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The Complicated Life Of Socrates Essay

1411 words - 6 pages

Socrates was a classical Greek philosopher that was born in Athens, Greece around 470/469 BC. He served in the Athenian army and fought in many battles. When Socrates retired from fighting in the army, he began focusing on expressing his beliefs. He wasn’t the typical “teacher” or “preacher”; he was a very critical and analytical thinker that helped guide his students and the Athenians during his time. Through his teachings and beliefs, Socrates had positive and negative influence on the people during his time and modern time. Although he is credited as one of the founders of Western Philosophy, Political Philosophy, and Ethics, his teachings was in disagreement with the teachings of the democracy of Athens, which led to him being put to death. Along with his philosophical beliefs, Socrates’ great thinking led to the creation of the Socratic Method and the Socratic Paradoxes.
Socrates’ philosophical beliefs and life isn’t accurately represented in the modern world. Since there aren’t any writings from Socrates himself, his life, beliefs, and philosophy has to be depicted through the writings of Plato, Aristophanes, Aristotle and Xenophon, with Plato being the most informational and dependable source. These writers that do mention Socrates in their writings aren’t always accurate and are sometimes very contradicting and inconsistent. In Plato’s writing, it is difficult to distinguish the ideas and beliefs of Socrates from Plato’s. Some historians believe that the beliefs of Plato were based upon Socrates. Some believe that the beliefs of Socrates were interpreted by Plato in his writings. Others believe Socrates didn’t have any ideas of his own. This unclear representation of Socrates is known as the Socratic Problem. Due to the Socratic Problem, the Socratic Dialogue was created. The Socratic Dialogue is a series of dialogues, somewhat displaying and creating clues of Socrates’ life and death. These dialogues were written by Plato, Aristotle, and Xenophon. These dialogues are mostly monologues, sometimes delivered by Socrates himself. Plato wrote many monologues and dialogues, including Apology, Phaedo, and the Euthyphro. The Phaedo discusses Socrates’ imprisonment to his death. The Euthyphro centers on the jurors initially charging Socrates. The Apology centers on Socrates defending himself during his trial. After Socrates’ death, many of his students began writing on Socrates’ life, contributing the Dialogue.
Socrates’ philosophical beliefs and views centered on virtue, knowledge, and happiness. The Athenians during his time believed in power, wealth, and materialistic ownership. Socrates believed that pleasure, power, and success is not the best interest of the people. People should show interest in advancing and bettering their souls. He also believed that knowledge is the key to survival because people would obtain what is good for them through knowledge. Taylor says, “To make the soul as good as possible would be on the one side to attain...

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