Teachings of Socrates


''Therefore I am still even now going about and searching and investigating at the god's behest anyone, whether citizen or foreigner, who I think is wise; and when he does not seem so to me, I help the god by showing that he is not wise. And by reason of this occupation I have no leisure to attend to any of the affairs of the state worth mentioning, or of my own, but am incessantly in poverty due to my service to the god."

''It took me quite a little time to visit our good builders, good smiths, good painters, good sculptors, and other people of the kind, and to inspect those of their works that are declared to be beautiful; but I felt a desire to meet one of those who are called by that grand name 'gentleman', which implies 'beautiful', as well as 'good', in order to consider what they did to deserve it.

And, first, because the epithet 'beautiful' is added to 'good', I went up to every person I noticed, and tried to discover whether I could anywhere see goodness in combination with beauty. But after all, it was not so: I thought I discovered that some who were beautiful to look at were thoroughly depraved in their minds. So I decided to let good looks alone, and to seek out someone known as 'a gentleman'.

A good diplomat makes friends instead of enemies, and success in politics, stops civil strife and creates a spirit of unity.

Socrates suggests that there will be no cessation of such troubles until philosophers become the rulers or the rulers pursue philosophy. The guardians must be the wisest.

Socrates exhorts his listeners to keep their souls unspotted and follow the upward way in pursuing justice with wisdom, so that they will be dear to the gods in this life and the next.