Socrates By: Ryan Chen

Background Info

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.

His Impact on Ancient Greek Society

The young people of Athens were delighted in watching Socrates question their elders in the market and soon, became his followers and abandoned their early aspirations and devoted themselves to philosophy. Every major philosophical school mentioned by ancient writers was founded by one of his followers. It has been said that Socrates' greatest contribution to philosophy was to move intellectual pursuits away from the focus on physical science and into the "abstract realm" of ethics and morality.

Modern Examples of His Philosophy

Socrates' main contribution to Modern society is Socratic method, sometimes known as elenchus. The Socratic method, which is dialectic, breaks down a problem into a series of questions that are sought to be answered. This method is also used in the scientific method where you make a hypothesis. Then you try to prove it right or wrong through experiments.



Created with images by Biblioteca Rector Machado y Nuñez - ""Sócrates"" • Stifts- och landsbiblioteket i Skara - "Socrates" • Kristoffer Trolle - "Lady sitting in front of Parthenon on Acropolis, Athens, Greece" • morhamedufmg - "statue herodot sculpture"

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.