Top Socrates Quotes

Browse top 118 famous quotes and sayings about Socrates by most favorite authors.

Favorite Socrates Quotes

1. "If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?During the life of any heart this line keeps changing place; sometimes it is squeezed one way by exuberant evil and sometimes it shifts to allow enough space for good to flourish. One and the same human being is, at various ages, under various circumstances, a totally different human being. At times he is close to being a devil, at times to sainthood. But his name doesn't change, and to that name we ascribe the whole lot, good and evil.Socrates taught us: 'Know thyself!"
Author: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
2. "A Socrates in every classroom."
Author: Alfred Whitney Griswold
3. "All of us cherish our beliefs. They are, to a degree, self-defining. When someone comes along who challenges our belief system as insufficiently well-based – or who, like Socrates, merely asks embarrassing questions that we haven't thought of, or demonstrates that we've swept key underlying assumptions under the rug – it becomes much more than a search for knowledge. It feels like a personal assault."
Author: Carl Sagan
4. "CREATIONThe library is not a shrine for the worship of books. It is not a temple where literary incense must be burned or where one's devotion to the bound book is expressed in ritual. A library, to modify the famous metaphor of Socrates, should be the delivery room for the birth of ideas - a place where history comes to life.— Cited in ALA Bulletin, Oct. 1954, p.475Norman COUSINS (1915- )"
Author: Cousins
5. "The world's a puzzle; no need to make sense out of it." - Socrates"
Author: Dan Millman
6. "A belligerent samurai, an old Japanese tale goes, once challenged a Zen master to explain the concept of heaven and hell. The monk replied with scorn, "You're nothing but a lout - I can't waste my time with the likes of you!"His very honor attacked, the samurai flew into a rage and, pulling his sword from its scabbard, yelled "I could kill you for your impertinence.""That," the monk calmly replied, "is hell."Startled at seeing the truth in what the master pointed out about the fury that had him in its grip, the samurai calmed down, sheathed his sword, and bowed, thanking the monk for the insight."And that,"said the monk "is heaven."The sudden awakening of the samurai to his own agitated state illustrates the crucial difference between being caught up in a feeling and becoming aware that you are being swept away by it. Socrates's injunction "Know thyself" speaks to the keystone of emotional intelligence: awareness of one's own feelings as they occur."
Author: Daniel Goleman
7. "Socrates: Have you noticed on our journey how often the citizens of this new land remind each other it is a free country? Plato: I have, and think it odd they do this.Socrates: How so, Plato?Plato: It is like reminding a baker he is a baker, or a sculptor he is asculptor.Socrates: You mean to say if someone is convinced of their trade, they haveno need to be reminded.Plato: That is correct.Socrates: I agree. If these citizens were convinced of their freedom, they would not need reminders."
Author: E.A. Bucchianeri
8. "In 80% of Socrates' dialogues there was no constructive outcome. He saw his role as simply pointing out what was "wrong."
Author: Edward De Bono
9. "That Socrates should ever have been so treated by the Athenians!" Slave! why say "Socrates"? Speak of the thing as it is: That ever then the poor body of Socrates should have been dragged away and haled by main force to prision! That ever hemlock should have been given to the body of Socrates; that that should have breathed its life away!—Do you marvel at this? Do you hold this unjust? Is it for this that you accuse God? Had Socrates no compensation for this? Where then for him was the ideal Good? Whom shall we hearken to, you or him? And what says he? "Anytus and Melitus may put me to death: to injure me is beyond their power." And again:— "If such be the will of God, so let it be."
Author: Epictetus
10. "Socrates taught thatNo evil could comeTo a good man.How does that help me?"
Author: Evan Rhys
11. "Who, I ask, ever found salvation through the conquests of Alexander? What city was ever more wisely governed because of them, what individual improved? Many indeed you might find whom those conquests enriched, but not one whom they made wiser or more temperate than he was by nature, if indeed they have not made him more insolent and arrogant. Whereas all who now find their salvation in philosophy owe it to Socrates."
Author: Flavius Claudius Julianus
12. "'Matisse and Picasso' is a little like Plato after Socrates. Socrates only taught in words. He didn't write. And after that, you had Plato and Aristotle to write about what he had said. I write about them because they didn't write about them."
Author: Francoise Gilot
13. "Those moralists, on the other hand, who, following in the footsteps of Socrates, offer the individual a morality of self-control and temperance as a means to his own advantage, as his personal key to happiness, are the exceptions."
Author: Friedrich Nietzsche
14. "Socrates, in Plato, formulates ideas of order: the Iliad, like Shakespeare, knows that a violent disorder is a great order."
Author: Harold Bloom
15. "In Socrates' thought the two marks of individual self-consciousness appear; it is practical and it is social."
Author: James Mark Baldwin
16. "He was just a kid. He didn't care. He was like, "I'm getting in my mom's van and I'm going home." I was just a kid, too. But I cared. With him gone, who was I going to play Plato and Socrates with?"
