust the written characters and not remember themselves.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

The shortest and surest way to live with honor in the world, is to be in reality what we would appear to be, all human virtues increase and strengthen themselves by the practice and experience of them.

--Socrates

photo of author Socrates with quote

It was far too cold. The second I got out I had this incredible headache, I'm just not used to it. The last time I saw snow was years and years ago.

--Socrates
photo of author Socrates with quote

To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.

--Socrates

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