Wisdom from Ancient Philosophers that Still Resonates Today

Ancient Philosophers

Philosophy, often described as the love of wisdom, is a discipline that delves into fundamental questions about the nature of existence, knowledge, ethics, and the meaning of life. It is a quest for understanding and insight, aiming to explore the complexities of the human experience and our place in the universe. Philosophy is necessary because it challenges our assumptions, encourages critical thinking, and provides a framework for evaluating ideas and beliefs. It prompts us to reflect on our values, examine our actions, and seek deeper meaning in our lives. By engaging with philosophy, we can cultivate intellectual curiosity, broaden our perspectives, and develop a more nuanced understanding of the world and ourselves.

There exist people on this Earth who thought critically, and rationally & dug deep into human curiosity, and then came out with some fundamentals of life everyone should read and know about. They were called philosophers and they existed in different parts of the world at the same and different time periods.

Ancient philosophers have left an indelible mark on the intellectual and moral fabric of humanity. Their wisdom continues to resonate through the ages, guiding us in navigating the complexities of life. 

In this article, we will explore the timeless insights of renowned thinkers such as Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, the Stoics, Confucius, Lao Tzu, Vedanta, and Gautam Buddha. Their profound teachings encompass various aspects of human existence, offering valuable lessons that remain relevant even in the modern world. So, let us start spreading some light on each one of them briefly.

Socrates: The Pursuit of Self-Knowledge (470 or 469 BC- 399BC)

Perhaps the greatest philosopher who ever walked was Socrates. Socrates, the father of Western philosophy, believed that true wisdom begins with self-knowledge. His famous dictum, “Know thyself,” emphasizes the importance of introspection and understanding one’s own limitations. Socrates’ teachings remind us to question assumptions, engage in critical thinking, and continuously examine our beliefs and values. By seeking knowledge and understanding, we can lead more examined and purposeful lives.

Aristotle: The Pursuit of Virtue

Aristotle, a student of Plato, who was a student of Socrates, focused on the cultivation of virtue as the key to a fulfilling life. 

According to Aristotle, virtues such as courage, temperance, and justice are essential for human flourishing. His concept of the “golden mean” suggests that virtue lies between extremes and requires balance. 

Aristotle’s teachings encourage us to strive for moral excellence, engage in ethical actions, and develop virtuous habits to achieve eudaimonia, a state of overall well-being and fulfillment.

Plato: The Quest for Ideal Forms and Justice

Plato, another influential Greek philosopher, and mentor to Aristotle, delved into metaphysics and ethics. 

He was the middle bridge between Socrates and Aristotle. He believed in the existence of ideal forms or abstract concepts that transcend the physical realm. Plato’s allegory of the cave illustrates the journey from ignorance to enlightenment, emphasizing the importance of education and philosophical reflection. Plato also explored the concept of justice, arguing that a just society is one in which individuals fulfill their roles harmoniously for the greater good.

Together, Socrates, Plato & Aristotle are the core foundational philosophers of the ancient Greek philosophy whose teachings keep meaning even in today’s lives and will keep showing the direction to generations to come.

Stoicism: Finding Inner Tranquility

Stoicism, a school of thought founded by Zeno of Citium in ancient Greece, advocates for inner tranquility and resilience in the face of adversity. Stoic philosophers like Epictetus, Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius emphasized the power of reason and the acceptance of things beyond our control. 

They taught that by focusing on our internal attitudes and judgments, we can find serenity amidst the chaos of life. Stoicism teaches us to cultivate virtues, embrace challenges, and embrace the present moment, leading to a more content and fulfilling existence.

I have talked about in-depth teachings of stoics and have discussed the three greatest philosophers of all time here, in this article.

Confucius: Moral Rectitude and Social Harmony

Confucius, an ancient Chinese philosopher, emphasized the importance of moral rectitude, social harmony, and the cultivation of virtues such as benevolence, righteousness, and filial piety. His teachings revolve around the concept of ren, which encompasses humaneness, compassion, and respect for others. Confucius believed that personal moral cultivation is the foundation for a harmonious society. His wisdom reminds us of the significance of ethical behavior, the pursuit of knowledge, and the cultivation of meaningful relationships.

Confucius regarded himself as a custodian of the values from preceding eras that he believed were forsaken during his lifetime. Through his philosophical teachings, known as Confucianism, he stressed the importance of individual and governmental ethics, proper social interactions, fairness, benevolence, and genuine sincerity.

His most famous quote which can change the way you look at life, is : 

“Every man has two lives, and the second starts when he realizes he has just one”

Lao Tzu: Embracing Simplicity and the Way of Nature

Portrait By Zhang Lu

Lao Tzu, the founder of philosophical and religious Taoism, and the legendary Chinese philosopher and author of the Tao Te Ching, emphasized the power of simplicity and the harmonious alignment with the natural order. Lao Tzu’s philosophy centers around the concept of Wu Wei, which encourages individuals to act in accordance with the flow of nature rather than striving against it. 

He met Confucius once and was impressed by him.

By embracing simplicity, detachment, and spontaneity, one can achieve inner peace and live in harmony with the world. Lao Tzu’s teachings remind us to let go of ego-driven desires and find balance by embracing the natural rhythms of life.

Vedanta: Unity and Spiritual Enlightenment

Vedanta, a school of philosophy rooted in the ancient scriptures of India, explores the nature of reality, consciousness, and the ultimate purpose of life and is perhaps the oldest philosophy ever which dates back to 1000 years BC, unknown. 

 It teaches that the essence of every being is divine and interconnected. Vedanta emphasizes self-realization and spiritual enlightenment as the path to transcending suffering and realizing one’s true nature. Through meditation, self-inquiry, and the practice of virtues such as compassion and non-attachment, Vedanta guides individuals toward realizing the unity underlying all existence.

Read: Ultimate Guide To Meditation For Improved Wellness

Gautam Buddha: The Middle Way and Freedom from Suffering

Siddhartha, a prince turned Gautam Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, sought to alleviate human suffering by identifying its causes and providing a path to liberation. 

Buddha taught the Middle Way, avoiding both indulgence in sensual pleasures and extreme asceticism. His Four Noble Truths outline the existence of suffering, its origin in desire, the possibility of its cessation, and the path to its cessation through the Noble Eightfold Path. 

By cultivating mindfulness, ethical conduct, and mental discipline, individuals can free themselves from suffering and attain enlightenment.

Read: Unlocking The Power Of Mindfulness


The wisdom of ancient philosophers such as Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, the Stoics, Confucius, Lao Tzu, Vedanta, and Gautam Buddha transcends time and cultural boundaries. Their teachings offer valuable insights into the pursuit of self-knowledge, virtue, justice, tranquility, moral rectitude, simplicity, unity, and liberation from suffering. By incorporating these timeless philosophies into our lives, we can navigate the complexities of the modern world with wisdom, compassion, and a deeper understanding of our place within the greater tapestry of existence. Which one of them you did not know about and which one of them did you follow? Share your views, thoughts, and feedback in the comments below. Also, Do not forget to follow TheFreedomSage on Twitter. 

Cheers to your wellness!


Who was the first famous philosopher?

The first famous philosopher is often attributed to Thales of Miletus.

Who is the biggest philosopher of India?

The biggest philosopher of India is often considered to be Adi Shankara.

Who are the big three philosophers in order?

The big three philosophers, in order, are Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

Who is the greatest ancient philosopher?

It is subjective to determine the greatest ancient philosopher, but Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle are often considered among the greatest.

What's on your mind? Share with us..

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap