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Socrates

FromWikiquote
Socrates(c.470BC399BC)wasaclassicalGreek(Athenian)philosophercreditedasoneofthefoundersof
Westernphilosophy.ThroughhisportrayalinPlato'sdialogues,Socrateshasbecomerenownedforhiscontributiontothefield
ofethics,anditisthisPlatonicSocrateswholendshisnametotheconceptsofSocraticironyandtheSocraticmethod,or
elenchus.Thelatterremainsacommonlyusedtoolinawiderangeofdiscussions,andisatypeofpedagogyinwhichaseriesof
questionsisaskednotonlytodrawindividualanswers,butalsotoencouragefundamentalinsightintotheissueathand.

Contents
1Quotes
1.1Plato
1.1.1Apology
1.1.2Phaedo
1.1.2.1Lastwords
1.2Xenophon
1.3Plutarch
1.4DiogenesLaertius
2Attributed
3Misattributed
4QuotesaboutSocrates
5Seealso
6Externallinks

Asforme,allIknowisthatIknow
nothing.

Quotes
Socratesleftnowritingsofhisown,thusourawarenessofhisteachingscomesprimarilyfromafewancientauthorswho
referredtohimintheirownworks(seeSocraticproblem).

Plato
ThewordsofSocrates,asquotedorportrayedinPlato'sworks,whicharethemostextensivesourceavailableforourpresentknowledgeabout
hisideas.

Itwouldbebetterforme...thatmultitudesofmenshoulddisagreewithmeratherthanthatI,beingone,shouldbeoutof
harmonywithmyself.
Gorgias,482c
Bymeansofbeautyallbeautifulthingsbecomebeautiful.Forthisappearstomethesafestanswertogivebothto
myselfandothersandadheringtothis,IthinkthatIshallneverfall,butthatitisasafeanswerbothformeandanyone
elsetogivethatbymeansofbeautybeautifulthingsbecomebeautiful.
Phaedo
Hewhohaslivedasatruephilosopherhasreasontobeofgoodcheerwhenheisabouttodie,andthatafterdeathhemay
hopetoreceivethegreatestgoodintheotherworld.
Phaedo

Falsewordsarenotonlyevilin
themselves,buttheyinfectthesoul
withevil.

Falsewordsarenotonlyevilinthemselves,buttheyinfectthesoulwithevil.
Phaedo115e
literally:'Forknowwell',hesaid,'odearestKriton,thattonotspeakwellisnotonlysinfulbyitself,butletsevilintrudeintothesoul.'(,
,,,.)
Ineveryoneofustherearetworulinganddirectingprinciples,whoseguidancewefollowwherevertheymayleadtheonebeinganinnatedesireofpleasure
theother,anacquiredjudgmentwhichaspiresafterexcellence.
Phaedrus
OhdearPanandalltheothergodsofthisplace,grantthatImaybebeautifulinside.Letallmyexternalpossessionsbeinfriendlyharmonywithwhat
iswithin.MayIconsiderthewisemanrich.Asforgold,letmehaveasmuchasamoderatemancouldbearandcarrywithhim.
Socrates'prayer,Phaedrus,279
Hasaphilosopherlikeyoufailedtodiscoverthatourcountryismoretobevaluedandhigherandholierfarthanmotherorfatheroranyancestor,andmoretobe
regardedintheeyesofthegodsandofmenofunderstanding?
Crito
Wonderisthefeelingofaphilosopher,andphilosophybeginsinwonder.
Theaetetus,155d
,.
Imyselfknownothing,exceptjustalittle,enoughtoextractanargumentfromanothermanwhoiswiseandtoreceiveitfairly.
Theaetetus,161b
,,
.
Asforme,allIknowisthatIknownothing,forwhenIdon'tknowwhatjusticeis,I'llhardlyknowwhetheritisakindofvirtueornot,orwhethera
personwhohasitishappyorunhappy.
Republic,354bc(conclusionofbookI)
ConferApology21d(seebelow),Theaetetus161b(seeabove)andMeno80d13:"SonowIdonotknowwhatvirtueisperhapsyouknewbeforeyou
contactedme,butnowyouarecertainlylikeonewhodoesnotknow."
ConferCicero,Academica,BookI,section1(http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A2007.01.0032%3Abook%3D1):"ipsese
nihilscireidunumsciat("Hehimselfthinksheknowsonething,thatheknowsnothing").Oftenquotedas"sciomenihilscire"or"sciomenescire."A
variantisfoundinvonKues,DevisioneDei,XIII,146(Werke,WalterdeGruyter,1967,p.312):"...ethocsciosolum,quiasciomenescire...[Iknow
alone,that(orbecause)Iknow,thatIdonotknow]."Inthemodernera,theLatinquotewasbacktranslatedtoGreekas"",hnoda
htioudnoda).(Seealso"IknowthatIknownothing.")
ConferDiogenesLaertius,II.32(seebelow)
Thestatewillonlyeverbeahalfofitself.
SocratesinPlato'sRepubliconwomenlackingrights.[1](http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womenslife/11785181/Feminismstartedwiththe
BuddhaandConfucius25centuriesago.html)

Apology
Plato'saccountofthetrialofSocrates.(TranslatedbyBenjaminJowett.)

,
,,,,
.
WhenIlefthim,Ireasonedthuswithmyself:Iamwiserthanthisman,forneitherofusappearstoknowanythinggreatandgoodbuthefancies
heknowssomething,althoughheknowsnothingwhereasI,asIdonotknowanything,soIdonotfancyIdo.Inthistriflingparticular,then,I
appeartobewiserthanhe,becauseIdonotfancyIknowwhatIdonotknow.
21d
Irealizedthatitwasnotbywisdomthatpoetswritetheirpoetry,butbyakindofnatureorinspiration,suchasyoufindinseersandprophetsforthesealso
saymanybeautifulthings,butdonotknowanythingofwhattheysay.
22c
Iwenttotheartisans,forIwasconsciousthatIknewnothingatall,asImaysay,andIwassurethattheyknewmanyfinethingsofwhichIwasignorant,and
inthistheycertainlywerewiserthanIwas.ButIobservedthateventhegoodartisansfellintothesameerrorasthepoetsbecausetheyweregoodworkmen
theythoughttheyknewallsortsofhighmatters,andthisdefectinthemovershadowedtheirwisdomthereforeIaskedmyselfonbehalfoftheoracle,
whetherIwouldliketobeasIwas,neitherhavingtheirknowledgenortheirignorance,orliketheminbothandImadeanswertomyselfandtheoraclethatI
wasbetteroffasIwas.
22de
Iamcalledwise,formyhearersalwaysimaginethatImyselfpossesswisdomwhichIfindwantinginothers:butthetruthis,OmenofAthens,thatGodonly
iswiseandinthisoraclehemeanstosaythatthewisdomofmenislittleornothing...asifhesaid,He,Omen,isthewisest,wholikeSocrates,knows
thathiswisdomisintruthworthnothing.AndsoIgoonmyway,obedienttothegod,andmakeinquisitionintoanyone,whethercitizenorstranger,who
appearstobewiseandifheisnotwise,theninvindicationoftheoracleIshowhimthatheisnotwiseandthisoccupationquiteabsorbsme,andIhave
notimetogiveeithertoanypublicmatterofinterestortoanyconcernofmyown,butIaminutterpovertybyreasonofmydevotiontothegod.
23ac
Ifsomebodyasksthem,Why,whatevildoeshepracticeorteach?theydonotknow,andcannottellbutinorderthattheydonotappeartobeataloss,they
repeatthereadymadechargeswhichareusedagainstallphilosophersaboutteachingthingsupinthecloudsandundertheearth,andhavingnogods,and
makingtheworseappearthebettercausefortheydonotliketoconfessthattheirpretenseofknowledgehasbeendetectedwhichisthetruth...
23d
Nowanswermethis.Doyouthinkthatthesameholdsofhorses?Dopeopleingeneralimprovethem,whereasoneparticularpersoncorruptsthemormakes
themworse?Orisitwhollytheopposite:oneparticularpersonortheveryfewwhoarehorsetrainersisabletoimprovethem,whereasthemajorityof
people,iftheyhavetodowithhorsesandmakeuseofthem,makethemworse?Isn'tthattrue,Meletus,bothofhorsesandofallotheranimals?Ofcourseit
is,whetheryouandAnytussaysoornot.Indeed,ouryoungpeoplearesurelyinaveryhappysituationifonlyonepersoncorruptsthem,whereasalltherest
benefitthem.
25b
EitherIdonotcorruptthem,orIcorruptthemunintentionally,sothatoneitherviewofthecaseyoulie.Ifmyoffenseisunintentional,thelawhasno
cognizanceofunintentionaloffensesyououghttohavetakenmeprivately,andwarnedandadmonishedmeforifIhadbeenbetteradvised,Ishould

