30 Powerful Socrates Quotes about Self, Wisdom, and Democracy


Last Updated on October 12, 2021

The Socratic legacy is in turning critical thought in the direction of humanity, human morals, virtue, and good living. His theory of the soul and its virtues, and the use of reasoning in service of virtue were his contributions to humanity – one that has been considered part of the foundations of philosophical thinking.

The Socratic Philosophy

In Socratic ethics, the way to a virtuous life was knowing what is good. One will choose what is good when given choices. He will always attempt to answer questions using the best option possible.

Virtue depends on knowledge, and knowing what is good and what the virtuous choices are needed for a good life. Nobody does wrong by choice, and evil is the result of ignorance. People should always choose to do the right thing, and this leads to what is best for everyone.

The Socratic Method


Socrates developed the dialectical process of gaining knowledge. Universal definitions are developed through an inductive method of argumentation. Theories are examined using thorough conversational patterns and many questions.

Hypotheses are challenged and examined for presumptions and assumptions using the questions “what follows if…?” and, “what conflicts with…?”.  This is to probe and test the cohesiveness and consistency of the sets of ideas.

This Socratic method used facts to test theories; this also deduced possible consequences of the hypotheses to gauge if they can be properly applied. This was done in the pursuit of truth. Plato further refined this method through the implementation of the Socratic Theory of Innate Ideas.

Indeed, Socrates was a man of our times. We can learn a lot from his teaching methods, as well as his enduring quotes.

Wise Socrates Quotes

1. “Know thyself.” – Socrates


2.“The only true wisdom is to know that you know nothing.” – Socrates


3.“True perfection is a bold quest to seek. Only the willing and true of heart will seek the betterment of many.” – Socrates


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


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


6.“Be nicer than necessary to everyone you meet. Everyone is fighting some kind of battle.” – Socrates


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


8.“To move the world, we must first move ourselves.” – Socrates


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


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


11.“Smart people learn from everything and everyone. Average people from their experiences. Stupid people already have all the answers.” – Socrates


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


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


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


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


16.“There is no possession more valuable than a good and faithful friend.” – Socrates


17.“Life is full of questions. Idiots are full of answers.” – Socrates


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


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


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


21.“Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for.” – Socrates


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


23.“Every action has its pleasure and its price.” – Socrates


24.“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


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


26.“Remember, no human condition is ever permanent.” – Socrates


27.“I call myself a peaceful warrior because the battles we fight are on the inside.” – Socrates


28.“The value of a man is measured in the number of those who stand beside him, not those who follow.” – Socrates


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


30. “Nothing is so well learned as that which is discovered.” – Socrates

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