Socrates Quotes on Life, Human Nature, Wisdom Quotes About Goodness
‘Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.’
The philosopher Socrates lived among the fifth-century BC Athenians. His work is completely fascinating, his inquiry into life, soul, God Goodness and Justice influenced the major philosophers of the times to come. He left no written works but as a teacher of Plato he was portrayed as the main character of Plato’s major work: Plato’s Philosophical Dialogues. Plato describes him as a Prophet, a Saint, a most virtuous Teacher.
Socrates and Creative Thinking, Education, True Values
Socrates influence was far reaching. His student Plato was the founder of the first Academy in 385 BC, the first known Western educational institution. Furthermore, Plato's student Aristotle was a tutor of Alexander the Great and also the founder of his own school in 335 BC - the Lyceum.
Socrates believes that wrongdoing resulted from ignorance, and that those who did wrong knew no better. He says:
‘No one desires evil.’
‘No one errs or does wrong willingly or knowingly.’
‘Virtue - all virtue - is knowledge.’
‘Virtue is sufficient for happiness.’
Socrates believes the best way for people to live was to focus on the pursuit of virtue. He invites his students to concentrate more on friendships and a sense of true community.
‘If you don't get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don't want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can't hold on to it forever. Your mindi s your predicament. It wants to be free of change. Free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death. But change is law and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.’
Socrates quote about Desires, Mind and True Values
‘He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.’
Socrates says that he would devote himself only to what he regarded the most important art: exploring and discussing the mother of all sciences: Philosophy. To give you an idea of how deep and wide the knowledge of Philosophy was at the time, we reach to Plato’s Dialogues that discuss mathematics with metaphysical overtones of Pythagoras and we look at Aristotle who was a scientist with the research in biology and physics.
Death_of_Socrates 1787 by Jacques Louis David
Socrates thought challenges conventions, especially in stressing a simplistic way of living, and he became a sore point of many Athenians of the time. Far ahead of his time he argued with many. He was trialed and died at the hands of the Athenian democracy convicted on the charge of corrupting the minds of the youth of Athens and not believing in the gods of the state. He was sentenced to death by drinking poison. It is said that Socrates could have left Athens but that he accepted his death sentence. His last words were: ‘Crito, we owe a rooster to Asclepius. Please, don't forget to pay the debt.’ Asclepius was the Greek god for curing illness, and it is likely that he saw death as the cure, freeing the soul from the body.
When on trial for heresy Socrates uses his method of elenchos to demonstrate to Athenians that their moral values are inferior. He tells them that they ought to be worried about the ‘welfare of their souls’.
Socratic Debate or Socratic Method of Teaching Quotes
‘The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.’
‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’
‘There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.’
‘I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.’
Socratic method, also known as elenctic method, or Socratic Debate, is based on asking questions to stimulate critical thinking. Within Socratic teaching the teacher focuses on giving students questions, not answers. To solve a problem, it is broken down into a series of questions that leads the inquirer to the answers.
The Socratic method is a negative method of hypothesis. French philosopher Pierre Hadot suggests that the dialogues are a type of spiritual exercise. Hadot writes that ‘in Plato's view, every dialectical exercise, precisely because it is an exercise of pure thought, subject to the demands of the Logos, turns the soul away from the sensible world, and allows it to convert itself towards the Good.’
In Plato's Dialogues, learning is a process of remembering. The soul, before incarnating in to the body, is in the realm of Ideas. By the process of questioning, the soul remembers the ideas in their pure form.
The one thing Socrates claimed to have knowledge of was ‘the art of love’ (ta erôtikê)) and the world of rhetoric (erôtan), which means to ask questions. During the time when women were slaves, Socrates claims to have been deeply influenced by two women: Diotima, a witch and priestess from Mantinea, who taught him ‘eros’, or love; and Aspasia, the mistress of Pericles, who taught him the art of rhetoric.
Socrates about Education, Creativity & Free Thinking
‘Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.’
‘Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.’
‘To find yourself, think for yourself.’
‘Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.’
Socrates Quotes about Kids and Wife
‘The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.’
‘By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.’