This page features a selection of the best quotes by Socrates. All of these quotes are real and references are given after each quote.
Here are the best quotes by Socrates in no particular order:
The unexamined life is not worth living.
– as quoted in Plato, Apology, 28A, trans. Benjamin Jowett
He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing.
– as quoted in Plato, Apology, 23B, trans. Benjamin Jowett
I do nothing but go about persuading you all, old and young alike, not to take thought for your persons or your properties, but first and chiefly to care about the greatest improvement of the soul. I tell you that virtue is not given by money, but that from virtue comes money and every other good of man, public as well as private.
– as quoted in Plato, Apology, 30B, trans. Benjamin Jowett
The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our ways—I to die, and you to live. Which is better God only knows.
– as quoted in Plato, Apology, 42A, trans. Benjamin Jowett
[on looking at an expensive shop] How many things I can do without!
– as quoted in Diogenes Laertius, Lives of the Eminent Philosophers, II, 25, trans. Robert Drew Hicks
No man voluntarily pursues evil, or that which he thinks to be evil. To prefer evil to good is not in human nature; and when a man is compelled to chose one of two evils, no one will choose the greater when he may have the less.
– as quoted in Plato, Protagoras, 358C, trans. W.R.M. Lamb
If you are wise, all men will be your friends and kindred, for you will be useful and good; but if you are not wise, neither father, nor mother, nor kindred; nor anyone else, will be your friends.
– as quoted in Plato, Lysis, 210B, trans. Benjamin Jowett
We ought not to retaliate or render evil for evil to anyone, whatever evil we may have suffered from him.
– as quoted in Plato, Crito, 49C, trans. Benjamin Jowett
Not life, but a good life, is to be chiefly valued
– as quoted in Plato, Crito, 48C, trans. Benjamin Jowett
To do is more disgraceful than to suffer injustice.
– as quoted in Plato, Gorgias, 489B, trans. Benjamin Jowett
If you want to learn more about Socrates, check out the following pages:
- The Best Books on Socrates
- The Philosophy of Socrates: A collection of articles, videos, and podcasts
The Daily Idea aims to make learning about philosophy as easy as possible by bringing together the best philosophy resources from across the internet.
- Find the best philosophy books on a wide variety of topics with this collection of over 120 philosophy reading lists.
- Find free online philosophy articles, podcasts, and videos with this organised collection of 400+ free philosophy resources.
A History of Western Philosophy in 500 Essential Quotations – Lennox Johnson
Publisher’s Description: A History of Western Philosophy in 500 Essential Quotations is a collection of the greatest thoughts from history’s greatest thinkers. Featuring classic quotations by Aristotle, Epicurus, David Hume, Friedrich Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell, Michel Foucault, and many more, A History of Western Philosophy in 500 Essential Quotations is ideal for anyone looking to quickly understand the fundamental ideas that have shaped the modern world.