cognizanceofunintentionaloffensesyououghttohavetakenmeprivately,andwarnedandadmonishedmeforifIhadbeenbetteradvised,Ishould
haveleftoffdoingwhatIonlydidunintentionallynodoubtIshouldwhereasyouhatedtoconversewithmeorteachme,butyouindictedmeinthis
court,whichistheplacenotofinstruction,butofpunishment.
26a
IhavesaidenoughinanswertothechargeofMeletus:anyelaboratedefenseisunnecessarybutasIwassayingbefore,Icertainlyhavemanyenemies,and
thisiswhatwillbemydestructionifIamdestroyedofthatIamcertainnotMeletus,noryetAnytus,buttheenvyanddetractionoftheworld,which
hasbeenthedeathofmanyagoodmen,andwillprobablybethedeathofmanymorethereisnodangerofmybeingthelastofthem.
28a
Someonewillsay:Andareyounotashamed,Socrates,ofacourseoflifewhichislikelytobringyoutoanuntimelyend?TohimImayfairlyanswer:There
youaremistaken:amanwhoisgoodforanythingoughtnottocalculatethechanceoflivingordyingheoughtonlytoconsiderwhetherindoing
anythingheisdoingrightorwrongactingthepartofagoodmanorabad....Forwhereveraman'splaceis,whethertheplacehehaschosenorthat
wherehehasbeenplacedbyacommander.thereheoughttoremaininthehourofdangerheshouldnotthinkofdeathorofanything,butofdisgrace.
28bd
...if,Isaynow,when,asIconceiveandimagine,Godordersmetofulfillthephilosopher'smissionofsearchingintomyselfandothermen,Iweretodesert
mypostthroughfearofdeath,oranyotherfearthatwouldindeedbestrange,andImightjustlybearraignedincourtfordenyingtheexistenceofthegods...
thenIwouldbefancyingthatIwaswisewhenIwasnotwise.Forthisfearofdeathisindeedthepretenseofwisdom,andnotrealwisdom,beingthe
appearanceofknowingtheunknownsincenooneknowswhetherdeath,whichtheyintheirfearapprehendtobethegreatestevil,maynotbethe
greatestgood....thisisthepointinwhich,asIthink,Iamsuperiortomeningeneral,andinwhichImightperhapsfancymyselfwiserthanothermenthat
whereasIknowbutlittleoftheworldbelow,IdonotsupposethatIknow:butIdoknowthatinjusticeanddisobediencetoabetter,whetherGodorman,is
evilanddishonorable,andIwillneverfearoravoidapossiblegoodratherthanacertainevil.
29ab
Alternatetranslation:"Tofeardeath,isnothingelsebuttobelieveourselvestobewise,whenwearenotandtofancythatweknowwhatwedonot
know.Ineffect,nobodyknowsdeathnobodycantell,butitmaybethegreatestbenefitofmankindandyetmenareafraidofit,asiftheyknew
certainlythatitwerethegreatestofevils."
Andhowisnotthisthemostreprehensibleignorance,tothinkthatoneknowswhatonedoesnotknow?ButI,OAthenians!inthis,perhaps,differfrommost
menandifIshouldsaythatIaminanythingwiserthananother,itwouldbeinthis,thatnothavingacompetentknowledgeofthethingsinHades,Ialso
thinkthatIhavenotsuchknowledge.
29b[alternatetranslation]
Ishallneverceasefromthepracticeandteachingofphilosophy,exhortinganyonewhomImeetaftermymanner,andconvincinghim,saying:Omyfriend,
whydoyouwhoareacitizenofthegreatandmightyandwisecityofAthens,caresomuchaboutlayingupthegreatestamountofmoneyandhonor
andreputation,andsolittleaboutwisdomandtruthandthegreatestimprovementofthesoul,whichyouneverregardorheedatall?Areyounot
ashamedofthis?AndifthepersonwithwhomIanarguingsays:Yes,butIdocare:IdonotdepartorlethimgoatonceIinterrogateandexamineandcross
examinehim,andifIthinkthathehasnovirtue,butonlysaysthathehas,Ireproachhimwithovervaluingthegreater,andundervaluingtheless....Forthis
isthecommandofGod,asIwouldhaveyouknow...
29d30a
Idonothingbutgoaboutpersuadingyouall,oldandyoungalike,nottotakethoughtforyourpersonsoryourproperties,butandchieflytocareaboutthe
greatestimprovementofthesoul.Itellyouthatvirtueisnotgivenbymoney,butthatfromvirtuecomesmoneyandeveryothergoodofman,publicas
wellasprivate.Thisismyteaching,andifthisisthedoctrinewhichcorruptstheyouth,Iamamischievousperson.
30ab
IfyoukillsuchaoneasIam,youwillinjureyourselvesmorethanyouwillinjureme.MeletusandAnytuswillnotinjureme:theycannotforitisnotinthe
natureofthingsthatabadmanshouldinjureonebetterthanhimself.Idonotdenythathemay,perhaps,killhim,ordrivehimintoexile,ordeprivehim
ofcivilrightsandhemayimagine,andothersmayimagine,thatheisdoinghimagreatinjury:butinthatIdonotagreewithhimfortheevilofdoingwhat
Anytusisdoingofunjustlytakingawayanotherman'slifeisgreaterfar.
30cd
Sonow,Athenianmen,morethanonmyownbehalfmustIdefendmyself,assomemaythink,butonyourbehalf,sothatyoumaynotmakeamistake
concerningthegiftofgodbycondemningme.Forifyoukillme,youwillnoteasilyfindanothersuchpersonatall,eveniftosayinaludicrousway,attached
onthecitybythegod,likeonalargeandwellbredhorse,byitssizeandlazinessbothneedingarousingbysomegadflyinthiswaythegodseemstohave
fastenedmeonthecity,somesuchonewhoarousingandpersuadingandreproachingeachoneofyouIdonotstopthewholedaysettlingdownallover.Thus
suchanotherwillnoteasilycometoyou,men,butifyoubelieveme,youwillsparemebutperhapsyoumightpossiblybeoffended,likethesleepingwhoare
awakened,strikingme,believingAnytus,youmighteasilykill,thentherestofyourlivesyoumightcontinuesleeping,unlessthegodcaringforyoushould
sendyouanother.
30e
IfIhadengagedinpolitics,Ishouldhaveperishedlongagoanddonenogoodtoeitheryouortomyself....forthetruthisthatnomanwhogoestowarwith
youoranyothermultitude,honestlystrugglingagainstthecommissionofunrighteouosnessandwrongintheState,willsavehislifehewhowillreallyfight
forright,ifhewouldliveevenforalittlewhile,musthaveaprivatestationandnotapublicone.
31e
Ihavehadnoregulardisciples:butifanyonelikestocomeandhearmewhileIampursuingmymission,whetherhebeyoungorold,hemayfreelycome.
NordoIconversewiththosewhopayonly,andnotwiththosewhodonotpaybutanyone,whetherheberichorpoor,mayaskandanswermeandlistento
mywordsandwhetherheturnsouttobeabadmanoragoodone,thatcannotbejustlylaidtomycharge,asInevertaughthimanything.Andifanyonesays
thathehaseverlearnedorheardanythingfrommeinprivatewhichalltheworldhasnotheard,Ishouldlikeyoutoknowthatheisspeakingan
untruth.
33ab
...IdidnotgowhereIcoulddonogoodtoyouortomyselfbutwhereIcoulddothegreatestgoodprivatelytoeveryoneofyou,thitherIwent,andsought
topersuadeeverymanamongyouthathemustlooktohimself,andseekvirtueandwisdombeforehelookstohisprivateinterests,andlooktothe
StatebeforehelookstotheinterestsoftheStateandthatthisshouldbetheorderwhichheobservesinallhisactions.Whatshallbedonetosuchaone?
Doubtlesssomegoodthing...
36cd
Someonewillsay:Yes,Socrates,butcannotyouholdyourtongue,andthenyoumaygointoaforeigncity,andnoonewillinterferewithyou?NowIhave
greatdifficultyinmakingyouunderstandmyanswertothis.ForifItellyouthatthiswouldbeadisobediencetoadivinecommand,andthereforethatI
cannotholdmytongue,youwillnotbelievethatIamseriousandifIsaythatthegreatestgoodofamanisdailytoconverseaboutvirtue,andallthat
concerningwhichyouhearmeexaminingmyselfandothers,andthatthelifewhichisunexaminedisnotworthlivingthatyouarestilllesslikelyto
believe.
37e38a
(hodeanexetastosbiosoubitosanthrpi)
Theunexaminedlifeisnotworthlivingforahumanbeing.
38a
Varianttranslations:
(Moreclosely)Theunexamininglifeisnotworthlivingforahumanbeing
Thelifewhichisunexaminedisnotworthliving.
Anunexaminedlifeisnotworthliving.
Theunexaminedlifeisnotthelifeforman.
Lifewithoutenquiryisnotworthlivingforaman.
Iwouldratherdiehavingspokeninmymanner,thanspeakinyourmannerandlive.Forneitherinwarnoryetin
lawoughtanymanuseeverywayofescapingdeath.Forofteninbattlethereisnodoubtthatifamanwillthrowaway
hisarms,andfallonhiskneesbeforehispursuers,hemayescapedeath,ifamaniswillingtosayordoanything.The
difficulty,myfriends,isnotinavoidingdeath,butinavoidingunrighteousnessforthatrunsdeeperthandeath.
38e39a
AndIprophesytoyouwhoaremymurderers,thatimmediatelyaftermydeathpunishmentfarheavierthanyouhave
Theunexaminedlifeisnotworth
inflictedonmewillsurelyawaityou.Meyouhavekilledbecauseyouwantedtoescapetheaccuser,andnottogivean
livingforahumanbeing.
accountofyourlives.Butthatwillnotbeasyousuppose:farotherwise.ForIsaythattherewillbemoreaccusersof
youthantherearenowaccuserswhomhithertoIhaverestrained:andastheyareyoungertheywillbemoresevere
withyou,andyouwillbemoreoffendedatthem.Forifyouthinkthatbykillingmenyoucanavoidtheaccusercensoringyourlives,youaremistaken
thatisnotawayofescapewhichiseitherpossibleorhonorabletheeasiestandthenoblestwayisnottobecrushingothers,buttobeimproving
yourselves.
39cd
...weshallseethatthereisgreatreasontohopethatdeathisagood,foroneoftwothings:eitherdeathisastateofnothingnessandutterunconsciousness,or,
asmensay,thereisachangeandamigrationofthesoulfromthisworldtoanother.Nowifyousupposethereisnoconsciousness,butasleeplikethesleepof
himwhoisundisturbedevenbythesiteofdreams,deathwillbeanunspeakablegain.Forifapersonweretoselectthenightinwhichhissleepwas
undisturbedevenbydreams,andweretocomparewiththistheotherdaysandnightsofhislife,andthenweretotellushowmanydaysandnightshehad
passedinthecourseofhislifebetterandmorepleasantlythanthisone,Ithinkthatanyman,Iwillnotsayaprivateman,buteventhegreatking,willnotfind
manysuchdaysornights,whencomparedwiththeothers.Now,ifdeathislikethis,Isaythattodieisgainforeternityisthenonlyasinglenight.Butif
deathisthejourneytoanotherplace,andthere,asmensay,allthedeadare,whatgood,Ofriendsandjudges,canbegreaterthanthis?...Aboveall,Ishallbe
abletocontinuemysearchintotrueandfalseknowledgeasinthisworld,soalsointhatIshallfindoutwhoiswise,andwhopretendstobewise,andisnot.
...Whatinfinitedelightwouldtherebeinconversingwiththemandaskingthemquestions!Forinthatworldtheywouldnotputamantodeathforthis
certainlynot.Forbesidesbeinghappierinthatworldthaninthis,theywillbeimmortal,ifwhatissaidistrue.
40c41c
Wherefore,Ojudges,beofgoodcheeraboutdeath,andknowthatthisisofatruththatnoevilcanhappentoagoodman,eitherinlifeorafterdeath.
...Forwhichreasonalso,Iamnotangrywithmyaccusers,ormycondemnerstheyhavedonemenoharm,althoughneitherofthemmeanttodome
anygoodandforthisImaygentlyblamethem.
41ce
Whenmysonsaregrownup,Iwouldaskyou,Omyfriends,topunishthemandIwouldhaveyoutotroublethem,asIhavetroubledyou,ifthey
seemtocareaboutriches,oranything,morethanaboutvirtueoriftheypretendtobesomethingwhentheyarereallynothingthenreprove
them,asIhavereprovedyou,fornotcaringaboutthatforwhichtheyoughttocare,andthinkingthattheyaresomethingwhentheyarereallynothing.And
ifyoudothis,Iandmysonswillhavereceivedjusticeatyourhands.
41e42a
Thehourofdeparturehasarrived,andwegoourwaysItodieandyoutolive.Whichisthebetter,onlyGod
knows.
42a
Phaedo
Plato'saccountofSocrates'death.

