Length: 2071 words (5.9 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document


Who is Socrates? Socrates was a Greek philosopher. He was the best of his time (400's BC), and is considered one of the wisest people of all times. Also, he was the first of three of the greatest teachers of ancient Greece. He was born and died in Athens. He was a short philosopher, who wore only a white robe at all times and all seasons. Socrates wasn’t interested in money nor fame. He wrote no books and most the information known about him comes from his students: Plato and Xenophon. He lived and based his teachings on principles and morals. He is well known for viewing philosophy as a pursuit of proper and for saying that philosophy was necessary to all men. He is also known for introducing two new methods: the Socratic Method and Socratic Irony. His philosophy and teachings have affected today’s way of thinking and contemporary philosophy in many ways

Early Life
Socrates lived thousands of years ago. There are no true records saying when he was really born, but Diogenes Laertius said, in his citation of Apollodrus’ Chronology, that Socrates was born in the fourth year of the 77th Olympiad and on the sixth day of the month called Thargelion.1 Plato said that he died at the age of 70 in 399, therefore being born on 469 BC (just ten years after the death of Confucius). He was the son of a sculptor named Sophroniscus, and a midwife named Phaenarete.
There is not a lot of information about Socrates’ education. Plurach wrote that a fortuneteller once told his father to let Socrates do whatever he wanted, ‘allow him free play without forcing anything on him’.2 He made sure he got the appropriate elementary education. He was taught literature, music, gymnastics, and sculpture.3 Later, Socrates became interested in Geometry, the language and dialectics of the Sophists, the speculations of the Ionian Philosophers, and the general culture of Athens. In the Parmenides, Socrates, when he was very young, went to hear Zeno read a treatise and talks with him and Parmenides. Plato wrote that Socrates mentioned seeing Parmenides use the question-answer method (which he later used himself). In the writing the Meno, Socrates says that Meno was his teacher, in the words of the writer, he said that Meno was as bad a teacher to him as Gorgias was to Meno.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Socrates." 24 May 2017
Title Length Color Rating  
Wisdom of Socrates Essay - Socrates was a man that was in search of the truth about wisdom. However, it became more than just a simple search, rather it tuned into a complex assignment where the answer of true wisdom leads Socrates to be brought up on charges of corrupting society. As a philosopher Socrates is known to take every angle of an argument and to never put belief into one idea. Therefore Socrates was known to perplex even simple ideas and to frustrate his opponent. People who have experienced this accuse Socrates of making his own truths about the natural and unnatural world when in actuality he his still in search of a better meaning....   [tags: Socrates] 507 words
(1.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Truth Be Told: Socrates' Examinations of Life - Socrates once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” He questioned the very nature of why things were the way they were, while never settling for simple, mundane answers. Socrates would rather die searching for the truth than live accepting what he considered a blatant lie. I like to think of myself the same way. I too would rather examine the wonders of life rather than accept what I am just told. The truth is some can’t handle the truth. I on the other hand welcome it with earnest anticipation and fervent enthusiasm....   [tags: Socrates, philosophy, ] 521 words
(1.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay on Socrates' Analogy of the Cave - At the beginning of Book Seven, in an attempt to better describe the education of the philosopher Socrates begins to set up an analogy with an ascent and descent into “the cave”. In Socrates’ cave analogy there was a group of people who were from childhood held in a dimly lit underground cave. The people were kept there in bonds that were designed to allow them to only what was in front of them by depriving them of the ability to turn their heads around. Also present in Socrates’ cave was a certain wall or partition separating the prisoners from another group of people who simply walked along a path carrying statues shaped after all that of beings and occasionally uttering sounds as the othe...   [tags: Socrates, Analogy of the Cave, philosophy, ] 1029 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Views Of Detrich Bonhoeffer And Socrates - "The great masquerade of evil has played havoc with all our ethical concepts. For evil to appear disguised as light, charity, historical necessity, or social justice is quite bewildering to anyone brought up on our traditional ethical concepts". Evil should not have a place in the name or eyes of the law other than for the law to bring justice onto the evil which as been committed. The law is there to protect and provide equality and justice to all. People are equal. Each and every person has the ability to make their own decisions which ever way they choose to....   [tags: Sociology Philosophy Socrates Bonhoeffer] 1482 words
