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Socrates; More than just the method

Who was Socrates? Many people claim they know who he is, “The Socratic
Method Man, Duh!” Nevertheless, there is much more to Socrates then that. He was a
conversationalist, a teacher, a philosopher, and a martyr among other things. Socrates was
not just the dude that created the Socratic Method, but he was also the philosopher that
changed western philosophy forever.
Socrates was born in 469 B.C. to a stonemason and a midwife in Athens. He was
born into a respectable but middle class family. During his youth, he was the pupil of
Archelaus and science fascinated him. Later on, however, he abandoned studying the
physical world to study what made him famous. He was sent off to war at age 38 as a
well-equipped infantryman. How well he dealt with the horrors of the war was legendary.
He would not complain and he shunned personal comforts. He strived through personal
and physical hardships without murmuring. Some claim that he was so oblivious to
danger around him that he would seem indifferent when people dropped dead around
him, even in a retreat. When he arrived back home from the war he refused to talk about
it insisting that his friends tell him the more important matters like how the search for
truth was going. Socrates, at some point in time, did get married to a nagging woman
named Xanthippe and settled down and had some children. When Socrates’ father died,
he gained a large enough inheritance to devote himself fully to philosophy. The life of
Socrates was somewhat interesting but very full.
There is, however, a more interesting story in his life; how he developed the
Socratic Method. A defining moment in Socrates’ life was when a friend informed him
what the Oracle of Delphi said. She said that there was no man wiser than Socrates was.
Socrates confirmed his friend’s story but refused to believe it. He questioned everyone he
could possibly question in the attempt to find a man wiser then himself. Later on, he
realized what the Oracle meant; that he was superior not because of his wisdom but
because of his knowledge of his own ignorance. From then on, he believed it was his duty
to question people from all walks of life about their knowledge and help them realize
their own ignorance therefore making them wiser. Thus the Socratic Method was born.
The Socratic Method does have a purpose. The basis is to question people
repeatedly, trying to make them admit the fact that they do not know everything and see

In Aristophanes play ‘The Clouds’. Socrates is portrayed as the head of an institute called ‘The Thinkery’ which teaches Sophists how to talk senselessly. Socrates believed that the source of evil is ignorance and an education makes people moral. Socrates attempts throughout his life to expose the Sophists as ‘lazy thinkers’ who make assumptions without careful assessment. He also thought that virtue is knowledge and people are virtuous if they know the true definition of virtue. he was mistaken to be one himself. Socrates attempted to aid individuals achieve a better understanding of themselves. Socrates used the method to destroy the notion that humans comprehend the world around them and utilized it to force people to accept their own ignorance. Socrates theorized that . Socrates had an interesting relationship with the Sophists. Even though Plato had his own philosophies. Socrates’ philosophy is somewhat uncertain. Socrates is the supposed master of meaningless wordplay and ambiguous phraseology. sometimes it was hard to tell if Socrates was one or not. for the most part. even when the questions lead nowhere. so he never wrote any of his own philosophies down. Even though Plato works hard to clarify that Socrates was not a Sophist. The repeated questioning can get frustrating because it frequently leads to dead- ends but Socrates still felt that something was accomplished. truthful about what Socrates believed. Socrates fervently rebuked them for accepting money for their insights. Some people jokingly theorize that Socrates developed this annoying and tedious method from his wife. He reasoned that those are keys steps to gaining true knowledge. The Sophists were a loose group of thinkers who taught wealthy Athenians how to argue effectively. Because of his frequent arguments with the Sophists. There is one problem with relying on Plato. Socrates believed that philosophy was a living and breathing subject that did not need to be written down. This method has a deeper meaning then to just aggravate or bother someone. There was also an aim to this seemingly useless methodology. Socrates had many encounters with the Sophists. This method also aimed at trying to understand things and becoming virtuous. He used the wordplay of the Sophists but he employed it in the pursuit of truth instead of the pursuit of money. he was a philosopher himself. The most notable case of this was by Aristophanes.the truth. it is believed that Plato is. Most of our knowledge about Socrates comes from his pupil Plato. The charges made against him in this play came back to bite him in his later life.

It was fiercely debated whether Socrates should be held responsible for the actions of his former apprentices.’ He would rather die than to abandon his principles. By associating with these tyrants. The state is like a parent to a child. it is immoral for him to wrong another. This conviction of obedience to the state is so strong that when Socrates’ friends tried to ‘break him out’ of jail. Socrates made himself an enemy of democracy and a scapegoat for when democracy was restored. Nevertheless. This contradicted almost all of Greek Mythology. Charging this ‘method man’ with corruption of the youth was a different matter. Even when someone is wronged.the soul was a combination of a person’s intellectual abilities and his character. The way Socrates can justify his criticism of the state is that children grow up and make their own decisions on what is right or wrong. throwing democracy out the window. Unarguably the most intriguing chapter of Socrates’ life was his death. They allowed . it is wrong. The charges made against Socrates were impiety and corruption of the youth. As far as historians can tell. Socrates also theorized that conversing with the common man about important issues of life and virtue are key to any life that has any merit. it is still wrong for an adult to disobey his parents. Many scholars believe that the tyrants spared Socrates because some of them were his former students. Socrates himself did not help the matter any by telling the jury that he has only done good and was placed there to annoy the officials of Athens in order to create progress. sparing the lives of only the most loyal to them. it is also wrong to disobey the state. He strongly believed that ‘The unexamined life is not worth living. This story starts when Sparta defeats Athens and establishes an oligarchy of thirty tyrants. Socrates speculated that the only opinion that matters is the opinion of someone who knows what he is saying. he refused to leave because that would be disobedience to the state. Socrates then speculated that since it is wrong to do wrong. These tyrants purged the city. Socrates was a strong believer in this principle. Socrates reasoned that one ought never to do wrong and one should act righteously to live morally. Socrates also conceived the notion that one should obey his state. Truth alone ought to be one’s basis for deciding something. This angered the jury and they convicted him with the charges. When a child disobeys his parent. this is what Socrates believed. Convicting Socrates of impiety was effortless because he professed that the gods have to be good or else they are not gods.

to a man of thought. except Socrates. Socrates was so much more than the man who created the Socratic Method. Socrates said that he should receive the highest honors and get free food just like the Olympian athletes. He goes from being a man of modest beginnings. Socrates is someone everyone who believes sincerely in his own convictions must respect. to a man of war. This infuriated the jury and they sentenced him to death. He talked to his closest friends about the immortality of the soul trying to comfort them. Socrates faced his death with blatant unconcern. However. In dieing instead of giving up philosophy and his search for the truth. Socrates was quite an interesting character. He drank the hemlock with eerie calm and died with dignity. he became the standard at which all philosophers from all eras are compared. he is the beginning of the western philosophy we recognize today. in death. The final hours of Socrates were tense for everyone. why is he mainly remembered as ‘The Method Man’? . As his friends lamented and pleaded with him frantically. His friends tried to get Socrates to escape but he refused because it would be disobedience to the state. Socrates became the man of his philosophy. Socrates died for what he believed in. and then to a dead man.Socrates to suggest his own punishment for him to show remorse and lessen his sentence. he died a martyr’s death. to a man of senseless wordplay. What Socrates suggested would be the nails in his coffin (if they had coffins in ancient Greece). However. He refused to turn his back on his convictions and on philosophy. Socrates rebuked them for their ruckus.