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What Are Some of the Things Socrates is Known For?

By Yona Williams    1/18/07

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So, you want to know some of the things that Socrates is credited with bringing to the forefront of philosophy? Well, for starters he is said to have encouraged thinkers to undergo a continuous analysis of their views regarding politics, moral issues, and philosophy. He went about this by putting his encounters through a cross examinations, as well as challenged peers to rethink their positions by bringing errors or flaws in their current viewpoints.


Socrates is also credited with starting the movement towards the use of inductive reasoning, which was used to draw conclusions filled with logic. Aristotle wrote that Socrates was the founder of what he dubbed the “scientific method.” Socrates also attributed wrongful acts as a sign of ignorance. A sample of his way of thinking may have dubbed liars as victims of ignorance because they do not possess an understanding on the benefits of telling the truth.


Socrates also served as inspiration for some of the greats in philosophy, such as Plato and Aristotle. As it goes, Plato was a student of Socrates, whereas Aristotle learned from Plato. Socrates is also known for promoting an acceptance in all appearances, as a human being was more than just want is visually presented. This great philosopher walked without shoes throughout the streets of Athens, and was not described as an attractive man, yet his words were filled with beauty and charm.


It’s really sad how Socrates met his end in life: persecuted for the same kind of thoughts we have celebrated throughout the years. He was found guilty during a trial and sentenced to death. Did you know that back in the ancient Greek days, they had a system of death row and a method of capital punishment? Socrates spent one month on death row, where he was then made to drink hemlock poison.


It’s a shame that Socrates never sat down to pen his biography. He never wrote a book and he wasn’t known to keep a diary. This means that all we know about this great thinker comes from information retrieved from what others have said about him.


Some of the best details come from the writings of other well-known historical personalities, such as Plato (427-347 BC). Additional information regarding the life and beliefs of Socrates also come from the likes of his friend, Xenophon (431-350 BC); Aristophanes (450-388 BC); and Aristotle (384-322 BC), who learned under the tutelage of Socrates. Plutach (46-119 AD), who was known as a biographer and historian regarding the Greeks also make mention of Socrates in a few publications.


If you are interested in reading some of the texts for yourself that sheds light on Socrates, you should seek out the following: Apology, Charmides, Cratylus, Critias, Crito, Euthydemus, Euthyphro, Gorgias, Ion, Laches, Lysis, Menexenus, Parmenides, Phaedo, Phaedrus, Philebus, Republic, Sophist, Statesman, Symposium, Theaetetus, and Timaeus.


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