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Garth Holman

Socrates - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - 0 views

  • Socrates has become renowned for his contribution to the field of ethics, and it is this Platonic Socrates who lends his name to the concepts of Socratic irony and the Socratic method,
  • and is a type of pedagogy in which a series of questions is asked not only to draw individual answers, but also to encourage fundamental insight into the issue at hand.
  • Socrates appears to have been a critic of democracy,[15] and some scholars interpret his trial as an expression of political infighting.[16] Claiming loyalty to his city, Socrates clashed with the current course of Athenian politics and society.[17] He praises Sparta, archrival to Athens, directly and indirectly in various dialogues. One of Socrates' purported offenses to the city was his position as a social and moral critic. Rather than upholding a status quo and accepting the development of what he perceived as immorality within his region, Socrates questioned the collective notion of "might makes right" that he felt was common in Greece during this period. Plato refers to Socrates as the "gadfly" of the state (as the gadfly stings the horse into action, so Socrates stung various Athenians), insofar as he irritated some people with considerations of justice and the pursuit of goodness.[18] His attempts to improve the Athenians' sense of justice may have been the cause of his execution.
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  • Socrates initially earned his living as a master stonecutter.
  • found guilty of both corrupting the minds of the youth of Athens and of impiety ("not believing in the gods of the state"),[20] and subsequently sentenced to death by drinking a mixture containing poison hemlock.
  • Socrates had an opportunity to escape, as his followers were able to bribe the prison guards. He chose to stay for several reasons: He believed such a flight would indicate a fear of death, which he believed no true philosopher has. If he fled Athens his teaching would fare no better in another country, as he would continue questioning all he met and undoubtedly incur their displeasure. Having knowingly agreed to live under the city's laws, he implicitly subjected himself to the possibility of being accused of crimes by its citizens and judged guilty by its jury. To do otherwise would have caused him to break his "social contract" with the state, and so harm the state, an unprincipled act. The full reasoning behind his refusal to flee is the main subject of the Crito.
  • After drinking the poison, he was instructed to walk around until his legs felt numb. After he lay down, the man who administered the poison pinched his foot; Socrates could no longer feel his legs. The numbness slowly crept up his body until it reached his heart. Shortly before his death, Socrates speaks his last words to Crito: "Crito, we owe a rooster to Asclepius. Please, don't forget to pay the debt."
  • and freedom, of the soul from the body.
  • dialectic method of inquiry, known as the Socratic method or method of "elenchus", which he largely applied to the examination of key moral concepts such as the Good and Justice. It was first described by Plato in the Socratic Dialogues. To solve a problem, it would be broken down into a series of questions, the answers to which gradually distill the answer a person would seek. The influence of this approach is most strongly felt today in the use of the scientific method, in which hypothesis is the first stage. The development and practice of this method is one of Socrates' most enduring contributions, and is a key factor in earning his mantle as the father of political philosophy, ethics or moral philosophy, and as a figurehead of all the central themes in Western philosophy.
  • One of the best known sayings of Socrates is "I only know that I know nothing". The conventional interpretation of this remark is that Socrates' wisdom was limited to an awareness of his own ignorance. Socrates believed wrongdoing was a consequence of ignorance and those who did wrong knew no better.
  • Socrates believed the best way for people to live was to focus on self-development rather than the pursuit of material wealth.[citation needed] He always invited others to try to concentrate more on friendships and a sense of true community, for Socrates felt this was the best way for people to grow together as a populace
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