Socrates Quotes

A collection of quotes by Socrates.

Socrates (470/469 – 399 BCE) was an ancient Greek philosopher credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy. Born in Athens, Greece, very little reliable information exists on his life as he left no writings of his own. Most of what is known about him comes from the writings of his students, primarily Plato and Xenophon.

Socrates was known for his Socratic method, an approach to questioning and dialogue aimed at stimulating critical thinking and uncovering the truth. He engaged in philosophical inquiries about ethics, morality, knowledge, and the nature of the self, challenging conventional beliefs and encouraging his students to question their assumptions.

He was a beloved and influential figure in Athens, despite his unconventional and provocative teaching methods that often earned him both admiration and criticism. Socrates never charged fees for his teachings, and he gathered a loyal group of followers, some of whom would themselves become prominent philosophers.

However, his philosophical inquiries and open criticism of Athenian democracy eventually led to his downfall. In 399 BCE, he was charged with impiety and corrupting the city's youth, convicted, and sentenced to death by drinking a cup of poison hemlock.

While Socrates never wrote down his teachings, his legacy lives on through the works of his students, particularly Plato, who immortalized him in his dialogues, presenting him as a wise and humble thinker who sought wisdom and virtue above all else. Socrates' ideas and approach to philosophy continue to influence thinkers and scholars to this day.