Born in Athens in 470 BC, Socrates was the son Sophroniscus, and Athenian stonemason and sculptor, and Phaenarete, a midwife. He started working as a stone mason before s devoted his life to philosophy. Socrates married Xanthippe and had three sons, Lamprocles, Sophroniscus, and Menexenus. Socrates left no writing behind,and what we know about him we have learned from the writings of his students. Socrates was sentenced to death by hemlock poisoning in 399 BC.
His Philosophy and Main Ideals
Socrates believed that an absolute truth existed and that all real knowledge was within each person. He invented the Socratic method of teaching still used today. He asked pointed questions to force his pupils to use their reason and to see things for themselves. Socrates attempted to establish and ethical system based on human reason rather than theatrical doctrine. The more a person knows, the greater his or her ability to reason and make choices that will bring true happiness. Socrates believed that this translated into politics with the best form of government being neither a tyranny nor a democracy.