(4.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Socrates: One of the Most Important Figures in Western Philosophy Essay - Socrates was one of the most influential thinkers in the West, even though he left no writings of himself, it was possible to reconstruct an accurate account of his life from the writings of his Greek students because he always engaged them. He was a man with a very strong conviction because he lived his life for the pursuit of knowledge, true wisdom, God’s will, and piety. Though he never wrote anything, his soul source of knowledge about him came from one of his students, Plato. Socrates was born in 469 B.C....   [tags: Socrates Essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
1268 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Socrates Was NOT Guilty -      Socrates, in his conviction from the Athenian jury, was both innocent and guilty as charged. In Plato’s Five Dialogues, accounts of events ranging from just prior to Socrates’ entry into the courthouse up until his mouthful of hemlock, both points are represented. Socrates’ in dealing with moral law was not guilty of the crimes he was accused of by Meletus. Socrates was only guilty as charged because his peers had concluded him as such. The laws didn’t find Socrates guilty; Socrates was guilty because his jurors enforced the laws....   [tags: Innocence of Socrates Essay] 1660 words
(4.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Plato’s Portrayal of Socrates Essay - Plato’s Portrayal of Socrates The portrayal of Socrates by his student Plato creates one of the most controversial characters of all time. There are few other personalities in history that have drawn criticism and praise from the furthest ends of each spectrum. Socrates has been called the inventor of reason and logic, and at the same time has been condemned as a corruptor and a flake. Perhaps he was all of these. Despite this disagreement, one is a certainty: Socrates had a very interesting and active sense of humor....   [tags: Plato Socrates]
:: 7 Works Cited
2381 words
(6.8 pages)
Research Papers [preview]
Socrates - Definitions of Piety Essay - Socrates - Definitions of Piety      During the Periclean age (around 400 B.C.) in Athens Greece there was a man named Socrates. He was considered a very wise man by the Athenians. However there were men in power who did not care for him or his teachings; Claiming that he corrupted the Athenian youth and did not believe in the Greek gods, Socrates was put on trail. On his way to his trial Socrates met a man named Euthyphro, a professional priest who is respected by the "authorities" (those who want get rid of Socrates)....   [tags: Socrates Plato Philosophy]
:: 1 Works Cited
928 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Last Days Of Socrates Essay - The Last Days of Socrates Plato. The Last Days of Socrates. London: Penguin Books Ltd., 1993 Imagine the time just after the death of Socrates. The people of Athens were filled with questions about the final judgment of this well-known, long-time citizen of Athens. Socrates was accused at the end of his life of impiety and corruption of youth. Rumors, prejudices, and questions flew about the town. Plato experienced this situation when Socrates, his teacher and friend, accepted the ruling of death from an Athenian court....   [tags: Plato Socrates Philosophy Essays] 2263 words
(6.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Justice in Socrates’ City Essay - Justice in Socrates’ City While Adeimantus and Glaucon appear to enthusiastically accept Socrates’ conclusions about the nature and benefits of justice at the end of Book IV, even going so far as to complete his argument about the profit of justice themselves, they only do so because they have followed Socrates’ argument linearly without going back to test new claims against established premises. Had they done so, they would have been to discover the gaps in Socrates’ logic and the full implications of his constructed city—a city that not only failed to illustrate how justice was profitable in itself and correlated with happiness, but actually proved the precise view of justice as a sacrifi...   [tags: Socrates Book IV Justice] 793 words
(2.3 pages)
Better Essays [preview]

4 He often referred to Prodicus as an expert on words. In the Symposium (by Plato), Socrates says that in the area of LOVE, he was taught by Diotima of Mantineia. No one knows who she was or what she was (angel or human). He also said that he learned rhetoric from Aspasia and that he was taught music by Connus. Socrates was also taught by Anaxagoras, Damon, and Archealus (Archealus was the teacher of Anaxagoras, and was the first to bring natural philosophy to Athens).5 Diogenes said that Socrates became so good in Ethics, that he is now said to be the one who invented it. Although he had so many teachers, Socrates wasn’t satisfied with his teachers. Therefore, he began to look for his own methods of searching the knowledge of the good.