Note:Generally,theearlyworksofPlatoareconsideredtobeclosetothespiritofSocrates,whereasthelaterworks,
includingPhaedo,maypossiblybeproductsofPlato'selaborations.

Thehourofdeparturehasarrived,
andwegoourwaysItodieand

Howsingularisthethingcalledpleasure,andhowcuriouslyrelatedtopain,whichmightbethoughttobethe
oppositeofitfortheynevercometoamantogether,andyethewhopursueseitherofthemisgenerally
compelledtotaketheother.Theyaretwo,andyettheygrowtogetheroutofoneheadorstem...

youtolive.Whichisthebetter,only
Godknows.

InthecourseofmylifeIhaveoftenhadintimationsindreams"thatIshouldmakemusic."Thesamedreamcametomesometimesinoneform,and
sometimesinanother,butalwayssayingthesameornearlythesamewords:Makeandcultivatemusic,saidthedream.AndhithertoIimaginedthat
thiswasonlyintendedtoexhortandencouragemeinthestudyofphilosophy,whichhasalwaysbeenthepursuitofmylife,andisthenoblestandbestof
music.
[Whyissuicideheldnottoberight?]Thereisadoctrineutteredinsecretthatamanisaprisonerwhohasnorighttoopenthedoortohisprisonandrunaway
thisisagreatmysterywhichIdonotunderstand.YetItoo,believethatthegodsareourguardians,andthatweareapossessionoftheirs....Andifoneofyour
possessions,anoxoranass,forexampletookthelibertyofputtinghimselfoutofthewaywhenyouhadgivennointimationofyourwishthatheshoulddie,
wouldyounotbeangrywithhim,andwouldyounotpunishhimifyoucould?...Thentheremaybereasoninsayingthatamanshouldwait,andnottakehis
ownlifeuntilGodsummonshim,asheisnowsummoningme.
...Iamquiteready,SimmiasandCebes,thatIoughttobegrievedatdeath,ifIwerenotpersuadedthatIamgoingtoothergodswhoarewiseandgoodandto
mendepartedwhoarebetterthanthosewhomIleavebehindandthereforeIdonotgrieveasImighthavedone,forIhavegoodhopethatthereisyet
somethingremainingforthedead,and,ashasbeensaidofold,somefarbetterthingforthegoodthanfortheevil.
...thetruediscipleofphilosophyislikelytobemisunderstoodbyothermentheydonotperceivethatheiseverpursuingdeathanddyingandifthis
istrue,why,havinghadthedesireofdeathallhislifelong,shouldherepineatthatwhichhehasalwaysbeenpursuinganddesiring?
...whendoesthesoulobtaintruth?forinattemptingtoconsideranythingincompanywiththebodysheisobviouslydeceived....Thenmustnotexistencebe
revealedtoherinthought,ifatall?...Andthoughtisbestwhenthemindisgatheredintoherselfandnoneofthesethingstroubleherneithersoundsnor
sightsnorpainnoranypleasurewhenshehasaslittleaspossibletodowiththebody,andhasnobodilysenseorfeeling,butisaspiringafterbeing?...And
inthisthephilosopherdishonorsthebodyhissoulrunsawayfromthebodyanddesirestobealoneandbyherself?
...thebodyisasourceofendlesstroubletousbyreasonofthemererequirementoffoodandisalsoliabletodiseaseswhichovertakeandimpedeusinthe
searchaftertruth:andbyfillingussofullofloves,andlusts,andfears,andfancies,andidols,andeverysortoffolly,preventsoureverhaving,aspeoplesay,
somuchasathought.
...whencecomewars,andfighting,andfactions?whencebutfromthebodyandthelustsofthebody?Forwarsareoccasionedbytheloveofmoney,and
moneyhastobeacquiredforthesakeandinserviceofthebodyandinconsequenceofallthesethings,thetimewhichoughttobegiventophilosophyis
lost.
...eitherknowledgeisnottobeattainedatall,orifatall,afterdeath.Forthen,andnottilthen,thesoulwillbeinherselfaloneandwithoutthebody.
Inthispresentlife,Ireckonthatwemakethenearestapproachtoknowledgewhenwehavetheleastpossibleconcernorinterestinthebody,andarenot
saturatedwiththebodilynature,butremainpureuntilthehourwhenGodhimselfispleasedtoreleaseus.Andthenthefoolishnessofthebodywillbecleared
awayandweshallbepureandholdconversewithothepuresouls,andknowofourselvestheclearlighteverywhereandthisissurelythelightoftruth.For
noimpurethingisallowedtoapproachthepure.Thesearethesortofwords,Simmias,whichthetrueloversofwisdomcannothelpsayingtoone
another,andthinking.
Andnowthatthehourofdepartureisappointedtome,thisisthehopewithwhichIdepart,andnotIonly,buteverymanthatbelievesthathehashismind
purified.
Andwillhewhoisatrueloverofwisdom,andispersuadedinlikemannerthatonlyintheworldbelowcanheworthilyenjoyher,stillrepineatdeath?Will
henotdepartwithjoy?Surelyhewill,myfriend,ifhebeatruephilosopher....Andifthisbetrue,hewouldbeveryabsurd,...ifheweretofeardeath.
Andwhenyouseeamanwhoisrepiningattheapproachofdeath,isnothisreluctanceasufficientproofthatheisnotaloverofwisdom,butaloverofthe
body,andprobablyatthesametimealoverofeithermoneyorpower,orboth?
Thereisavirtue,Simmias,whichisnamedcourage.Isnotthataspecialattributeofthephilosopher?...Again,thereistemperance.Isnotthecalm,and
control,anddisdainofthepassionswhicheventhemanycalltemperance,aqualitybelongingonlytothosewhodespisethebodyandliveinphilosophy?
...donotcourageousmenenduredeathbecausetheyareafraidofyetgreaterevils?...Thenallbutphilosophersarecourageousonlyfromfear,andbecause
theyareafraidandyetthatamanshouldbecourageousfromfear,andbecauseheisacoward,issurelyastrangething.
Andarenotthetemperateexactlyinthesamecase?Theyaretemperatebecausetheyareintemperatewhichmayseemtobeacontradiction,butis
neverthelessthesortofthingwhichhappenswiththisfoolishtemperance.Fortherearepleasureswhichtheymusthave,andareafraidoflosingandtherefore
theyabstainfromoneclassofpleasuresbecausetheyareovercomebyanother:andwhereasintemperanceisdefinedas"beingunderthedominationof
pleasure,"theyovercomeonlybecausetheyareovercomebypleasure.
Theexchangeofonefearorpleasureorpainforanotherfearorpleasureorpain,whicharemeasuredlikecoins,thegreaterwiththeless,isnottheexchange
ofvirtue.O,mydearSimmias,istherenotonetruecoin,forwhichallthingsoughttoexchange?andthatiswisdomandonlyinexchangeforthis,and
incompanywiththis,isanythingtrulyboughtorsold,whethercourageortemperanceorjustice....inthetrueexchange,thereisapurgingawayofallthese
things,andtemperance,andjustice,andcourage,andwisdomherselfareapurgationofthem.
Iconceivethatthefoundersofthemysterieshadarealmeaningandwerenotmeretriflerswhentheyintimatedinafigurelongagothathewhopasses
unsanctifiedanduninitiatedintotheworldbelowwillliveinaslough,butthathewhoarrivesthereafterinitiationandpurificationwilldwellwiththegods.
For"many,"astheysayinthemysteries,"arethethyrsusbearers,butfewarethemystics,"meaning,asIinterpretthewords,thetruephilosophers.
Ifgenerationwereinastraightlineonly,andtherewerenocompensationorcircleinnature,noturnorreturnintooneanother,thenyouknowthat
allthingswouldatlasthavethesameformandpassintothesamestate,andtherewouldbenomoregenerationofthem.
Iamconfidentinthebeliefthattheretrulyissuchathingaslivingagain,andthatthelivingspringfromthedead,andthatthesoulsofthedeadare
inexistence,andthatthegoodsoulshaveabetterportionthantheevil.
...iftheknowledgewhichweacquiredbeforebirthwaslosttousatbirth,andafterwordsbytheuseofthesenseswerecoveredthatwhichwepreviously
knew,willnotthatwhichwecalllearningbeaprocessofrecoveringourknowledge,andmaynotthisberightlytermedrecollectionbyus?...Then,Simmias,
oursoulsmusthaveexistedbeforetheywereintheformofmanwithoutbodies,andmusthavehadintelligence.
...weadmittedthateverythinglivingisbornofthedead.Forifthesoulexistedbeforebirth,andincomingtolifeandbeingborncanbebornonlyfromdeath
anddying,mustshenotafterdeathcontinuetoexist,sinceshehastobebornagain?
Nowthecompoundorcompositemaybesupposedtobenaturallycapableofbeingdissolvedinlikemannerasbeingcompoundedbutthatwhichis
uncompounded,andthatonly,mustbe,ifanythingis,indissoluble....Andtheuncompoundedmaybeassumedtobethesameandunchanging,wherethe
compoundisalwayschangingandneverthesame?...Isthatideaoressence,whichinthedialecticalprocesswedefineasessenceoftrueexistence
whetheressenceofequality,beauty,oranythingelse:aretheseessences,Isay,liableattimestosomedegreeofchange?oraretheyeachofthem
alwayswhattheyare,havingthesamesimple,selfexistentandunchangingforms,andnotadmittingofvariationatall,orinanyway,oratany
time?
...supposethattherearetwosortsofexistences,oneseen,andtheotherunseen....Theseenisthechanging,andtheunseenistheunchanging....And
further,isnotonepartofusbody,andtherestofussoul?...Thenthesoulismoreliketotheunseen,andthebodytotheseen?...thesoulisthen
draggedbythebodyintotheregionofthechangeable,andwandersandisconfusedtheworldspinsroundher,andsheislikeadrunkardwhenundertheir
influence?
Butwhenreturningintoherselfshe[thesoul]reflectsthenshepassesintotherealmofpurity,andeternity,andimmortality,andunchangeableness,whichare
herkindred,andwiththemsheeverlives,whensheisbyherselfandisnotletorhinderedthensheceasesfromhererringways,andbeingincommunion
withtheunchangingisunchanging.Andthisstateofthesouliscalledwisdom.
...thesoulisintheverylikenessofthedivine,andimmortal,andintelligible,anduniform,andindissoluble,andunchangeableandthebodyisinthe
verylikenessofthehuman,andmortal,andunintelligible,andmultiform,anddissoluble,andchangeable.
Butthesoulwhichhasbeenpolluted,andisimpureatthetimeofherdeparture,andisthecompanionandservantofthebodyalways,andisinlovewithand
fascinatedbythebodyandbythedesiresandpleasuresofthebody,untilsheisledtobelievethatthetruthexistsonlyinbodilyform,whichamanmaytouch
andseeandtasteanduseforthepurposesofhisluststhesoul,Imean,accustomedtohateandfearandavoidtheintellectualprinciple,whichtothebodily
eyeisdarkandinvisible,andcanbeattainedonlybyphilosophydoyousupposethatsuchasoulasthiswilldepartpureandunalloyed?
...hewhoisaphilosopherorloveroflearning,andisentirelypureatdeparting,isalonepermittedtoreachthegods.Andthisisthereason,Simmiasand
Cebes,whythetruevotariesofphilosophyabstainfromallfleshlylusts,andendureandrefusetogivethemselvesuptothemnotbecausetheyfearpoverty
orruinoftheirfamilies,liketheloversofmoney,andtheworldingeneralnorliketheloversofpowerandhonor,becausetheydreadthedishonoror
disgraceofevildeeds.
...theywhohaveacareoftheirsouls,anddonotmerelyliveinthefashionsofthebody,sayfarewelltoallthistheywillnotwalkinthewaysoftheblind:
andwhenphilosophyoffersthempurificationandreleasefromevil,theyfeelthattheyoughtnotresistherinfluence,andtohertheyincline,andwhithershe
leadstheyfollowher.
Whenthefeelingofpleasureorpaininthesoulismostintense,allofusnaturallysupposethattheobjectofthisintensefeelingisthenplainestandtruestbut
thisisnotthecase....becauseeachpleasureandpainisasortofnailwhichnailsandrivetsthesoultothebody,andengrossesherandmakesher
believethattobetruewhichthebodyaffirmstobetrueandfromagreeingwiththebodyandhavingthesamedelightssheisobligedtohavethesame
habitsandways,andisnotlikelyevertobepureatherdeparturetotheworldbelow,butisalwayssaturatedwiththebodysothatshesoon[afterdeath]sinks
intoanotherbodyandtheregerminatesandgrows,andhasthereforenopartinthecommunionofthedivineandpureandsimple.
Andthis,Cebes,isthereasonwhythetrueloversofknowledgearetemperateandbraveandnotforthereasonthattheworldgives.Fornotinthatwaydoes
thesoulofaphilosopherreason....Neverfear,SimmiasandCebes,thatasoulwhichhasbeenthusnurturedandhashadthesepursuits,willather
departurefromthebodybescatteredandblownawaybythewindsandbenowhereandnothing.
WillyounotallowthatIhaveasmuchofthespiritofprophecyinmeastheswans?Forthey,whentheyperceivethattheymustdie,havingsungalltheirlife
long,dothensingmorethanever,rejoicinginthethoughtthattheyareabouttogoawaytothegodwhoseministerstheyare.
...astherearemisanthropists,orhatersofmen,therearealsomisologistsorhatersofideas,andbothspringfromthesamecause,whichisignoranceofthe
world.Misanthropyarisesfromtoogreatconfidenceofinexperienceyoutrustamanandthinkhimaltogethertrueandgoodandfaithful,andtheninalittle
whileheturnsouttobefalseandknavishandthenanotherandanother,andwhenthishashappenedseveraltimestoaman,especiallywithinthecircleofhis
mosttrustedfriends,ashedeemsthem,andhehasoftenquarreledwiththem,heatlasthatesallmen,andbelievesthatnoonehasanygoodinhimatall.
...Thereasonisthataman,havingtodealwithothermen,hasnoknowledgeofthemforifhehadknowledgehewouldhaveknownthetruestateof
thecase,thatfewarethegoodandfewtheevil,andthatthegreatmajorityareintheintervalbetweenthem.
...nothingismoreuncommonthanaverylargeoraverysmallmanandthisappliesgenerallytoallextremes,whetherofgreatandsmall,orswiftandslow,
orfairandfoul,orblackandwhiteandwhethertheinstancesyouselectbemanordogsoranythingelse,fewaretheextremes,butmanyareinthemean
betweenthem.
...whenasimplemanwhohasnoskillindialecticsbelievesanargumenttobetruewhichheafterwordsimaginestobefalse,whetherreallyfalseornot,and
thenanotherandanother,henolongerhasanyfaithleft,andgreatdisputers,asyouknow,cometothink,atlastthattheyhavegrowntobethewisestof
mankindfortheyaloneperceivetheutterunsoundnessandinstabilityofallarguments,or,indeed,ofallthings,whichlikethecurrentsintheEuripus,are
goingupanddowninneverceasingebbandflow.
Letus...becarefulofadmittingintooursoulsthenotionthatthereisnotruthorhealthorsoundnessinanyargumentsatallbutletusrathersay

