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Socrates: One Of The Most Important Figures In Western Philosophy

1581 words - 6 pages

Socrates was one of the most influential thinkers in the West, even though he left no writings of himself, it was possible to reconstruct an accurate account of his life from the writings of his Greek students because he always engaged them. He was a man with a very strong conviction because he lived his life for the pursuit of knowledge, true wisdom, God’s will, and piety. Though he never wrote anything, his soul source of knowledge about him came from one of his students, Plato. Socrates was born in 469 B.C. in a village on the slopes of Mount Lycabettus, where his father was a sculptor and his mother a midwife. He soon became an apprentice and aid to his father and he continued it throughout a brief period of time until he volunteered to be a soldier in the Peloponnesian War.
After his retirement of the army, most of his time and energy in his adult life was spent in pursuing wisdom. Plato was Socrates’ most famous student because of his devotion that he had with philosophy. “Philosophy, the love of wisdom, was for Socrates itself a sacred path, a holy quest -- not a game to be taken lightly. He believed -- or at least said he did in the dialog Meno -- in the reincarnation of an eternal soul, which contained all knowledge. We unfortunately lose touch with that knowledge at every birth, and so we need to be reminded of what we already know (rather than learning something new)” (Boeree, “The Ancient Greeks, Part Two: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle”). Socrates had discussions in a wide range of subjects, for example marriage, love, war, politics, religion, science, and morals. Most of his discussions were known as dialectic meaning they consisted of conversations at which it would bring the different point of views and expose the errors they contained. He was very knowledgeable in making sure the conversation that were being held were heading towards the heart of the matter rather then getting side tracked.
Some of Socrates achievements were building the tower of Harnesses and he believed that it would give everlasting life to his people. The tower was filled with fresh water which helped supplied them with health. Another achievement was his Socratic method, which is still used till this day. It was to teach students to ask question after question to help them use critical thinking, logic, and reasoning. It searches for general truths and opinions to help them form their beliefs and hypothesis; from this method he was considered the father of political philosophy and ethics.
“His pursuit of right living was governed by his famous maxim “Know thyself” (Benton and DiYanni 93). He always questioned others beliefs and elicited their assumptions in a different form. Socrates pursued wisdom as well as knowing the good, the just, and the beautiful because he believed that it was necessary for the moral life and happiness. Socrates also believed that “living a virtuous life directed by a reasoned pursuit of moral perfection leads...

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