Socrates Father of Modern Philosophy Teacher of Plato
Life Overview Born in Athens around 470 B.C. Died in 399 B.C.
Father was a sculptor and mother was a midwife
Trained as a foot soldier not a philosopher
Fought in the Peloponnesian War
After serving in the army became a stone mason to provide for his family
Became devoted philosophy after the death of his father
Wrote nothing down because he felt knowledge was a living, interactive thing
Did not try to persuade people into thinking a certain way, merely tried to make them come up with their own points of view on subjects and not take the popular opinion
Socratic Method He spent most of his time in the marketplace discussing virtue, justice and piety He would draw as much information out of people as possible before refuting what they had said Would argue against their views to arrive at a new, more logical truth "The unexamined life is not worth living."
He claimed to know nothing at all except that he knows nothing
Pronounced the wisest man by the oracle at Delphi
Upon hearing this story, Socrates set out to prove the oracle wrong and began to question those in Athens who had a reputation for wisdom--politicians, poets and artisans
Socrates learned that the oracle was in fact correct
What he discovered was that although all these individuals claimed to have wisdom, they actually possessed very little.
His conclusion was that he much wiser than his fellow citizens because he at least knew how ignorant he was, whereas they did not
Morality Believed people did what they believed to be morally correct
The ultimate aim of Socrates' philosophical method was always ethical.
Thus all wrong doing was due to ignorance
Socrates could never accept what Aristotle called “morale weakness” (know what was good and yet still do evil)
Socrates Death "Socrates is guilty of not paying respect to the gods whom the state respects, of introducing new divinities, and of corrupting the young."
Socrates spoke in his own defense against this accusations
Found guilty and sentenced to death
Many people tried to escape him from prison, but he would not go, for it would be morally incorrect
"The unexamined life is not worth living."
What sort of things in our life, would Socrates say we should examine?
What items in today’s society would most likely be questioned by Socrates?
Socrates, was said to have done what was best for the people of Athens. Yet he would not debate with politicians, or run for public office. Does this make him hypocritical?