Letus...becarefulofadmittingintooursoulsthenotionthatthereisnotruthorhealthorsoundnessinanyargumentsatallbutletusrathersay
thatthereisasyetnohealthinus,andthatwemustquitourselveslikemenanddoourbesttogainhealthyouandallothermenwithaviewtothe
wholeofyourfuturelife,andImyselfwithaviewtodeath.
...thesoul,beingaharmony,canneverutteranoteatvariancewiththetensionsandrelaxationsandvibrationsandotheraffectionsofthestringsout
ofwhichsheiscomposedshecanonlyfollow,shecannotleadthem?...Andyetdowenotnowdiscoverthesoultobedoingtheexactopposite
leadingtheelementsofwhichsheisbelievedtobecomposedalmostalwaysopposingandcoercingtheminallsortsofwaysthroughoutlife...threatening
andreprimandingthedesires,passions,fears,asiftalkingtoathingwhichisnotherself...
Youwanttohaveproventoyouthatthesoulisimperishableandimmortal,andyouthinkthatthephilosopherwhoisconfidentindeathhasbutavainand
foolishconfidence,ifhethinksthathewillfarebetterthanonewhohasledanothersortoflife,intheworldbelow,unlesshecanprovethisandyousaythat
thestrengthanddivinityofthesoul,andofherexistencepriortoourbecomingmen,doesnotnecessarilyimplyherimmortality....Foranyman,whoisnot
devoidofnaturalfeeling,hasreasontofear,ifhehasnoknowledgeorproofofthesoul'simmortality.ThatiswhatIsupposeyoutosay,Cebes,whichI
designedlyrepeat,inorderthatnothingmayescapeus...
WhenIwasyoung,Cebes,IhadaprodigiousdesiretoknowthedepartmentofphilosophywhichiscalledNaturalSciencethisappearedtometo
haveloftyaims,asbeingthesciencewhichhastodowiththecausesofthings,andwhichteacheswhyathingis,andiscreatedanddestroyedandI
alwaysagitatedmyselfwiththeconsiderationofsuchquestionsasthese...Iwentontoexaminethedecayofthem,andthentothestudyoftheheavenand
earth,andatlastIconcludedthatIwaswhollyincapableoftheseinquiries...TherewasatimewhenIthoughtthatIunderstoodthemeaningofgreaterand
lessprettywell...thattenismorethaneight,andthattwocubitsaremorethanone,becausetwoistwiceone.Ishouldbefarfromimagining...thatIknewthe
causeofanyofthem,indeedIshould,forIcannotsatisfymyselfthatwhenoneisaddedtoone,theonetowhichtheadditionismadebecomestwo...norcan
Iunderstandhowthedivisionofoneisthewaytomaketwoforthenadifferentcausewouldproducethesameeffect.
ThenIheardsomeonewhohadabookofAnaxagoras,ashesaid,outofwhichhereadthatthemindwasthedisposerandcauseofall...andIsaidtomyself:
Ifmindisthedisposer,mindwilldisposeallforthebest,andputeachparticularinthebestplaceandIarguedthatifanyonedesiredtofindoutthecause
ofthegenerationordestructionofanything,hemustfindoutwhatstateofbeingorsufferingordoingwasbestforthatthing,andthereforeamanhad
onlyconsiderthebestforhimselfandothers,andthenhewouldalsoknowtheworse,forthatthesamesciencecomprisedboth.
AndIrejoicedtothinkthatIhasfoundinAnaxagorasateacherofthecausesofexistencesuchasIdesired,andIimaginedthathewouldtellmefirstwhether
theearthisflatorroundandthenhewouldfurtherexplainthatthispositionwasthebest,andIshouldbesatisfied...andnotwantanyothersortofcause.
AndIthoughtthatIwouldthengoandaskhimaboutthesunandmoonandstars,andhewouldexplaintometheircomparativeswiftness,andtheir
returningsandvariousstates,andhowtheirseveralaffections,activeandpassive,wereallforthebest.ForIcouldnotimaginethatwhenhespokeofmindas
thedisposerofthem,hewouldgiveanyotheraccountoftheirbeingastheyare,exceptthatthiswasbestandIthoughtwhenhehadexplainedtomein
detailthecauseofeachandthecauseofall,hewouldgoontoexplaintomewhatwasbestformeandwhatwasbestforall....Iseizedthebooksand
readthemasfastasIcouldinmyeagernesstoknowthebetterandtheworse.
...howgrievouslyIwasdisappointed!...Ifoundmyphilosopheraltogetherforsakingmindandanyotherprincipleoforder,buthavingrecoursetoair,and
ether,andwater,andothereccentricities.Imightcomparehimtoapersonthatbeganbymaintaininggenerallythatmindisthecauseoftheactionsof
Socrates,butwho,whenendeavoredtoexplainthecausesofmyseveralactionsindetail,wentontoshowthatIsitherebecausemybodyismadeupofbones
andmusclesandtheboneshewouldsay,arehardandhaveligamentswhichdividethem,andthemusclesareelastic,andtheycoverthebones,whichalso
haveacoveringorenvironmentoffleshandskinwhichcontainsthemandasthebonesareliftedattheirjointsbythecontractionorrelaxationofthe
muscles,Iamabletobendmylimbs,andthisiswhyIansittinghereinacurvedposture...andhewouldhaveasimilarexplanationofmytalkingtoyou,
whichhewouldattributetosound,andair,andhearing,andhewouldassigntenthousandothercausesofthesamesort,forgettingtomentionthetrue
cause,whichisthatAthenianshavethoughtfittocondemnme,andaccordinglyIhavethoughtitbetterandmorerighttoremainhereandundergo
mysentenceforIaminclinedtothinkthatthesemusclesandbonesofminewouldhavegoneofftoMegaraorBoeotia...iftheyhadbeenguided
onlybytheirideaofwhatwasbest,andifIhadnotchosenasthebetterandnoblerpart...toundergoanypunishmentthattheStateinflicts.
Itmaybesaid,indeed,thatwithoutbonesandmusclesandtheotherpartsofthebodyIcannotexecutemypurposes.ButtosaythatIdoasIdobecauseof
them,andthatthisisthewayinwhichthemindacts,andnotfromthechoiceofthebest,isaverycarelessandidlemodeofspeaking.Iwonderthatthey
cannotdistinguishthecausefromthecondition,whichthemany,feelingaboutinthedark,arealwaysmistakingandmisnaming.
Andthusonemanmakesavortexallroundandsteadiestheearthbytheheavenanothergivestheairassupportfortheearth,whichissortofabroadtrough.
Anypowerwhichindisposingthemastheyaredisposesthemforthebestneverentersintotheirminds,notdotheyimaginethatthereisanysuperhuman
strengthinthattheyratherexpecttofindanotherAtlasoftheworldwhoisstrongerandmoreeverlastingandmorecontainingthanthegoodis,and
areclearlyoftheopinionthattheobligatoryandcontainingpowerofthegoodisasnothingandyetthisistheprinciplewhichIwouldfainlearnif
anyonewouldteachme.ButasIhavefailedeithertodiscovermyselfortolearnofanyoneelse,thenatureofthebest,Iwillexhibittoyou,ifyoulike,what
Ihavefoundtobethesecondbestmodeofinquiringintothecause.
IthoughtthatasIhadfailedinthecontemplationoftrueexistence,IoughttobecarefulthatIdidnotlosetheeyeofmysoulaspeoplemayinjuretheir
bodilyeyebyobservingandgazingonthesunduringaneclipse,unlesstheytaketheprecautionoflookingattheimagereflectedinthewater,orin
somesimilarmedium....IwasafraidthatmysoulmightbeblindedaltogetherifIlookedatthingswithmyeyesortriedbythehelpofmysensesto
apprehendthem.AndIthoughtthatIhadbetterhadrecoursetoideas,andseekinthemtruthinexistence.Idaretosaythatthesimileisnotperfect
forIamfarfromadmittingthathewhocontemplatesexistencethroughthemediumofideas,seesthemonly"throughaglassdarkly,"anymorethanhewho
seesthemintheirworkingandeffects.
...thiswasthemethodwhichIadopted:IfirstassumedsomeprinciplewhichIjudgedtobethestrongest,andthenIaffirmedastruewhatever
seemedtoagreewiththis,whetherrelatingtothecauseortoanythingelseandthatwhichdisagreedIregardedasuntrue....Iwanttoshowyouthe
natureofthatcausewhichhasoccupiedmythoughts,andIshallhavetogobacktothosefamiliarwordswhichareinthemouthofeveryone,andfirstofall
assumethatthereisanabsolutebeautyandgoodnessandgreatness,andthelikegrantmethis,andIhopetobeabletoshowyouthenatureofthecause,
andtoprovetheimmortalityofthesoul.
...ifthereisanythingbeautifulotherthanabsolutebeauty,thatcanonlybebeautifulasfarasitpartakesofabsolutebeautyandthisIshouldsayof
everything....bybeautyallthingsbecomebeautiful....bygreatnessonlygreatthingsbecomegreatandgreaterandgreater,andbysmallnessthelessbecomes
less.
Youwouldsay...inexperiencedasIam,andreadytostart,astheproverbsays,atmyownshadow,Icannotaffordtogiveupthesuregroundofprinciple.
...andwhenyouarefurtherrequiredtogiveanexplanationofthisprinciple,youwouldgoontoassumeahigherprinciple,andthebestofthehigher
ones,untilyoufoundarestingplacebutyouwouldnotrefusetheprincipleandconsequencesinyourreasoningliketheEristicsatleastifyouwantedto
discoverrealexistence.
Notthatthisconfusionsignifiestothemwhonevercaretothinkaboutthematteratall,fortheyhavethewittobewellpleasedwiththemselves,however
greattheturmoiloftheirideas.Butyou,ifyouareaphilosopher,will,Ibelieve,doasIsay.
...absolutegreatnesswillneverbegreatandalsosmall,butthatgreatnessinusorintheconcretewillneveradmitthesmalloradmitofevenbeing
exceededinsteadofthis,oneoftwothingswillhappeneitherthegreaterwillflyandretirebeforetheopposite,whichistheless,ortheadvanceoftheless
willceasetoexistbutwillnot,ifallowingoradmittingsmallness,bechangedbythat...norcananyotheroppositewhichremainsthesameeverbeor
becomeitsownopposite,buteitherpassesawayorperishesinthechange.
[Oneofthecompany...said:...isnotthisthedirectcontraryofwhatweadmittedbeforethatoutofthegreatercamethelessandoutofthelessthegreater,
andthatoppositesaresimplygeneratedfromoppositeswhereasnowthisseemstobeutterlydenied.]...thenwewerespeakingofoppositesintheconcrete,
andnowoftheessentialoppositewhich,asisaffirmed,neitherinusnorinnaturecaneverbeatvariancewithitself...theseessetialoppositeswillnever,as
wemaintain,admitofgenerationintooroutofoneanother.
...whatisthattheinherenceofwhich,willrenderthebodyalive?[Thesoul.]...Thenwhateverthesoulpossesses,tothatshecomesbearinglife?...Andisthere
anoppositetolife?[Death.]Thenthesoul,asshehasbeenacknowledged,willneverreceivetheoppositeofwhatshebrings....Andwhatdowecallthe
principlewhichdoesnotadmitofdeath?[Theimmortal.]Anddoesthesouladmitofdeath?[No.]Thenthesoulisimmortal?[Yes.]
...iftheimmortalisalsoimperishable,thesoulwhenattackedbydeathcannotperishfortheprecedingargumentshowsthatthesoulwillnotadmitof
death,orevenbedead,anymorethanthreeortheoddnumberwilladmitoftheeven...
Ifdeathhadonlybeentheendofall,thewickedwouldhavehadagoodbargainindying,fortheywouldhavebeenhappilyquitnotonlyoftheirbody,butof
theirowneviltogetherwiththeirsouls.Butnow,asthesoulplainlyappearstobeimmortal,thereisnoreleaseorsalvationfromevilexcepttheattainmentof
thehighestvirtueandwisdom.Forthesoulwhenonherprogresstotheworldbelowtakesnothingwithherbutnurtureandeducation...
Forafterdeath,astheysay,thegeniusofeachindividual,towhomhebelongedinlife,leadshimtoacertainplaceinwhichthedeadaregatheredtogetherfor
judgment,whencetheygointotheworldbelow,followingtheguidewhoisappointedtoconductthemfromthisworldtotheotherandwhentheyhavethere
receivedtheirdueandremainedtheirtime,anotherguidebringsthembackagainaftermanyrevolutionsofages.
[Intheworldbelow...]Thewiseandorderlysoulisconsciousofhersituation,andfollowsinthepathbutthesoulwhichdesiresthebody,andwhich...has
longbeenflutteringaboutthelifelessframeandtheworldofsight,isaftermanystrugglesandmanysufferingshardlyandwithviolencecarriedawaybyher
attendantgenius,andwhenshearrivesattheplacewheretheothersoulsaregathered,ifshebeimpureandhavedoneimpuredeedsorhavebeenconcernedin
foulmurdersorothercrimes...fromthatsouleveryonefleesandturnsawaynoonewillbehercompanion,nooneherguide,butaloneshewandersin
extremityofeviluntilcertaintimesarefulfilled...
...ifanymancouldarriveattheexteriorlimit,ortakethewingsofabirdandflyupward,likeafishwhoputshisheadoutandseestheworld,hewouldseea
worldbeyondand,ifthenatureofmancouldsustainthissight,hewouldacknowledgethatthiswastheplaceofthetrueheavenandthetruelightandthetrue
stars.Forthisearth,andthestones,andtheentireregionwhichsurroundsus,arespoiltandcorroded...
...upontheearthareanimalsandmen,someinamiddleregion,othersdwellingabouttheairaswedwellabouttheseaothersinislandswhichtheairflows
round,nearthecontinentandinaword,theairisusedbythemasthewaterandtheseaarebyus,andtheetheristothemastheairistous.Moreover,the
temperamentoftheirseasonsissuchthattheyhavenodisease,andlivemuchlongerthanwedo,andhavesightandhearingandsmell,andalltheother
senses,infargreaterperfection,inthesamedegreethatairispurerthanwaterortheetherthanair.Alsotheyhavetemplesandsacredplacesinwhichthe
godsreallydwell,andtheyheartheirvoicesandreceivetheiranswersandareconsciousofthemandholdconversewiththem,andtheyseethesun,moon,
andstarsastheyreallyare,andtheirotherblessednessisofapiecewiththis.
[Intheworldbelow...]thosewhoappeartohavelivedneitherwellnotill,gototheriverAcheron,andmountsuchconveyancesastheycanget,andare
carriedinthemtothelake,andtheretheydwellandarepurifiedoftheirevildeeds,andsufferthepenaltyofthewrongswhichtheyhavedonetoothers,and
areabsolved,andreceivetherewardsoftheirgooddeedsaccordingtotheirdeserts.Butthosewhoappeartobeincurablebyreasonofthegreatnessoftheir
crimeswhohavecommittedmanyandterribledeedsofsacrilege,murdersfoulandviolent,orthelikesucharehurledintoTartarus,whichistheirsuitable
destiny,andtheynevercomeout.Thoseagainwhohavecommittedcrimes,which,althoughgreat,arenotunpardonablewhoinmomentofanger,for
example,havedoneviolencetoafatheroramother,andhaverepentedfortheremainderoftheirlives,orwhohavetakenthelifeofanotherunderlike
extenuatingcircumstancestheseareplungedintoTartarus,thepainsofwhichtheyarecompelledtoundergoforayear,butattheendoftheyearthewave
caststhemforthmerehomicidesbywayofCocytus,patricidesandmatricidesbyPyriphlegethonandtheyarebornetotheAcherusianLake,andherethey
liftuptheirvoicesandcalluponthevictimswhomtheyhaveslainorwronged,tohavepityonthem,andtoreceivethem,andtoletthemcomeoutoftheriver
intothelake.Andiftheyprevail,thentheycomeforthandceasefromtheirtroublesbutifnot,theyarecarriedbackagainintoTartarusandfromthenceinto
theriversunceasingly,untiltheyobtainmercyfromthosewhomtheyhavewronged:forthisisthesentenceinflicteduponthembytheirjudges.
Thosealsowhoareremarkableforhavingledholylivesarereleasedfromthisearthlyprison,andgototheirpurehomewhichisabove,anddwellinthepurer
earthandthosewhohavedulypurifiedthemselveswithphilosophylivehenceforthaltogetherwithoutthebody,inmansionsfairerfarthanthese...
IdonotmeantoaffirmthatthedescriptionwhichIhavegivenofthesoulandhermissionsisexactlytrueamanofsenseoughthardlysaythat.ButIdosay
that,inasmuchasthesoulisshowntobeimmortal,hemayventuretothink,notimproperlyorunworthily,thatsomethingofthiskindistrue.
...letamanbeofgoodcheerabouthissoul,whohascastawaythepleasuresandornamentsofthebodyasalientohim,andratherhurtfulintheireffects,and
hasfollowedafterthepleasuresofknowledgeinthislifewhohasadornedthesoulinherownproperjewels,whicharetemperance,andjustice,andcourage,
andnobility,andtruthinthesearrayedsheisreadytogoonherjourneytotheworldbelow,whenhertimecomes.You,SimmiasandCebes,andallother

