Print Friendly, PDF & Email

(469-399 B.C.) Socrates was primarily known as a philosopher of Athens, one of the wisest people of all times. He grew up in his family trade of sculpting and also received a formal education in geometry and astronomy. It was his hunger for knowledge led him to seek the truth beyond education. During his tenure in Athens, Socrates served with honor as a solder in the Peloponnesian Wars with Sparta.

One of Socrates contributions to philosophy, the Socrates Method, was to inquire involving the questioning of people on the positions they asserted and working them through further questions into seemingly inevitable contradictions, thus proving them wrong. This gave rise to dialectic, the idea that truth needs to be approached by modifying one’s position through questionings and exposures to contrary ideas.

“Our youth now love luxury, they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders, and love to chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” “I hold that to need nothing is divine, and the less a man needs the nearer does he approach divinity.”

“Let him that would move the world first move himself.”

“If a man is proud of his wealth, he should not be praised until it is known how he employs it.”

“If all our misfortunes were laid in one common heap, whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be content to take their own and leave.”

“There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.”

“I was really too honest a man to be a politician and live.”

Socrates had two simple rules for life:

“Know thyself”
“Take nothing in excess”