Socrates And His Conception Of Philosophy. Done By A. Sogoyan.

1213 words - 5 pages

ICEF, 2005An essay on Socrates and his conception of philosophyDone by Arsen Sogoyan , year 1, group 1Teacher: Krister SairsinghIt is no wonder when we are asked about philosophy, Socrates is the name that comes to mind first. He was one of the greatest thinkers of the ancient times whose style of questioning and reasoning even nowadays amazes people (me, for instance).When Socrates was young he attended lessons of Archelaus and got interested in the theories of the early Presocratics. Socrates is even said to have met one of them - Parmenides. They say that the two had a serious talk. The elder philosopher, Parmenides, thought that our world is nothing but an illusion, the true reality is eternal God that stays unchanged forever. In that case what is the sense of engaging in exploring our world, its laws and miracles if it doesn't exist? This problem raised by Parmenides happened to be the reason why Socrates had an 'antiscientific' perspective and turned the whole philosophy away from reality. It is a great pity for the humankind that science was not developing properly for centuries after Socrates.While Presocratics asked questions of the type: what does the world consist of? - and gave various controversial answers, Socrates reformed the aim of a philosopher: "Learn yourself", thus setting an image of a true philosopher observing the man and his inner world but not the organization of the world. Here in my opinion lies the main difference between the Presocratic thought and the views of Socrates. Another interesting point is that the famous method of philosophical talks - dialectics - probably originates from Parmenides because Socrates himself was exposed to the similar way of questioning as he did when he had a talk with Parmenides.Socrates was an outstanding philosopher who could state his own point of view, that is why the democratic elite of Athens (who disliked Socrates for his criticism of democracy) blamed him for impiety and corrupting the youth and in the year 399 BC the thinker was arrested.Just before the process in court Socrates meets Euthyphro, a well-known theologian, at the porch of the court. The two great men have a wonderful talk, carefully narrated to us by Plato. The discussion is about piety. And here two points of view meet: one of the crowd, and one of Socrates, the wisest person on Earth as oracle of Delphi had announced. Socrates asks his opponent to give a universal definition of piety that could be used as a benchmark for people wishing to do virtuous things. The main question of the dialogue that Socrates asks is the question that puzzled Euthyphro the most: Do the gods approve an action because it is pious, or is it pious because it is approved? Socrates proves that the first option is correct which implies that Euthyphro was mistaken in his views. Finally, the discussion comes to where it had began initially and the question of piety remains unsolved.While Socrates was in prison his friends and true disciples...

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