In Plato’s apology, the story is told of how Chaerephon, friend of Socrates, went to the temple at Delphi to ask the oracle a question pertaining to the wisdom of Socrates, and how it compares to the rest of the men on earth. “He asked if any man was wiser than I, and the Pythian replied that no one was wiser” (Plato). This response was very confusing to Socrates because he recognized that he was not wise at all, and it troubled him for some time. Socrates then tries to refute the oracle by bringing a supposedly wise man from town to the temple to show the Pythian that he was wrong, but when they get there, Socrates realizes that the wise man was not wise at all, and neither of them knew anything really worth knowing. He sees only one difference between the two of them, and that is that the man thinks he knows something when he really doesn’t, whereas Socrates recognizes that he knows nothing. This is the point when Socrates realizes that his wisdom comes from his knowledge that he really doesn’t know anything at all. After acquiring this knowledge, Socrates goes off and begins questioning people who are considered wise so he can examine the meaning of knowledge. It is after this, and in Plato’s Euthyphro that we see the Socratic Method first being used. Socrates goes about investigating truths using a method called the method of elenchus. This is defined by Webster as, “refutation; especially: one in syllogistic form.” Elenchus is the Socratic method of investigating truths through question and answer. Socrates starts this method of elenchus by questioning a supposedly wise person about the definition of certain virtues. For example, in Plato’s Euthyphro, Socrates asks Euthyphro what piety is. After this, the pers...
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...and us as humans should work to know these eternal truths.
Socrates and Nietzsche looked at things during a completely different time period and from a completely different view. Nietzsche finds his main objections to Socrates based on his interpretation on the way Socrates lived his life. He didn’t like him as a man, and believed that his method to go about attaining knowledge was founded through stupidity. Regardless, both philosophers offer us different ways of looking at life and looking at the human quest for attainment of knowledge, and this allows us as people today to formulate our own ideas and opinions. It is through the work of philosophers like these that we today know so much more about human life, and it is actually conflicting ideas like the ones both of these philosophers had that help us really formulate our own opinions on subjects in life.
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