andnobility,andtruthinthesearrayedsheisreadytogoonherjourneytotheworldbelow,whenhertimecomes.You,SimmiasandCebes,andallother
men,willdepartatsometimeorother.Mealready,asthetragicpoetwouldsay,thevoiceoffatecalls.
[...inwhatwaywouldyouhaveusburyyou?]Inanywaythatyoulikeonlyyoumustgetholdofme,andtakecarethatIdonotwalkawayfromyou....I
cannotmakeCritobelievethatIamthesameSocrateswhohavebeentalkingandconductingtheargumenthefanciesthatIamtheotherSocrateswhomhe
willsoonsee,adeadbody...AndthoughIhavespokenmanywordsintheendeavortoshowthatwhenIhavedrunkthepoisonIshallleaveyouandgotothe
joysoftheblessedthesewordsofmine,withwhichIcomfortedyouandmyself,havehad,Iperceive,noeffectuponCrito....youshouldbemysuretyto
himthatIshallnotremain,butgoawayanddepartandthenhewillsufferlessatmydeath,andnotbegrievedwhenheseesmybodybeingburnedorburied.
Iwouldnothavehimsorrowatmyhardlot,orsayattheburial,ThuswelayoutSocrates,or,Thuswefollowhimtothegraveorburyhimforfalsewords
arenotonlyevilinthemselves,buttheyinfectthesoulwithevil.Beofgoodcheerthen,mygoodCrito,andsaythatyouareburyingmybodyonly,
anddowiththatasisusual,andasyouthinkbest.
Whatdoyousayaboutmakingalibationoutofthiscuptoanygod?...ImayandImustpraytothegodstoprospermyjourneyfromthistothatother
worldmaythis,then,whichismyprayer,begrantedtome.[Thenholdingthecuptohislips,quitereadilyandcheerfullyhedrankoffthepoison.And
hithertomostofushadbeenabletocontroltheirsorrowbutnow,whenwesawhimdrinking,andsawtoo,thathehadfinishedthedraft,wecouldnolonger
forbear,andinspiteofmyselfmyowntearswereflowingfastsothatIcoveredmyfaceandweptovermyself,forcertainlyIwasnotweepingoverhim,butat
myowncalamityathavinglostsuchacompanion.NorwasIthefirst,forCrito,whenhefoundhimselfunabletorestrainhistears,hadgotup,andmoved
away,andIfollowedandatthatmoment,Apollodorus,whohadbeenweepingallthetime,brokeoutinaloudcrywhichmadecowardsofusall.Socrates
aloneretainedhiscalmness:]Whatisthisstrangeoutcry?...Isentawaythewomenmainlyinorderthattheymightnotoffendinthisway,forIhaveheard
thatamanshoulddieinpeace.Bequietthen,andhavepatience.
Thereisnogreaterevilonecansufferthantohatereasonablediscourse.
Lastwords