Athens, Greece Birth Place
Later Life
Socrates was married to a woman named Xanthippe. She was a rude, ill tempered woman. She and Socrates had a son named Lamprocles. It is also believed that Socrates had a second wife (according to sources recovered by Laertius and Aristotle)… her name was Myrto.6 She had two other sons called Sophroniscus and Menexenus. Both wives were married to him at the same time because of Athens policy on increasing the population. It is not really known if he really had that second wife, but more than one source say that he did. Socrates was also involved in the military. He fought in a big war called the Archidamian War. According to Plato, he was very brave in the Siege of Potidaea, which was from 431-430 BC, and he was also very brave in the Battle of Delium (424 BC).7 He was very successful in the military. Socrates spent all, if not most, of his life in Athens. He said that he liked to learn from people, and that they were easier to find in the city than in the country. The only time he travelled was in the military, when he fought in the battles.
Socrates got involved with politics as little as possible. He followed the laws of Athens, but still stayed away from politics. He thought that it was too dangerous for a ‘lover of justice and truth’ like himself.8 If he was into politics and opposed injustice and illegality, he would be put to death a lot sooner. As a result of this, he chose to fight injustice as a private citizen. However, when his group came into government, as the president, he was forced to take votes.
In 423 BC, Aristophanes wrote a comedy called the Clouds. Socrates was the main character of the play. In the play, Socrates was supposed to worship clouds and other scientific wonders, instead of the gods that the people from Greece worshipped. Additionally, the play said that Socrates was the owner of a thinking shop were young people were taught the wrong things about the religion of Athens. The Athenians took this play seriously, and believed what it said about Socrates’ believes. Throughout the years, the Athenians began to dislike Socrates, because of the way he criticized the state and because of his religious believes. In 399 BC, Socrates was brought to trial for neglecting the gods of the state, introducing new religions, corrupting the morals of the young, and the Sophists thought bad of him because of the way the Clouds criticized him.9 He had a chance to escape the trial by getting exile, but he didn’t take it. The Apology, by Plato, is a defence speech Socrates supposedly gave at the trial. Socrates tried to tell the people of the trial that the things said on the clouds weren’t true. He also explained why he believed what he believed. Shamefully, this wasn’t good enough for the people, so he was sentenced to death. Again, Socrates had a chance to escape, his followers and students planned an escape of the prison cell, but he didn’t take it. He served his penalty as he was suppose to. He died by drinking a cup of Hemlock.
It is said that on his last day all his friends were there including his wife. Xanthippe was there with their youngest son on her arms. There was a painting done on the seventeenth century showing his last day:
Thoughts, Ideas, & Philosophy
Socrates had many thoughts and ideas. He thought differently than others. He thought that knowledge was essential to a person. Socrates was once told by a fortune teller that he was the smartest man in Greece. He did not believe this, so he went to ask people (who were supposed to be smart) questions, to see if he really was the smartest man in Greece. He asked things like what is knowledge, why do people do wrong, and so on. This became known as the Socratic Method. He believed that by asking these type of questions, and cross examining the people he would be able to get the answer from them. Socrates also believed that no one knowingly does wrong. Which he thought meant that if a person does not know what is right, then that person will do wrong, but in the other hand, if the person knows what is right will do right. He once learned the motto “know thyself”. To his point of view, this meant that in knowing oneself, ne saw the possibility of knowing what is really good. He thought that virtue was knowledge. He said that if people have the wrong idea of virtue, love, morality, or any other ethical idea, He said that they can’t be trusted to do what is right. The soul to him was “the seat of both, waking consciousness and moral character. He also thought that a man’s nature showed him how to act correctly and in harmony with knowledge. He believed a person’s evil and wrong actions come from ignorance and the failure to investigate why people act as they do. As a result of this he said “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates also introduced the idea of Universal Definitions, which said that although individual things may vary and be constructed differently the definitions of how they are similar are permanent. One of his most famous philosophical ideas is that the necessity of doing what one thinks is right even in the face of universal opposition, and the need to pursue knowledge even when opposed.

