The Father of Western Philosophy, was
a soldier, politician, and stonemason, before becoming a philosopher.
Socrates devoted his later life to discussions that questioned
the truth about popular opinions. Socrates did not have his own
definition of truth, he only believed in questioning what others
believed as truth. He believed that genuine knowledge came from
discovering universal definitions of the key concepts, such as
virtue, piety, good and evil, governing life. Socrates wrote nothing
down, so detailed information about him comes from his students,
such as Plato. In Platos Apology, the central features
of Socrates' approach to philosophy and its relationship to life
are explained as: 1. Ironic modesty. "No one is wiser than
you." 2. Questioning habit. The goal of Socratic interrogation
is to help individuals to achieve genuine self-knowledge. 3. Devotion
to truth. "The unexamined life is not worth living"
Socrates would rather die than give up philosophy. 4. Dispassionate
reason. Even after being sentenced to death, Socrates calmly continued
to reason out the question of the fate of a human being after
only thing I know is that I know nothing."
is the only evil."
- Focused on
the big question: What is good and what is evil?
- Believed that
if he asked enough people, he would find out the truth.
the Socratic method trying to find truth by asking and
- Accused and
found guilty of corrupting young minds. Sentenced to death by
drinking hemlock (poison).
Classroom discussion questions:
How would Socrates answer the question, "Imagination or Knowledge: Which has a greater impact on society?"
Is the Socratic method still relevent in todays "spin cycle" media?
Why would Socrates believe that the unexamined life is not worth living?
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• Dewey •
Socrates • Aristotle
• Confucius • Rand
• Aquinas • Locke
• Camus • Cavendish
• Sartre •
Rousseau • King• Descartes
• Spinoza • de
Beauvoir • Nietzsche
• Kant •
Hypatia • Thoreau