[]..
Crito,Crito,weoweacocktoAesculapius.Payitanddonotneglectit.
Phaedo118a

Xenophon
WordsofSocratesasquotedbyXenophon

Youwillknowthatthedivineissogreatandofsuchanaturethatitseesandhearseverythingatonce,ispresenteverywhere,andisconcernedwith
everything.
MemorabiliaI.4.18
[...]indeed,orderanddisciplinearethemostimportantthingsinanarmy,andwithoutthemitisimpossibletohaveanyotherserviceofthetroopsthanofa
confusedheapofstones,bricks,timber,andtilesbutwheneverythingisinitsdueplace,asinabuilding,whenthefoundationsandthecoveringaremadeof
materialsthatwillnotgrowrotten,andwhichnowetcandamage,suchasarestonesandtiles,andwhenthebricksandtimberareemployedintheirdue
placesinthebodyoftheedifice,theyaltogethermakeahouse,whichwevalueamongourmostconsiderableenjoyments.
MemorabiliaIII.1
IfIamtolivelonger,perhapsImustliveoutmyoldage,seeingandhearingless,understandingworse,comingtolearnwithmoredifficultyandtobemore
forgetful,andgrowingworsethanthosetowhomIwasoncesuperior.Indeed,lifewouldbeunliveable,evenifIdidnotnoticethechange.AndifIseethe
change,howcouldlifenotbeevenmorewretchedandunpleasant?
MemorabiliaIV.8.8
,,,,,:,
,,.
Really,Ischomachus,Iamdisposedtoask:"Doesteachingconsistinputtingquestions?"Indeed,thesecretofyoursystemhasjustthisinstantdawned
uponme.Iseemtoseetheprincipleinwhichyouputyourquestions.Youleadmethroughthefieldofmyownknowledge,andthenbypointingout
analogiestowhatIknow,persuademethatIreallyknowsomethingswhichhitherto,asIbelieved,Ihadnoknowledgeof.
Oeconomicus(TheEconomist)XIX.15(astranslatedbyH.G.Dakyns)

Plutarch
SocratesasquotedbyPlutarch

IamnotanAthenianoraGreek,butacitizenoftheworld.
Note:ComparedoctrineoffidelitytoAthenianlawinPlato'sCrito.
Badmenlivethattheymayeatanddrink,whereasgoodmeneatanddrinkthattheymaylive.
PlutarchMoralia,HowtheYoungManShouldStudyPoetry
Varianttranslation:Basemenlivetoeatanddrink,andgoodmeneatanddrinktolive.

DiogenesLaertius
SocratesasquotedinDiogenesLaertius'LivesofEminentPhilosophers

[].
eknewnothingexceptjustthefactofhisignorance.
Alternatetranslation:Iknownothingexceptthefactofmyignorance.
II.32
Oftenwhenlookingatamassofthingsforsale,hewouldsaytohimself,'HowmanythingsIhavenoneedof!"
Variant:HowmanythingsIcandowithout!
Havingthefewestwants,Iamnearesttothegods.
Thereisonlyonegood,knowledge,andoneevil,ignorance.
Variant:Theonlygoodisknowledgeandtheonlyevilisignorance.
SocrateshavingheardPlatoreadtheLysis,said,"OHercules!whatanumberofliestheyoungmanhastoldaboutme."Forhehadsetdownagreatmany
thingsassayingsofSocrateswhichheneversaid.

Attributed
Contentmentisnaturalwealthluxury,artificialpoverty.
AsreportedbyCharlesSimmonsinALaconicManualandBriefRemarker,containingoverathousandsubjectsalphabeticallyandsystematically
arranged(NorthWrentham,Mass.1852),p.103(http://books.google.de/books?id=YOAyAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA103&dq=socrates).However,the
originalsourceofthisstatementisunknown.
Cf.JosephAddisoninTheSpectatorNo.574Friday,July30,1714,p.655(http://books.google.de/books?
id=K1cdAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA655&dq=socrates):Inshort,contentisequivalenttowealth,andluxurytopovertyor,togivethethoughtamore
agreeableturn,"contentisnaturalwealth,"saysSocrates:towhichIshalladd,"luxuryisartificialpoverty.".
Ifwearetousewomenforthesamethingsasthemen,wemustalsoteachthemthesamethings.
Socrates,asquotedbyDrBettanyHughesTelegraph(http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womenslife/11785181/FeminismstartedwiththeBuddha
andConfucius25centuriesago.html)

