HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF GREAT PHILOSOPHERS                             (SOCRATES, PLATO AND ARISTOTLE)                   ...
Socrates had students who were Aristophaues, Xenophon, Plato who wrote dialoguesestablishing the figure of Socrates portra...
observations became the world’s chief source of scientific knowlegde for the next thousandyear.   Aristotle had publicly s...
Referenceswww.google.com                 4
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Great philosophers

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  1. 1. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF GREAT PHILOSOPHERS (SOCRATES, PLATO AND ARISTOTLE) SOCRATES Was born in Athens in a poor family, his father Sophroniscus was a sculptor and hismother Phaenarete was a midwife. Socrates fought in the Peloponnesian war as a soldier inthe army. After retired from the army he spent his time and energy in the pursuit ofwisdom.He went about this by engaging in conversation at the Agora(market place) with allsorts of men and women. They would discuss a wide range of subjects such as love, politics,war, friendship, poetry, religion, science, government and moral issues though his specialtheir relation concern was moral conduct. Socrates rejected the popular conceptions of the Greek gods and to human beings,he believed that a divine providence had to do with the creation of the world. Also he believethat man was more than just a physical organism, he felt that man’s body was a dwellingplace of the soul which was more important than the body. He believed that the chief causeof the evil that men do was ignorance concerning the good life. Thus through the properdevelopment of mind in its pursuit of truth, beauty and goodness that the goal and purpose ofhuman life can be achieved. Socrates was very critical of the democratic form of government thus he felt thatpeople who are called upon to govern the state ought to possess both intellectual and moralqualifications. Socrates felt it was very important to demonstrate to the people whom he spoke withthat they didn’t have as much knowledge on a particular subject (knowledge, wisdom,excellence) as they might have boasted. Socrates used two methods that became essential to the development of philosophythat is Inductive arguments (asking questions to guide the discussion) and seeking generaldefinitions of ambiguous (unclear) terms. Socrates often claimed that he was not a teacher nor obtained enough knowledge toknow anything about the subjects of his debates. He wanted to prove that only wise mancould admit to his own ignorance and aimed to make the people that he spoke with a betterperson by getting them to “know thy self”. Socrates had a tendency to point out the short comings of a certain official who wereaccording to him unprepared for duties. He usually received harsh resentment from officialshe had offended. This was not the case when he had pointed out the short comings ofMeletus, a member of government council. In 399 B.C Meletus and his fellows AristocratsAnytus and Lycon launched accusation at him for being a menace to society and corruptingthe minds of the young men and for rejected the gods of Athens and that his teachings wouldeventually bring about collapse of public morality. At trial Socrates defended himself and hismanner of living and presented sufficient evidence to show that the accusations broughtagainst him were without adequate foundations; However jury and majority voted against himthus considered him guilty and sentenced him to death by drinking a poisonous plant extractknown as hemlock. 1
  2. 2. Socrates had students who were Aristophaues, Xenophon, Plato who wrote dialoguesestablishing the figure of Socrates portrayed as endlessly questioning, shattering the falseclaims of his contemporaries.PLATO,427-347 BC. Plato was born into an aristocratic and wealthy Anthenian family.His father traced hisancestry in a direct line back to the early kings of Athes.His mother was the niece of thewealthy nobleman,Critias and sister of the rich and famous Charmides.Both Critias andChamides were students of Socrates. Platos name was Aristocles,meaning “the best”and “renowned”.He acquired the name ofPlato in his youth because of his wide shoulder.He excelled in every area of youthfulachievement such as sportsmusic and in academic.He also worn Athenian prize for braveryduring the with Sparta.In 407 BC when he was at the age of twenty,Plato became astudent ofSocrates In 386 B.C Plato purchased a recreation grove dedicated to the god Academus.Thisbecame the location of his school.The course of study included the folllowingsubject;HigherMathematics,Astronomy,Music,Literature,Law,History and Philosophy. Plato lectured,utilizing his vast knowledge to present an organised body of information tohis students.He also made use of Socratic discussion by dialogue as the method of scientificinvestigation.At times problems would be assigned on an individual basis. Plato died around the year 347 B.C.He continue to teach until the end,winning theadmiration and love of his students and fellow Athenians. ARISTOTLE,348-323B.C Aristotle born in 384B.C from the north western edge of the Greek Empire in Stagira. Hisfather was physician to king Amyntas of Macedonia. Aristotle was a student of Plato, he came to Athens in 366B.C. Plato regarded Aristotleas brilliant and referred to him as the “nous” or the “mind”. Eventually he classified thebranches of knowledge into categories including physics, psychology, poetics, logic, andrhetoric. Aristotle returned to Stagira around 344B.C and married Pythias, the sister of Hermias, astudent and friend who later became dictator of the city of Atarneus. Around 340B.C hebecame tutor to the king’s son Alexander (soon to become Alexander the Great) At the age of fifty Aristotle moved to Athens. He purchased a valuable group of buildings,land and gardens. He established a school of higher education in philosophy named Lyceumdedicated to god Apollo Lyceus. School won acclaim for its distinguished work in the naturalsciences. Students organized and ruled themselves thus every ten days a different studentwould be elected to handle adminisrative duties. Also all students were assigned tasksinvolving the historical or scientific research. Alexander endowed Aristotle’s school with the equivalent of almost four million dollarsand samples of animal and vegetable from all over the conquered territories thus Aristotlewas able to establish the first zoo and first botanical garden in the world and his scientific 2
  3. 3. observations became the world’s chief source of scientific knowlegde for the next thousandyear. Aristotle had publicly supported Macedonian policies which were hateful to theAthenians. Aristotle broke with Alexander as it was difficult to support him for he flushed withconquest and became more arrogant and cruelty. Thus Aristotle went into exile, moving toChalcis in Euboea in 323B.C and died there at the age of sixty one. 3
  4. 4. Referenceswww.google.com 4

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