Socrates Critical Thinking Quotes

Socrates. A Greek philosopher. An enigmatic genius. A genius who gave a whole new norm to the Western philosophy. The standard set by him, his critical reasoning, his view on life and surrounding made him an admirable inspiration to many who came across his teachings, and also had accusers who eventually put him to trial and execution.Socrates. A Greek philosopher. An enigmatic genius. A genius who gave a whole new norm to the Western philosophy. The standard set by him, his critical reasoning, his view on life and surrounding made him an admirable inspiration to many who came across his teachings, and also had accusers who eventually put him to trial and execution.

Socrates was born circa 470 BC in Athens, Greece. His father was a stone mason and sculptor, and his mother was a midwife. Being an ordinary Athenian, he received a basic Greek education. For many years he worked as a stone mason, before he dedicated his life to philosophy. He was married and had three children, none of whom he cared much of. His rest of the life went on to teach young boys on their intellectual development and their life. He believed in authentic knowledge, rather than only victory over his rival.

He was famous for questioning everything in life and the world. He would accept no vague answers, rather, he would ask only for appropriate account of the nature of the problem. Socrates lived an impoverished life. Despite being such a significant figure in philosophy, he never left a word about himself. Whatever we get to know about him, it was all second-hand. Most of them are from the dialogues of Plato and Xenophon, and the plays of Aristophanes. The dialogues from Plato’s account have to be fairly accurate because the latter himself was a philosopher and had a tendency of including his own theories into dialogues.

Socrates was 70 years old when his trial and execution took place. This was in 399 BC. The trial happened because according to his accusers, Socrates was “refusing to recognise the gods recognised by the state”, and “corrupting the youth”. Because he had an anti-democratic point of view. Because his haters thought Socrates was introducing the youths to new gods. He had three hours to present his case and to defend himself, instead, he presented philosophical ideas which the 500 members of the jury refused to understand. He was also given the option to get exiled from Athens. But he declined the offer. Thus, Socrates was given a cup of poison hemlock to drink. And that made him his own executor.

Here are 30 quotes from Socrates that are full of wisdom.

1. Wisdom begins in wonder.


2. The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.


3. To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge.


4. Be as you wish to seem.


5. Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.


6. Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.


7. To find yourself, think for yourself.


8. He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.


9. Be slow to fall into friendship, but when you are in, continue firm and constant.


10. 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.


11. Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.


12. Let him who would move the world first move himself.


13. The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.


14. Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty.


15. Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others.


16. Every action has its pleasures and its prices.


17. We cannot live better than in seeking to become better.


18. Prefer knowledge to wealth, for the one is transitory, the other perpetual.


19. Death may be the greatest of all human blessings.


20. Those who are hardest to love, need it the most.


21. The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.


22. The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.


23. I know you won’t believe me, but the highest form of human excellence is to question oneself and others.


24. Understanding a question is half an answer.


25. Life is full of questions. Idiots are full of answers.


26. Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for.

27. I cannot teach anyone anything, I can only make them think.


28. The unexamined life is not worth living.


29. To move the world we must move ourselves.


And last, but not the least,

30. Know thyself.



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References

Featured photo credit: JR Benjaminvia jrbenjamin.com

"Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts." - William Bruce Cameron (often falsely attributed to Albert Einstein)

"What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence." - Samuel Johnson

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle

"The school is the last expenditure upon which America should be willing to economize." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

"If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." - Derek Bok

"It is today we must create the world of the future." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." - Albert Einstein

"The objective of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives." - Robert Maynard Hutchins

"An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't." - Anatole France

"Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Education would be much more effective if its purpose was to ensure that by the time they leave school every boy and girl should know how much they do not know, and be imbued with a lifelong desire to know it." - William Haley, British Editor

"Do not confine your children to your own learning for they were born in another time." - Hebrew Proverb

"Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." - Roger Lewin

"The school is the last expenditure upon which America should be willing to economize." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

"The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend." - Henri Bergson, French Philosopher and Educator

"If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can't, you're right." - MARY KAY ASH, American businesswoman

"The man who can make hard things easy is the educator." - RALPH WALDO EMERSON, American writer and philosopher

"Children are apt to live up to what you believe of them." - LADY BIRD JOHNSON, Former First Lady of the United States

"The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend." - HENRI BERGSON, French Philosopher and Educator

"The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life." - PLATO, Greek Philosopher

"With a smile we should instruct our youth..." - JEAN BAPTISTE MOLIERE, French Playwright

"Children are not vessels to be filled but lamps to be lit." - SWAMI CHINMAYANANDA, Indian Spiritual Leader

"Genius without an education is like silver in the mine." - BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, American Diplomat, Scientist, and Writer

"Education must not simply teach work—it must teach life." - W.E.B. DU BOIS, American Civil Rights Leader and Writer

"The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend." - HENRI BERGSON, French Philosopher and Educator

"Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to the error that counts." - NIKKI GIOVANNI, American poet

"Teaching is the greatest act of optimism." - COLLEEN WILCOX, American school administrator

"Children are apt to live up to what you believe of them." - LADY BIRD JOHNSON, Former First Lady of the United States

"Those of us who are in this world to educate—to care for—young children have a special calling: a calling that has very little to do with the collection of expensive possessions but has a lot to do with worth inside of heads and hearts." - FRED M. ROGERS, Host of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood

"Each student is a unique person and a powerful learner capable of great achievements. I truly marvel at my students' capacity for learning, accomplishment, and growth." - MICHELLE FORMAN, American National Teacher of the Year 2001

"The one real goal of education is to leave a person asking questions." - MAX BEERHOHM, British Critic, Essayist, and Caricaturist

"Too often we... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - JOHN F. KENNEDY

"Out of the questions of students come most of the creative ideas and discoveries." - Ellen Langer

"Invest a few moments in thinking. It will pay good interest." - Author Unknown

"He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever." - CHINESE PROVERB

"No problem can be solved by the same consciousness that created it. We need to see the world anew." - ALBERT EINSTEIN

"The important thing is not to stop questioning." - Albert Einstein

"Knowing a great deal is not the same as being smart; intelligence is not information alone but also judgment, the manner in which information is collected and used." - Carl Sagan

"There is nothing more uncommon than common sense." - FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT

"Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." - ROGER LEWIN, Ph.D., British anthropologist and science writer

"Time given to thought is the greatest time saver of all." - Norman Cousins

"No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof." - Henry David Thoreau

"Who dares to teach must never cease to learn." - John Cotton Dana

"Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too" - Voltaire

"Reason obeys itself: ignorance submits to what is dictated to it." - Thomas Paine

"Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything one learned in school." - Albert Einstein

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