Misattributed
Knowthyself.
ThisstatementactuallypredatesSocrates,andwasusedasanInscriptionattheOracleofDelphi.Itisasayingtraditionallyascribedtooneofthe
"SevenSagesofGreece",notablySolon,butaccountsvaryastowhom.Socrateshimselfisreportedtohavequoteditalthoughitisverylikelythat
Thaleswasinfacttheonewhofirststatedit.
Thechildrennowloveluxurytheyhavebadmanners,contemptforauthoritytheyshowdisrespectforeldersandlovechatterinplaceofexercise.Children
arenowtyrants,nottheservantsoftheirhouseholds.Theynolongerrisewheneldersentertheroom.Theycontradicttheirparents,chatterbeforecompany,
gobbleupdaintiesatthetable,crosstheirlegs,andtyrannizetheirteachers.
seeRespectfullyQuoted:ADictionaryofQuotationsRequestedfromtheCongressionalResearchService,EditedbySuzyPlatt,1989,number195
(http://www.bartleby.com/73/195.html).
Seealsothis(http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=398104)discussionaboutthetopic.
Actuallyaparaphraseofaquote(lines961985(http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.01.0241:card%3D961))from
Aristophanes'TheClouds,acomedicplayknownforitscaricatureofSocrates.
Educationisthekindlingofaflame,notthefillingofavessel.
NofindablecitationtoSocrates.Firstappearsinthisforminthe1990s,suchasintheDouglasBradleyarticle"LightingaFlameintheKickapoo
Valley",WisconsinIdeas,UWSystem,1994.ItappearstobeavariantonastatementfromPlutarchinOnListeningtoLectures:"Thecorrectanalogy
forthemindisnotavesselthatneedsfilling,butwoodthatneedsignitingnomoreandthenitmotivatesonetowardsoriginalityandinstillsthe
desirefortruth."Alternatetranslation,fromtheLoebClassicalLibraryedition,1927
(http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Plutarch/Moralia/De_auditu*.html):"Fortheminddoesnotrequirefillinglikeabottle,butrather,
likewood,itonlyrequireskindlingtocreateinitanimpulsetothinkindependentlyandanardentdesireforthetruth."Oftenquotedas,"Themindis
notavesseltobefilledbutafiretobekindled."VariantsofthequotethatarecorrectlyattributedtoPlutarchbutwhichsubstitute"education"for"the
mind"datebackatleastasfarasthe1960s,asseeninthe1968bookVisionandImagebyJamesJohnsonSweeney,p.119
(http://books.google.com/books?id=d58FAAAAMAAJ&q=plutarch#search_anchor).
Variantswith"education"arealsosometimesmisattributedtoWilliamButlerYeats,asinthe1993bookTheHarperBookofQuotations(thirdedition),
p.138(http://books.google.com/books?id=THl7kUfSqCUC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA138#v=onepage&q&f=false).InthepreviouslymentionedVisionand
Image,themisquoteofPlutarchinvolving"education"(whichhasexactlythesamewordingasthequoteattributedtoYeatsinTheHarperBookof
Quotations)isimmediatelyprecededbyadifferentquotefromYeats("Culturedoesnotconsistinacquiringopinionsbutingettingridofthem"),soit's
possiblethisisthesourceoftheconfusionseethesnippetshere(http://books.google.com/books?
id=d58FAAAAMAAJ&q=yeats+culture#search_anchor)andhere(http://books.google.com/books?
id=d58FAAAAMAAJ&q=%22getting+rid+of+them%22#search_anchor).
ThemisattributionmayalsoberelatedtoastatementaboutPlato'sviewsmadebyBenjaminJowettintheintroductiontohistranslationofPlato's
Republic(inwhichallthemainideaswereattributedtoSocrates,asinallofPlato'sworks),onp.cci(http://books.google.com/books?
id=Cg_QX4yoOSQC&pg=PR201#v=onepage&q&f=false)ofthethirdedition(1888):"Educationisrepresentedbyhim,notasthefillingofavessel,
butastheturningtheeyeofthesoultowardsthelight."JowettseemstobelooselyparaphrasingastatementPlatoattributestoSocratesinadialogue
withGlaucon,insections518b(http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?
doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0168%3Abook%3D7%3Asection%3D518b)518c(http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?
doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0168%3Abook%3D7%3Asection%3D518c)ofbook7ofTheRepublic,whereSocratessays:"educationisnotin
realitywhatsomepeopleproclaimittobeintheirprofessions.Whattheyaveristhattheycanputtrueknowledgeintoasoulthatdoesnotpossessit,as
iftheywereinsertingvisionintoblindeyesButourpresentargumentindicatesthatthetrueanalogyforthisindwellingpowerinthesoulandthe
instrumentwherebyeachofusapprehendsisthatofaneyethatcouldnotbeconvertedtothelightfromthedarknessexceptbyturningthewholebody."
Furtherdiscussionofthehistoryofthisquotecanbefoundinthisentry(http://quoteinvestigator.com/2013/03/28/mindfire/)fromthe"Quote

Furtherdiscussionofthehistoryofthisquotecanbefoundinthisentry(http://quoteinvestigator.com/2013/03/28/mindfire/)fromthe"Quote
Investigator"website.
Thesecretofchangeistofocusallofyourenergy,notonfightingtheold,butonbuildingthenew.
Thisisactuallyaquotation(http://books.google.com/books?
id=FUIHmRHf8SUC&lpg=PA130&dq=%22not%20on%20fighting%20the%20old%20but%20on%20building%20the%20new%22&pg=PA130#v=onepage&q=%22not%20on%20fighting%20the%20old%20but%20on%20building%20the%20new%22&f=false)
fromacharacternamedSocratesinWayofthePeacefulWarrior:ABookthatChangesLives
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Way_of_the_Peaceful_Warrior),byDanMillman.
Thegreatestwaytolivewithhonorinthisworldistobewhatwepretendtobe.
NofindablecitationtoSocrates.Originunknown.
Whenthedebateislost,slanderbecomesthetooloftheloser.
DoesnotappearinanyworkswithdirectsourcestoSocrates.Originandearliestuseunknown.

