Biography Of Socrates
Socrates was one of the Greek philosophers widely believed to be the founder of Western philosophy and an essential player in the growth of Western civilization.
“The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being.”
Socrates – Republic 38c
Socrates wrote nothing, therefore impressions of Socrates are mainly derived from the works of his teacher, Plato. There are other writings of Xenophon and a playwright of the present – Aristophanes.
There is a possibility that Plato amplified his legacy as Socrates by making him look like the noblest philosopher. An ideal to be admired and emulated. The amount of this enhancement is difficult to determine however, Socrates’s life Socrates remains a source of inspiration for many.
Socrates got married to Xanthippe and the couple had 3 children. The tradition suggests that Xanthippe was a polarizing figure and difficult to please, making Socrates the model of philosophical peace.
Biography Of Socrates
The Socratic Method
In addition to a brief stint in the military, however, it’s not evident what Socrates made a living; however, he was able to attract a crowd of young men who came to study and discuss with Socrates. Socrates was a teacher who followed the process of self-study. He didn’t claim to have all the answers; he simply inquire about his students and force students to think for themselves and examine their own beliefs and convictions.
“As for me, all I know is that I know nothing,”
– Republic, 354c
This famous statement by Socrates is an example of the Socratic method. Socrates was aware of the limitations in his understanding.
Plato describes how the thirty tyrants wished to include Socrates in the inhumane execution of Leon of Salamis who was opposed to the Tyrants. Socrates decided to stay out of the way and was able to be executed by himself had the tyrants been removed.
In Socrates’ time during his time, his state Athens was experiencing political turmoil following a humiliating loss during the Peloponnesian war. This led to feelings of nationalist pride in the Athenian state. But, Socrates felt compelled to look into and test his fellow citizens. He also was willing to challenge and question the notions of justice, while avoiding an apprehensive, narrow religious view.
At some point, Socrates famously states (as the quote is from Plutarch).
“I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.”
However, his incessant criticisms and questions led to political enemies and his position was exacerbated by the uneasy environment of the day.
One of the friends of Socrates, Chaerephon, asked the Oracle of Delphi who was wiser than Socrates. The Oracle stated that no one was smarter than Socrates.
Socrates believed that this was an absurdity since he did not have any idea. But after speaking with all the top writers and politicians from Athens, Socrates realized that even though some people believed they were knowledgeable, in reality, they weren’t. So Socrates believed it was the Oracle that was correct. Socrates was wise solely because he knew his insanity.
Biography Of Socrates
“I am smarter than him because neither of us seems to be knowledgeable or valuable. However, the man believes he is knowledgeable but he doesn’t know anything while I, for the record, am not a professional that I don’t believe I am. In this tiny particular situation, I seem to be more knowledgeable than him, since I don’t believe that I am knowledgeable about things I don’t know.”
Socrates is usually portrayed as a saintly figure – one who was in control of himself. But he was also known to have a fast temper. One interesting story about Socrates was that Socrates together with a few students, visited the soothsayer, a popular figure. The’soothsayer had been asked to discuss the character of Socrates.
She said that Socrates was full of the negative traits of ego, vanity, and fear. She also expressed hatred.
His pupils were angry because they did not see them in the eyes of their class.
At this moment, the soothsayer continued. Yes, Socrates possesses these traits however, unlike other people He can also surpass these qualities and keep them away.
Trial and Execution of Socrates
Socrates’s political views were unorthodox and his willingness to expose the ignorance of others made him numerous enemies. This resulted in his arrest as well as trial. The trial was telecast through his dialogues with Plato. Plato depicts the philosopher who was completely free of death’s fear and dedicated to truth. In the days before his death Socrates stated:
“The time for departure has come and we are now on our separate ways. I to go to the grave as you go on to be alive. Which is better? just God decides.”
If Socrates was discovered guilty of ‘corrupting’ the minds of the young people from Athens and of being stupid He accepted the verdict and – rather than try to avoid the death penalty, He accepted the poison hemlock. If Socrates had not resisted any of his convictions, he might have been released; he might have tried to escape, however, as a philosopher, he believed it was more important to adhere to his convictions. Also, he felt that he had a connection with the city of Athens and, therefore, must be prepared to face his fate. Socrates’ final words were:
“Crito We are owed a rooster by Asclepius. Please don’t forget to pay the amount.” Asclepius was the Greek god of healing.
It could mean that Socrates considered death to be a freedom of the mind. Some interpret it to mean it was his final act as a cleansing process for Athens in the face of misfortune and mistakes.
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