Socrates taught anywhere, the marketplaces, gymnasiums, and streets. He went up to people (without knowing who they were) and asked them all sorts of questions. He developed the Socratic Method, also now known as dialectics. This was the method of teaching that involved asking questions and then cross-examining the answers the people give. Socrates was the teacher of two very famous philosophers and historians. One was Plato, who wrote the most about him; and the other one was Xenophon, who was one of the most famous historians of all times. His method of teaching involved living with his pupils (this is why he is regarded of being homosexual, which is not true at all, and there is no fact that supports that). Socrates also influenced people like Crito, Hermogenes, Simmias, Cebes, Cynic, Aristipus, Phaedonias, and many more. Xenophon says that although he did not charge any prices for what he taught, others who he taught went out and charged really high amounts of prices. Xenophon also said that Socrates went to crowds and said “Where do people become good and honorable... then follow me... and learn.” This is how many of his students came to him.10
Socrates has affected the world and the philosophy in many ways. The Socratic Method is know a well known way of teaching today. His theories of moral life are being followed by many people today. His philosophy and teachings has affected Western Philosophy a lot. It was him who modified it. His followers, who were strongly influenced by him, began many things that had to do with philosophy. For example, Cynic, another philosopher, after being influenced by Socrates, formed the Cynic Schools of Philosophy11. This school based its teaching on Socrates’ teachings. Furthermore, Arisitipus, another philosopher influenced by Socrates, formed the Hedonist School. More and more people followed the philosophy of Socrates and went out and taught it to others (free or not free) and so on.
In conclusion, Socrates was one of the greatest philosophers of all times. He wrote no books and wasn’t interested in money. He was just interested in that the people (of at least Athens) would be wise and had morals. Socrates was brave, smart, and lived his life by principles. He was an intellectual man who wasn’t embarrassed nor shy. Socrates was admired greatly by a lot, but by some, he was hated. Socrates criticized a lot, but never hurt anyone. He never broke the laws, although he was not into politics, but the Athenian Mob didn’t look at it that way. His philosophy influenced philosophy greatly. It was a shame that the royalty of Athens was so unfair, and Socrates had to end his life like he did. Because after all, Socrates was just a good man.


1. Gulley, Norman. “The Philosophy of Socrates.” Macmillan and Co. LTD; 1968. New York City, NY.
2. Strauss, Leo. “Xenophon’s Socrates.” Cornell University Press; 1972. London, England.
3. Taylor, A. E. “Socrates.” Butler & Tanner Co; 1926 London, England.
4. O’Brien, Michael. “The Socratic Paradoxes and the Greek Mind.” University of North Carolina Press; 1967. Durham, NC.
5. Taylor, A. E. “Plato.” Butler & Tanner Co; 1926 London, England.
6. Yartz, Frank. “Ancient Greek Philosophy.” Mac Farlan Publishing Co; 1984. Jefferson, NC.
1. Anderson, Kent & Freund, Norm. “Socrates.” Sept. 14, 1996. Http://
2. Beck, Anderson. “Socrates” 1996 Http://
3. Kalogrianitis, Socratis. “Socrates (469-399 BC).” December 28, 1995.
Bibliography (cont.)
4. Marvin, Chris & Sikernitsky, Frank. “Socrates: Greek Philosopher (469 - 399 BC).” 1995. Http://
5. No Author “Socrates (470-399)” United States of America; 1994. Http://
6. “Socrates (470 - 399 BC)...” May 24, 1997. Http://

Return to