QuotesaboutSocrates
Alphabetizedbyauthor

Thismanhereissobizarre,hiswayssounusual,that,searchasyoumight,you'llneverfindanyoneelse,aliveor
dead,who'sevenremotelylikehim.Thebestyoudoisnottocomparehimtoanythinghuman,butlikenhim,asIdo,to
Silenusandthesatyrs,andthesamegoesforhisideasandarguments.
Alcibiades,asquotedinSymposiumbyPlato
Andso,fromthisdayforth,wewantallthemoretoletourthoughtsrevolvearoundandhoveroverSocratesandChristat
alltimes,openlytakingpridethattheyaremorealiveforusthanallthoselivingtodayandthatwelistentoandlovethem
aswedononeoftheliving.
ConstantinBrunner,inOurChrist:TheRevoltoftheMysticalGenius(1921),astranslatedbyGrahamHarrison
andMichaelWex,editedbyA.M.Rappaport,p.188
SocratesandChristspeaktouseverlastinglyofmankind.Itbelongstothegreat,tothegreatestmentosayhow
thingsarewithmankind,howtheystandinitsinnernessandwhichwayitisgoingitbelongstoSocratesandChrist.
Theseabsolutelyextraordinary,eternallyalivepeoplepenetratetothegroundlessdepthofhumannatureandunderstand
thespeechofordinarypeople,ofthosewhoarescarcelyalivefromonedaytothenext.
ConstantinBrunner,inOurChrist:TheRevoltoftheMysticalGenius(1921),astranslatedbyGrahamHarrison
andMichaelWex,editedbyA.M.Rappaport,p.189
SocrateswasatotallynewkindofGreekphilosopher.Hedeniedthathehaddiscoveredsomenewwisdom,indeedthat
hepossessedanywisdomatall,andherefusedtohandanythingdowntoanyoneashispersonaltruth,hisclaimto
fame.Allthatheknew,humbly,washowtoreasonandreflect,howtoimprovehimselfand(iftheywouldfollowhimin
Socrateswasthechiefsaintofthe
behavingthesameway)helpotherstoimprovethemselves,bydoinghisbesttomakehisownmoral,practicalopinions,
Stoicsthroughouttheirhistory~
andhislifeitself,restonappropriatelytestedandexaminedreasonsnotonsocialauthorityorthesaysoofesteemed
poets(orphilosophers)orcustomoranyotherkindofintellectuallaziness.Atthesametime,hemadethisself
BertrandRussell
improvementandthesearchfortruthinwhichitconsistedacommon,jointeffort,undertakenindiscussiontogetherwith
similarlycommittedotherpersonsevenifitsometimestookonarathercombativeaspect.Thetruth,ifachieved,would
beatruthattainedbyandforallwhowouldtakethetroubletothinkthroughontheirownthestepsleadingtoit:itcouldneverbeapersonalrevelationfor
whichanyindividualcouldclaimspecialcredit.
JohnM.Cooper,IntroductiontoPlato'sCompleteWorks(1996)
FortheGreekswhobelievedintheimmortalityofthesoulitmayhavebeenhardertoaccepttheChristianpreachingoftheresurrectionthanitwasforothers.
TheteachingofthegreatphilosophersSocratesandPlatocaninnowaybebroughtintoconsonance[agreement]withthatoftheNewTestament.
OscarCullmann
TheWatchtowermagazine,7/11998.
Whatthenisthechastisementofthosewhoacceptitnot?Tobeastheyare.Isanydiscontentedwithbeingalone?lethimbeinsolitude.Isanydiscontentedwith
hisparents?lethimbeabadson,andlament.Isanydiscontentedwithhischildren?lethimbeabadfather."Throwhimintoprison!"Whatprison?Where
heisalready:forheisthereagainsthiswillandwhereveramanisagainsthiswill,thattohimisaprison.ThusSocrateswasnotinprisonsincehewas
therewithhisownconsent.
Epictetus,GoldenSayingsofEpictetus#32
ItwasthefirstandmoststrikingcharacteristicofSocratesnevertobecomeheatedindiscourse,nevertoutteraninjuriousorinsultingwordonthe
contrary,hepersistentlyboreinsultfromothersandthusputanendtothefray.
Epictetus,GoldenSayingsofEpictetus#64
Seemethitnothingtoyou,nevertoaccuse,nevertoblameeitherGodorMan?toweareverthesamecountenanceingoingforthasincomingin?This
wasthesecretofSocrates:yetheneversaidthatheknewortaughtanything...Whoamongstyoumakesthishisaim?Wereitindeedso,youwouldgladly
enduresickness,hunger,aye,deathitself.
Epictetus,GoldenSayingsofEpictetus#85
Neitheronenortheotherdothfollow,forthatboththeassertionsmaybetrue.TheOracleadjudgedSocratesthewi
sestofallmen,whoseknowledgislimited
Socratesacknowledgeththatheknewnothinginrelationtoabsolutewisdome,whichisinfiniteandbecauseofinfinite,muchisthesamepartasislittle,andas
isnothing(fortoarrive...totheinfinitenumber,itisallonetoaccumulatethousands,tens,orciphers,)thereforeSocrateswellperceivedhiswisdomtobe
nothing,incomparisonoftheinfiniteknowledgwhichhewanted.Butyet,becausethereissomeknowledgfoundamongstmen,andthisnotequallysharedto
all,Socratesmighthaveagreatersharethereofthanothers,andthereforeverifiedtheansweroftheOracle.
GalileoGalilei,DialogueConcerningtheTwoChiefWorldSystems(1632)asquotedintheSalusburytranslation,TheSystemeoftheWorld:inFour
Dialogues(1661)p.85
Agnosticism,infact,isnotacreed,butamethod,theessenceofwhichliesintherigorousapplicationofasingleprinciple.Thatprincipleisofgreatantiquityit
isasoldasSocratesasoldasthewriterwhosaid,'Tryallthings,holdfastbythatwhichisgood'itisthefoundationoftheReformation,whichsimply
illustratedtheaxiomthateverymanshouldbeabletogiveareasonforthefaiththatisinhim,itisthegreatprincipleofDescartesitisthefundamentalaxiomof
modernscience.
ThomasHenryHuxley,"Agnosticism"
IwouldtradeallofmytechnologyforanafternoonwithSocrates.
SteveJobsinNewsweek(29October2001)
Socratesgavealotofadvice,andhewasgivenHemlocktodrink.
RoseKennedy,inaninterviewwithBarbaraWalters(November1968)
Peoplethinktheworldneedsarepublic,andtheythinkitneedsanewsocialorder,andanewreligion,butitneveroccurstoanyonethatwhatthe
worldreallyneeds,confusedasitisbymuchlearning,isanewSocrates.
SrenKierkegaard,inTheSicknessuntoDeath(1849),astranslatedbyAlastairHannay(1989),p.124
ItisbettertobeahumanbeingdissatisfiedthanapigsatisfiedbettertobeSocratesdissatisfiedthanafoolsatisfied.Andifthefool,orthepig,areofa
differentopinion,itisbecausetheyonlyknowtheirownsideofthequestion.Theotherpartytothecomparisonknowsbothsides.
JohnStuartMillinUtilitarianism,Ch.2
Politicalleadersareneverleaders.ForleaderswehavetolooktotheAwakeners!LaoTse,Buddha,Socrates,Jesus,Milarepa,Gurdjiev,Krishnamurti.
HenryMiller,inMyBike&OtherFriends(1977),p.12
ThereisnothingmoreremarkableinthelifeofSocratesthanthathefoundtimeinhisoldagetolearntodanceandplayoninstruments,andthoughtitwastime
wellspent.
MicheldeMontaigne,TheessaysofMontaigne(publishedposthumously,in1927),Vol.2,p.593
Socratesisthefirstphilosopheroflife[Lebensphilosoph],Thinkingserveslife,whileamongallpreviousphilosopherslifehadservedthoughtand
knowledge.ThusSocraticphilosophyisabsolutelypractical:itishostiletoallknowledgeunconnectedtoethicalimplications.
FriedrichNietzsche,ThePrePlatonicPhilosophers,G.Whitlocktrans.,p.145
WecannothelpbutseeSocratesastheturningpoint,thevortexofworldhistory.
FriedrichNietzsche,inTheBirthofTragedy(1872),p.73
ThemoreIreadabouthim,thelessIwonderthattheypoisonedhim.IfhehadtreatedmeasheissaidtohavetreatedProtagoras,Hippias,andGorgias,Icould
neverhaveforgivenhim.
ThomasBabingtonMacaulay,LettertoThomasEllis,29May1835,inGeorgeOttoTrevelyan,TheLifeandLettersofLordMacaulay(1876)
Thewisestofyoumenishewhohasrealized,likeSocrates,thatinrespectofwisdomheisreallyworthless.
Plato,inApology,23b,asquotedinThelastdaysofSocrates:Euthyphro,Theapology:Crito[and]Phaedo(1967),p.52
EveryoneisagreedthatSocrateswasveryuglyhehadasnubnoseandaconsiderablepaunchhewas"uglierthanalltheSilenusesintheSatyricdrama"(
Xenophon,Symposium).Hewasalwaysdressedinshabbyoldclothes,andwentbarefooteverywhere.Hisindifferencetoheatandcold,hungerandthirst,
amazedeveryone.AlcibiadesintheSymposium,describingSocratesonmilitaryservice,says:
"Hisendurancewassimplymarvellouswhen,beingcutofffromoursupplies,wewerecompelledtogowithoutfoodonsuchoccasions,whichoftenhappen
intimeofwar,hewassuperiornotonlytomebuttoeverybody:therewasnoonetobecomparedtohim....Hisfortitudeinenduringcoldwasalsosurprising.
Therewasaseverefrost,forthewinterinthatregionisreallytremendous,andeverybodyelseeitherremainedindoors,oriftheywentouthadonanamazing
quantityofclothes,andwerewellshod,andhadtheirfeetswathedinfeltandfleeces:inthemidstofthis,Socrateswithhisbarefeetontheiceandinhis
ordinarydressmarchedbetterthantheothersoldierswhohadshoes,andtheylookeddaggersathimbecauseheseemedtodespisethem."
Hismasteryoverallbodilypassionsisconstantlystressed.Heseldomdrankwine,butwhenhedid,hecouldoutdrinkanybodynoonehadeverseenhim
drunk.Inlove,evenunderthestrongesttemptations,heremained"Platonic,"ifPlatoisspeakingthetruth.HewastheperfectOrphicsaint:inthedualismof
heavenlysoulandearthlybody,hehadachievedthecompletemasteryofthesouloverthebody.Hisindifferencetodeathatthelastisthefinalproofof
thismastery.
BertrandRussell,AHistoryofWesternPhilosophy(1945),BookOne,PartII,ChapterXI:Socrates,p.9091
WearetoldthatSocrates,thoughindifferenttowine,could,onoccasion,drinkmorethananybodyelse,withouteverbecomingintoxicated.Itwasnotdrinking
thathecondemned,butpleasureindrinking.Inlikemanner,thephilosophermustnotcareforthepleasuresoflove,orforcostlyraiment,orsandals,orother
adornmentsoftheperson.Hemustbeentirelyconcernedwiththesoul,andnotwiththebody:"Hewouldlike,asfarashecan,togetawayfromthebodyandto
turntothesoul."
BertrandRussell,AHistoryofWesternPhilosophy(1945),BookOne,PartII,ChapterXVI:Plato'sTheoryofImmortality,p.135
ThePlatonicSocrateswasapatterntosubsequentphilosophersformanyages...Hismeritsareobvious.Heisindifferenttoworldlysuccess,sodevoidoffear
thatheremainscalmandurbaneandhumoroustothelastmoment,caringmoreforwhathebelievestobethetruththanforanythingelsewhatever.Hehas,
however,someverygravedefects.Heisdishonestandsophisticalinargument,andinhisprivatethinkingheusesintellecttoproveconclusionsthataretohim
agreeable,ratherthaninadisinterestedsearchforknowledge.Thereissomethingsmugandunctuousabouthim,whichremindsoneofabadtypeofcleric.His
courageinthefaceofdeathwouldhavebeenmoreremarkableifhehadnotbelievedthathewasgoingtoenjoyeternalblissinthecompanyofthegods.Unlike
someofhispredecessors,hewasnotscientificinhisthinking,butwasdeterminedtoprovetheuniverseagreeabletohisethicalstandards.Thisis
treacherytotruth,andtheworstofphilosophicsins.Asaman,wemaybelievehimadmittedtothecommunionofsaintsbutasaphilosopherheneeds

treacherytotruth,andtheworstofphilosophicsins.Asaman,wemaybelievehimadmittedtothecommunionofsaintsbutasaphilosopherheneeds
alongresidenceinascientificpurgatory.
BertrandRussell,AHistoryofWesternPhilosophy(1945),BookOne,PartII,ChapterXVI:Plato'sTheoryofImmortality,p.14243
SocrateswasthechiefsaintoftheStoicsthroughouttheirhistoryhisattitudeatthetimeofhistrial,hisrefusaltoescape,hiscalmnessinthefaceofdeath,
andhiscontentionthattheperpetratorofinjusticeinjureshimselfmorethanhisvictim,allfittedinperfectlywithStoicteaching.Sodidhisindifferencetoheat
andcold,hisplainnessinmattersoffoodanddress,andhiscompleteindependenceofallbodilycomforts.
BertrandRussell,AHistoryofWesternPhilosophy(1945),BookOne,PartIII,ChapterXXVIII:Stoicism,p.253
WiththetrialofSocrates,thehistoryofWesternpoliticalthinkingbegins.SocratessdeathsparkedoffPlatosastonishingphilosophicalcareer.Onlyfiveof
Platosdialoguesarecentrallyconcernedwithpolitics,thoughmanybearonthepracticeofAtheniandemocracy.
AlanRyan,OnPolitics:AHistoryofPoliticalThought:FromHerodotustothePresent(2012),Ch.1:WhyHerodotus?
Politicsmayalsohavelainbehindthetrial.Socratessfriendshipwiththeopponentsofthedemocracy,bothintherecentpastandearlierinthecaseof
Alcibiades,hadalienatedhisfellowcitizens.Theydidnotmeanhimtodie.Athistrial,hewasofferedthechancetostopteaching,butwouldnottakeit.
AlanRyan,OnPolitics:AHistoryofPoliticalThought:FromHerodotustothePresent(2012),Ch.1:WhyHerodotus?
It'simportanttorememberthatThomasHuxleyrecognizedSocratesasthefirstagnostic.SocratesverymuchbelievedinaGod,althoughhisdeitywas
somewhatvagueandoutsideofhispeople'spolytheisticreligion.PhilosophicallySocrateswastheveryessenceofagnosticism.
JamesKirkWall,inAgnosticism:TheBattleAgainstShamelessIgnorance(2011),p.10
IfanyonethinksthatSocratesisproventohaveliedabouthisdaimonbecausethejurycondemnedhimtodeathwhenhestatedthatadivinityrevealedtohim
whatheshouldandshouldnotdo,thenlethimtakenoteoftwothings:first,thatSocrateswassofaradvancedinagethathewouldhavediedsoon,ifnotthen
andsecond,thatheescapedthemostbitterpartoflife,whenallmen'smentalpowersdiminish.
XenophoninMemorabilia,IV.8.1

Seealso
AHistoryofWesternPhilosophy#ChapterXI.Socrates

Externallinks
Socrates(http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~dee/GREECE/SOCRATES.HTM)atWashingtonStateUniversity
ProjectGutenbergetextsonSocrates:
TheDialoguesofPlato(http://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/world/authrec?fk_authors=93)(seealsoWikipediaarticlesonDialoguesbyPlato)
ThewritingsofXenophon(http://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/world/authrec?fk_authors=543),suchastheMemorabliaandHellenica.
ThesatiricalplaysbyAristophanes(http://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/world/authrec?fk_authors=965)
Aristotle'swritings(http://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/world/authrec?fk_authors=2747)
Voltaire'sSocrates(http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/4683)
TheSecondStoryofMenoacontinuationofSocrates'dialoguewithMenoinwhichtheboyprovesroot2isirrational(byananonymousauthor)
(http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/254)
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