Socrates Essay

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Socrates an ancient Greek philosopher initiated Western philosophical thought. He was born 470 B.C in Athens. He was the son of Sophroniscus, an Athenian stone mason and sculptor. He learned his craft and apparently practiced it for many years. He practiced in the Peloponnesian war when the Athens was crushed by the Spartans, and he distinguished himself for his courage. Some details from his early life were scarce, although he appears to have had no more than an ordinary Greek education before devoting his time to almost completely to intellectual interests. He did however; take interest in the works of the natural philosophers, and Plato records the fact that Socrates met Zeno of Elea and Parmenides on their trip to Athens, which probably took place about 450 B.C. Socrates was the most colorful figure in the history of ancient philosophy. His fame was widespread in his own time, he soon became an household name although he professed no extraordinary wisdom, constructed no philosophical system, established no school. His influence on the course of ancient philosophy is immeasurable. Socrates was famous for saying, “That he knows nothing and that the unexamined life is not worth living.” The Socratic Method involves asking a series questions until a contradiction emerges breaking up the initial assumption. Socratic irony is the position that the questioner take that he knows nothing while leading the questioning. Thus the Socratic method of argumentation begins with commonplace questions which lead the opponent to believe that the questioner is simple, but ends in a complete reversal. Therefore, his chief contributions were not in the construction of an elaborate system but in clearing away the false common beliefs and leading men to an awareness of their own ignorance, from which position they may begin to discover the truth. It was his

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