Monday, August 27, 2012

Quote of the week - Socrates on the wisdom of men

I am called wise, for my hearers always imagine that I myself possess wisdom which I find wanting in others: but the truth is, O men of Athens, that God only is wise; and in this oracle he means to say that the wisdom of men is little or nothing... as if he said, He, O men, is the wisest, who like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing. And so I go on my way, obedient to the god, and make inquisition into anyone, whether citizen or stranger, who appears to be wise; and if he is not wise, then in vindication of the oracle I show him that he is not wise; and this occupation quite absorbs me, and I have no time to give either to any public matter of interest or to any concern of my own, but I am in utter poverty by reason of my devotion to the god.

Plato, Apology, 23a-c, 


  1. I read about Socrates' encounter with the oracle sometime ago. I found it quite amusing that he came to realize that he truly was the wisest man in Athens, because he was the only man who realized he knew nothing.

  2. I know! I love that Socrates had that thinking. His ignorance was his wisdom, haha. It's very interesting and reminds me of a proverb I heard often when I was younger that "the quietest man is the wisest man."


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