Socrates and Plato’s ideas about physical fitness, exercise and health have been studied for centuries. They provide a valuable perspective on the importance of body-mind integration that is still relevant today.
Philosopher Socrates famously said, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” This quote has been widely discussed and debated. But what was the extent of his belief in physical fitness?
Socrates says that no citizen has the right to be amatuer in the matter of physical training meaning that they must have a certain level of expertise.
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Editor’s Note: In his Memorabilia, Xenophon, a Socrates pupil, recounts a conversation between Socrates and Epigenes, one of Socrates’ students. When the philosopher saw his buddy was in bad shape for a young man, he scolded him, saying, “You look like you need exercise, Epigenes.” “Well, I’m not an athlete, Socrates,” the young guy said. Socrates then responded with the following.
In the same way as the Olympia competitors did. Or do you consider the life-and-death conflict with their adversaries, into which the Athenians may or may not be drawn, a minor matter? Why, many, due to their poor health, perish in the perils of war or save it dishonorably; many, for the same reason, are taken prisoners, and then either spend the rest of their lives in slavery of the worst kind, or, after suffering cruel sufferings and paying, sometimes, more than they have, live on, destitute and in misery. Many people obtain notoriety as cowards as a result of their physical frailty. Or do you loathe them, the prizes of poor health, and believe you can easily bear them? Nonetheless, I imagine that what anybody who takes care to maintain his body in excellent shape has to bear is considerably lighter and more enjoyable than these things. Or do you detest the results of excellent condition because you believe terrible condition is healthier and more helpful in general? Despite this, the outcomes of physical fitness are the polar opposite of those of inactivity. Fit people are healthy and strong, and as a result, many of them save themselves in a dignified manner on the battlefield and avoid all the dangers of war; many of them help friends and do good for their country, and as a result, they earn gratitude; they gain great glory and high honors, and as a result, they live a happier and better life, and leave to their children better means of earning a living.
You must not use the fact that military training is not officially acknowledged by the state as an excuse to be less attentive in attending to it personally. You may be convinced that, apart from war, there is no fight or endeavour in which you would be worse off by maintaining your body in better shape. Because the body is beneficial in all that men accomplish, and in all uses of the body, it is critical to remain in the best physical condition possible. Why, even in the act of thinking, where the use of the body seems to be minimized, it is common known that significant errors are often related to poor health. And, since the body is in horrible shape, memory loss, despair, dissatisfaction, and insanity often assault the mind, driving whatever information it possesses clean out of it. A sound and healthy body, on the other hand, is a strong protection for a man, and there is no danger of such a calamity happening to him as a result of physical weakness; on the contrary, his sound condition is likely to produce effects that are the polar opposite of those that result from bad condition. And obviously a sensible person would agree to anything in order to achieve the opposite results listed in my list.
Furthermore, it is a shame to grow old through negligence before realizing what kind of guy you may become by maximizing your physical strength and attractiveness. But if you’re careless, you won’t be able to notice it since it won’t appear on its own.
Socrates, a philosopher from Ancient Greece, was known for his wisdom. In this article, I have taken some of Socrates’ quotes on physical fitness and compiled them into one paragraph. Reference: socrates quotes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What did Socrates say about physical fitness?
A: Socrates was a Greek philosopher widely considered to be one of the founders of Western philosophy. He was probably most famous for his contributions in moral and political philosophy, but he also made important advances in geometry.
What did Socrates say about health?
A: Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living.
What did Plato say about physical education?
A: A long time ago, Plato said that physical education is important for the body and mental development.
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