Author: Jarod Kintz
17. "Know thyself,' said Socrates.Know thyself,' said Sappho, ‘and make sure that the Church never finds out."
Author: Jeanette Winterson
18. "In another 2,400 years, even Socrates, the most well-known genius of the century, might be forgotten. The future will erase everything--there's no level of fame or genius that allows you to transcend oblivion. The infinite future makes that kind of mattering impossible."
Author: John Green
19. "It is Plato's portrait of Socrates that has inspired thinkers in the Western world for nearly 2.500 years."
Author: Jostein Gaarder
20. "As a Roman philosopher, Cicero, said of him a few hundred years later, Socrates 'called philosophy down from the sky and established her in the towns and introduced her into homes and forced her to investigate life, ethics, good and evil."
Author: Jostein Gaarder
21. "He could very likely have appealed for leniency. At least he could have saved his life by agreeing to leave Athens. But had he done this he would not have been Socrates. He valued his conscience--and the truth-- higher than life."
Author: Jostein Gaarder
22. "Socrates himself said, 'One thing only I know, and this is that I know nothing.' Remember this statement, because it is an admission that is rare, even among philosophers. Moreover, it can be so dangerous to say in public that it can cost you your life. The most subversive people are those who ask questions. Giving answers is not nearly as threatening. Any one question can be more explosive than a thousand answers."
Author: Jostein Gaarder
23. "A philosopher knows that in reality he knows very little. That is why he constantly strives to achieve true insight. Socrates was one of these rare people. He knew that he knew nothing about life and about the world. And now comes the important part: it troubled him that he knew so little."
Author: Jostein Gaarder
24. "You can't blame yourself for what Socrates did. Those birds came because he wanted them to come, at least a part of him did. The pissed off part. Let that roll around in your brain for a while."Jamie considered this. "No, Eddie. The hurt part, that's what did it."The crow shrieked again. It seemed louder, and that meant it was closer. Or maybe it was another crow, maybe several. Jamie and Eddie looked toward the sky, listening to the screams. Jamie spoke first."We can't let it happen again. We may be the only ones who know the truth about what Socrates can do." "That thought probably has occurred to Socrates too."
Author: Ken Goldman
25. "To be is to do - SocratesTo do is to be - SartreDo Be Do Be Do - Sinatra"
Author: Kurt Vonnegut
26. "I am encouraged as I look at some of those who have listened to their "different drum": Einstein was hopeless at school math and commented wryly on his inadequacy in human relations. Winston Churchill was an abysmal failure in his early school years. Byron, that revolutionary student, had to compensate for a club foot; Demosthenes for a stutter; and Homer was blind. Socrates couldn't manage his wife, and infuriated his countrymen. And what about Jesus, if we need an ultimate example of failure with one's peers? Or an ultimate example of love?"
Author: Madeleine L'Engle
27. "Which is recorded of Socrates, that he was able both to abstain from, and to enjoy, those things which many are too weak to abstain from, and cannot enjoy without excess. But to be strong enough both to bear the one and to be sober in the other is the mark of a man who has a perfect and invincible soul."
Author: Marcus Aurelius
28. "Socrates should have written comics."
Author: Mark Waid
29. "Out of them all, Socrates is the hardest to deconstruct... Indeed, he may just be indeconstructible."
Author: Martin Cohen
30. "Socrates didn't care to visit the theater, as a rule, except when the plays of Euripides (which some think, he himself had helped to compose), were performed."
Author: Moses Mendelssohn
31. "Socrates' fame spread all over Greece, and the most respected and educated men from all around came to him, in order to enjoy his friendly company and instruction."
Author: Moses Mendelssohn
32. "When Socrates was about 30, and his father was long dead, he was still pursuing the art of sculpture, but from necessity, and without much inclination."
Author: Moses Mendelssohn
33. "But Socrates cannot but have been meditating upon something?... Can he ever remain solitary with himself -- and silent to his very soul!"
Author: Paul Valéry
34. "O Socrates, the universe cannot for one instant endure to be only what it is. It is strange to think that that which is All cannot be sufficient unto itself!"
Author: Paul Valéry
35. "According to Bertrand Russell, the virtuous stoic was one whose will was in agreement with the natural order. He described the basic idea like this: In the life of the individual man, virtue is the sole good; such things as health, happiness, possessions, are of no account. Since virtue resides in the will, everything really good or bad in a man's life depends only upon himself. He may become poor, but what of it? He can still be virtuous. A tyrant may put him in prison, but he can still persevere in living in harmony with Nature. He may be sentenced to death, but he can die nobly, like Socrates. Therefore every man has perfect freedom, provided he emancipates himself from mundane desires."
Author: Piper Kerman
36. "Plato is widely believed to have been a student of Socrates and to have been deeply influenced by his teacher's unjust death. Plato's brilliance as a writer and thinker can be witnessed by reading his Socratic dialogues. Some of the dialogues, letters, and other works that are ascribed to him are considered spurious"
Author: Plato
37. "Plato asked Socrates what is love...Socrates: Go into the field and get me the most special leaf...Plato returned with no leaf at handsaid: I found the most beautiful leaf in the field but I didn't pick it up for I might find a better one, but when I returned to the place, it was gone... Socrates: We always look for the best in life. When we finally see it, we take it for granted and expecting a better one... NOT KNOWING IT WAS THE BEST AND LAST!!!"
Author: Plato
38. "For philosophy, Socrates, if pursued in moderation and at the proper age, is an elegant accomplishment, but too much philosophy is the ruin of human life."
Author: Plato
39. "Socrates held up his hands, wiggling his fingers. "God gave me these hands to change the world, one child at a time."
Author: Red Phoenix
40. "We have never sought power. We have sought to disperse power, to set men and women free. That really means: to help them to discover that they are free. Everybody's free. The slave is free. The ultimate weapon isn't this plague out in Vegas, or any new super H-bomb. The ultimate weapon has always existed. Every man, every woman, and every child owns it. It's the ability to say No and take the consequences. 'Fear is failure.' 'The fear of death is the beginning of slavery.' "Thou hast no right but to do thy will.' The goose can break the bottle at any second. Socrates took the hemlock to prove it. Jesus went to the cross to prove it. It's in all history, all myth, all poetry. It's right out in the open all the time."
Author: Robert Anton Wilson
41. "And although it might be best of all to be Socrates satisfied, having both happiness and depth, we would give up some happiness in order to gain the depth."
Author: Robert Nozick
42. "Socrates told us, "the unexamined life is not worth living." I think he's calling for curiosity, more than knowledge. In every human society at all times and at all levels, the curious are at the leading edge."
Author: Roger Ebert
43. "The reader of Plato joins Socrates in inquiry, as Sancho Panza joined Don Quixote, for adventures of the mind. And although there is a deep consent, like a fire kindled deep in the mind, there is always a tension between the squire and the knight-errant, the little man with proverbs for wisdom riding on a donkey and the knight with the piercing eye riding on a horse, those two parts of each human soul. The intellectual destiny that each of us has depends upon who gets the upper hand, knight or squire."
Author: Scott M. Buchanan
44. "Philosophers have a long tradition of marrying stupid women, from Socrates on. They think it clever."
Author: Simon Gray
45. "My friend...care for your psyche...know thyself, for once we know ourselves, we may learn how to care for ourselves" -Socrates"
Author: Socrates
46. "Do you feel no compunction, Socrates, at having followed a line of action which puts you in danger of the death penalty?'I might fairly reply to him, 'You are mistaken, my friend, if you think that a man who is worth anything ought to spend his time weighing up the prospects of life and death. He has only one thing to consider in performing any action--that is, whether he is acting rightly or wrongly, like a good man or a bad one."
Author: Socrates
47. "Anyhow, the criterion of common sense was never applicable to the history of the human race. Averroës, Kant, Socrates, Newton, Voltaire, could any of them have believed it possible that in the twentieth century the scourge of cities, the poisoner of lungs, the mass murderer and idol of millions would be a metal receptacle on wheels, and that people would actually prefer being crushed to death inside it during frantic weekends exoduses instead of staying, safe and sound, at home?"
Author: Stanisław Lem
48. "Aristotle drew a distinction between essential and accidental properties. The way he put it is that essential properties are those without which a thing wouldn't be what it is, and accidental properties are those that determine how a thing is, but not what it is. For example, Aristotle thought that rationality was essential to being a human being and, since Socrates was a human being, Socrates's rationality was essential to his being Socrates. Without the property of rationality, Socrates simply wouldn't be Socrates. He wouldn't even be a human being, so how could he be Socrates? On the other hand, Aristotle thought that Socrates's property of being snub-nosed was merely accidental; snub-nosed was part of how Socrates was, but it wasn't essential to what or who he was. To put it another way, take away Socrates's rationality, and he's no longer Socrates, but give him plastic surgery, and he's Socrates with a nose job."
Author: Thomas Cathcart
49. "But in a private library, you can at any moment converse with Socrates or Shakespeare or Carlyle or Dumas or Dickens or Shaw or Barrie or Galsworthy. And there is no doubt that in these books you see these men at their best. They wrote for you. They "laid themselves out," they did their ultimate best to entertain you, to make a favorable impression. You are necessary to them as an audience is to an actor; only instead of seeing them masked, you look into their innermost heart of heart."
Author: William Lyon Phelps
50. "All men are mortal. Socrates was mortal. Therefore, all men are Socrates."
Author: Woody Allen

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Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives' mouths."
Author: Bertrand Russell

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