He was humble and intellectually honest. He was magnanimous in his attitude toward others. He was noble in character, frugal in his living, and a person of great endurance.
He is remembered not only for the quality of his living but for the content of his teachings. He believed that the most important topic that can occupy the mind is the meaning of the good life. He had no quarrel with the physicists and natural scientists of his day, who were trying to obtain a descriptive account of the way things are and the laws that govern their behavior. Important as this type of information might be, it was a matter of far greater significance to understand the meaning of human life and the way that people ought to live.
The physical sciences do not reveal anything concerning the purpose for which things exist, nor do they tell us anything about the nature of goodness. They do not reveal what is good or bad, nor do they distinguish between what is morally right and wrong.
A far more important type of inquiry has to do with knowledge of what constitutes the good life. Although he rejected the popular conceptions of the Greek gods and their relation to human beings, Socrates believed that a divine providence had to do with the creation of the world and, further, that the purpose toward which it was directed was the achievement of the good life on the part of human beings.
Man was something more than a physical organism. His body was the dwelling place of the soul, and what happens to the soul was vastly more important than what happens to the body. An epitome of Socrates' moral philosophy can be expressed briefly in the statement "virtue is knowledge. In the case of a human, this would mean the harmonious development of the elements found in human nature and would apply to life as a whole rather than just the present moment or the immediate future.
The knowledge to which this statement refers is something more than an awareness of facts concerning the order of the material universe. It involves an understanding of the soul in relation to the good life. It was Socrates' conviction that ignorance concerning the good life was the chief cause of the evil that people do.
He did not believe that anyone would knowingly do that which was harmful to oneself. Virtue alone is capable of bringing satisfaction to the soul. Although this is the goal toward which everyone strives, not everyone reaches it. Their failures are due to the fact that they do not know what will bring lasting satisfaction.
They pursue sensuous pleasures, material wealth, public esteem, and similar goals, thinking that these will bring about the greatest amount of happiness. When any one or all of these goals has been reached, they discover that objectives of this type do not bring about peace of mind, nor do they meet the demands of one's true or real self. It is only through the proper development of the mind in its pursuit of truth, beauty, and goodness that the goal and purpose of human life can be achieved.
Because knowledge concerning the meaning of the good life was an essential requirement for making proper decisions with regard to the welfare of the community, Socrates was especially critical of a democratic form of government in which a given society is ruled by the majority of its citizens, regardless of their qualifications for understanding the issues upon which they must make decisions. He pointed out that in any other line of activity, only those persons with the necessary qualifications would be selected for the job.
For example, if one wanted to have his shoes repaired, he would employ a shoemaker. If he wanted to build a house he would hire a carpenter, or if he wanted someone to manage a particular line of business, he would select someone who by his training and experience would have demonstrated that he had the ability to perform successfully.
Those who are called upon to govern the state are asked to make decisions that are far more important than those having to do with the lesser affairs of everyday living. For this reason, they ought to possess both intellectual and moral qualifications that are above the average. Athenian democracy in the age of Socrates did not insist on a high standard of qualifications for those who would rule the state.
Hence, it followed that in many instances, persons would be elected to high office and entrusted with extraordinary power, even though they lacked both the will and the ability to govern the state in accordance with the best interests of the people.
When Socrates would call attention to these shortcomings on the part of elected officials who were unprepared for their duties, he incurred the wrath of those whom he had criticized. As a general rule, people do not like to have their defects pointed out to them, and when this does occur they usually show their resentment by launching an attack on the person who has questioned their qualifications.
Whether their accusations are based on facts appears to make no difference since their purpose is to arouse sentiment against the individual who has charged them with incompetence. This is what happened when Socrates pointed out that Meletus, a member of the governing Council, was ill-prepared for the decisions he was called upon to make.
Meletus, along with Anytus, Lycon, and others who belonged to the same group, retaliated by charging that Socrates had rejected the gods of Athens, was a corrupter of the youth, and an enemy of the state. Meletus even insisted that Socrates was an atheist and that his teachings would bring about an utter collapse of public morality. In reply to these charges, Socrates made a noble defense of his manner of living.
He presented sufficient evidence to show that the accusations brought against him were without adequate foundation. Socrates felt that revenge was evil and would bring a man to his downfall.
It was his belief that self-conscious philosophy with correct morals would produce worthy results. Socrates influenced Western thought through his unique method of thinking. Socrates introduced a concern for detailed method in thought, and added an interest of logic in argument. Socrates stressed that if man could retain knowledge than he should be able to give definitions and details. These details should be used in argument as a reason for many thoughts.
Socrates also believed in a unity of virtues, and that they all lead to knowledge. In his arguments Socrates always insisted on a definition that universally covers it's subject.
This insight showed reason in thinking, not just arguing without proof. This was the greatest importance for the subsequent development of philosophy, because it led to the concept of a "Universal.
Another important belief of Socrates, was his implicit assumption that any person to whom he talks, has within them the resources to answer questions correctly.
And therefore Socrates believed that he could teach by merely asking the right questions. Schools following the "Socrates Era" were based on this idea of learning through questioning. These characteristic thoughts of his, were Socrates' most significant influences on philosophy. Socrates had thoughts and ideas in his time ancient Greece which were considered strange to many.
His thoughts and ideas eventually got him killed. Convicted, he was sentenced to death by drinking poison" Grolier. Many think that Socrates was too smart for his time, which resulted in his death. By his distinct thoughts and teachings, Socrates greatly influenced Western Philosophy and thought. Socrates Essay, term paper, research paper: History See all college papers and term papers on History.
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Free Socrates papers, essays, and research papers. Socrates' Analogy of the Cave - At the beginning of Book Seven, in an attempt to better describe the education of the philosopher Socrates begins to set up an analogy with an ascent and descent into “the cave”.
Socrates B.C.- B.C. Greek philosopher. Socrates is revered for his shifting of Greek philosophical thought from the contemplation of the nature of the universe, which occupied the philosophers before him, to the examination of human life and its problems.
Socrates (philosophy) essays Socrates was a great philosopher who had an incredible impact on philosophers of his time and even philosophers today. He lived in Athens from B.C.E to B.C.E during the Periclean Age. Socrates Essay Words | 3 Pages. Philosophy in ancient Greece was merely a type of argument, until a pioneer named Socrates showed the world a new way of thinking. Socrates was born in BC in Athens (where he lived all his life) as the son of Sophroniscus, a stonemason, and Phaenarete.
Dec 14, · Socrates Essay Words | 8 Pages Socrates Worldview Intro Socrates was a raggedy old man that spent his time searching and looking for all of the answers to the world. Socrates essay, - Best essay writer company. Cheap custom essay writing services for international students.