The True Father Of Western Thought Essay

The True Father Of Western Thought Essay

Length: 733 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Socrates,the philosopher from ancient Athens and arguably the true father of western thought. He is the son of a stonemason, born around 469BC. Socrates was famously odd. In a city that made a cult of physical beauty the philosopher was disturbingly ugly. Socrates taught that beauty and goodness should be determined by usefulness and fitness of function, rather than by mere appearance or personal feelings of delight. Socrates had a pot-belly, a weird walk, swivelling eyes and hairy hands.
why should we care about this curious, clever, condemned Greek? Quite simply because Socrates 's problems were our own. He lived in a city that was for the first time working out what role true democracy should play in human society. His hometown – successful, cash-rich – was in danger of being swamped by its own vigorous quest for beautiful objects, new experiences, foreign coins.

Socrates cut a strange figure in Athens, going about barefoot, long-haired and unwashed in a society with incredibly refined standards of beauty. It didn’t help that he was by all accounts physically ugly, with an upturned nose and bulging eyes. Despite his intellect and connections, he rejected the sort of fame and power that Athenians were expected to strive for. His lifestyle—and eventually his death—embodied his spirit of questioning every assumption about virtue, wisdom and the good life.
Socrates wrote no philosophy, and what we know of him comes chiefly from two of his younger students Xenophon and Plato. They recorded the most significant accounts of Socrates’ life and philosophy. For both, the Socrates that appears bears the mark of the writer.

One of the greatest paradoxes that Socrates helped his students explore was whether weakness of will—doing ...

... middle of paper ...

...definitions and hair-splitting questions inspired the development of formal logic and systematic ethics from the time of Aristotle through the Renaissance and into the modern era. Moreover, Socrates’ life became an exemplar of the difficulty and the importance of living (and if necessary dying) according to one’s well-examined beliefs. And according to Socrates, there is no such thing as weakness of will: “To know the good is to do the good.”
To this day, the Socratic Method is still used in classroom and law school discourse to expose underlying issues in both subject and the speaker. He has been recognized with accolades ranging from frequent mentions in pop culture (such as the movie Bill & Ted 's Excellent Adventure) and a Greek rock band called (Socrates Drank the Conium) to numerous busts in academic institutions in recognition of his contribution to education.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Synge’s Playboy of the Western World

- Synge’s Playboy of the Western World In The Playboy of the Western World, several aspects of human relationships can be identified and these aspects can be studied according to the factors tha influence human relationships. The influencing factors predominant in this play are the perception of self and others; whether the relationship is built up on honesty and reality or deception, fantasy and story telling; and if a person allows a second party to develop their character without influencing it with their expectations of the person’s personality and their own personal ideas of what the relationship ought to be....   [tags: Synge Playboy Western World Essays]

Better Essays
895 words (2.6 pages)

All Quiet on the Western Front Essays: Can’t Go Home Again

- Can’t Go Home Again – All Quiet on the Western Front During his leave, perhaps Baumer’s most striking realization of the vacuity of words in his former society occurs when he is alone in his old room in his parents’ house. After being unsuccessful in feeling a part of his old society by speaking with his mother and his father and his father’s friends, Baumer attempts to reaffiliate with his past by once again becoming a resident of the place. Here, among his mementos, the pictures and postcards on the wall, the familiar and comfortable brown leather sofa, Baumer waits for something that will allow him to feel a part of his pre-enlistment world....   [tags: All Quiet on the Western Front Essays]

Free Essays
579 words (1.7 pages)

Christianity And The Western Tradition Essay example

- Christianity and the Western Tradition The role of Christianity during the Middle Ages has been strongly intertwined in the changes in Greco-Roman thought as well as the development of European civilization. Christianity quickly rose to become the dominate religion during the decline of the Roman Empire. Greco-Roman thought allowed for the Hellenization of Christianity, and it eventually led to the development of European states. Christianity can be considered an inspiration for change, or an opening to new ideas and thoughts during the Greco-Roman period....   [tags: Christianity, Judaism, Roman Empire, Ancient Rome]

Better Essays
776 words (2.2 pages)

True West By Sam Shepard Essay

- The play True West, written by Sam Shepard in the 1980’s, is a play about sibling rivalry between two alienated brothers who are believed to be complete opposites. The play takes on a rather comical sense as the viewer sits through the antics of the two brothers, much like a sitcom. Nonetheless, the characters seem to have more depth, and this can be picked up when the viewer is able to read the play for themselves. Austin, the younger brother, is a screenwriter trying to make his name in Hollywood....   [tags: Sibling, Family]

Better Essays
1225 words (3.5 pages)

Carl von Clausewitz as the Father of Modern Military Strategy Essay

- As modern military historians debate on the founder of military strategy, two military theorists emerge in the period after the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic War: the Prussian Carl von Clausewitz and the Swiss Antoine-Henri Jomini. In modern military philosophy, the theoretical traditions established by each of these military theorist has significantly impacted our military thinking and their teaching has become essential in the education of modern military leaders. Clausewitz and Jomini have become required reading for today's military professional officer....   [tags: military strategy, modern military ]

Better Essays
1443 words (4.1 pages)

Nervous Conditions : Social Groups Essay

- In the novel Nervous Conditions two social groups are introduced. These two social groups are the native people of Zimbabwe and the western people in which they are carried, compared and contrasted throughout the novel. However, the question of “Which social groups are marginalized, excluded, or silenced within the text?” is brought into question. The native people are perceived as ignorant due to them being uneducated. However, the western people are displayed as civil because they are educated....   [tags: Western culture, Western world, Western Europe]

Better Essays
1083 words (3.1 pages)

All Quiet On The Western Front Essay

- "This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war." This opening paragraph is a simple, poetic version of the main theme behind All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. The point of the story is to show that war is not romantic, glorious, or fantastic....   [tags: Erich Maria Remarque]

Free Essays
1686 words (4.8 pages)

Great Issues in Western Civilization Essay

- Great Issues in Western Civilization A great issue can be defined in many ways; one way is how it effects people and how many people it effects. Of course it is based on the fact that it is great; and it wouldn’t be great unless people were affected by it. Then the question is what is an issue, and what makes an issue. First of all, every issue has to have more then one side, and each side has their own point of view. This point of view is usually very ethnocentric as well. Secondly, every point of view is seen with a different perspective, which no one else can see....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
1146 words (3.3 pages)

Analysis of Western Civilizations: Ideas, Politics, and Society Essay

- ... Cannabis use is illegal, even though medical specialists have proven its ability to cure certain illnesses, including cancer, but alcohol, which kills many each year, is still perfectly legal. To me, this shows that we are not truly politically free, we are just exponentially better off than other countries. Inner freedom, the ability for each individual to make their own moral choices, is another concept that I am ambivalent about. While for the most part, we are free to choose our own moral ground; our Government does stand in the way and make the decision for us in regards to some things; Such as the gay marriage issue and drugs, but also things such as legal age of dating and what cr...   [tags: rationality, impulse, country, president]

Better Essays
861 words (2.5 pages)

Playboy Of The Western World: Discovering Reality Essay

- In order to counter the unreality of Ibsen and the bleakness of Chekhov, John M. Synge has chosen a seemingly unbelievable story to create his realist masterpiece, The Playboy of the Western World. Its realism comes from two unlikely sources: joy and a far-fetched tale. Yet, as Synge identifies himself in the preface, these elements in combination are extremely effective in showing the life of the peasantry; more so than any bleak or so-called "real" story (in the manner of Ibsen) could.The problem with showing the peasant class in a bleak manner is that, by virtue of their position, the audience knows their life is bleak in terms of money....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
486 words (1.4 pages)