Create a new account

It's simple, and free.

Socrates' Philosophy

Socrates was the most important philosopher of the fifth century B.C. His dedication to the analysis of the world and human actions through careful reasoning transformed philosophy and resonates through the mists of antiquity to our modern day existence. Socrates' approach to life was based on his thirst for knowledge. As such, rather than trying to win arguments like the Sophists did before him, Socrates used logic and his legendary rhetorical prowess in the pursuit of truth. In this pursuit, Socrates was willing to call everything into question and to accept only the best formed explanation of the nature of a thing. Though Socrates was famous in his day, he never put his philosophy down on paper. As a result of this, readers have to rely on the works of some of his followers, most notably the renowned philosopher Plato, to form an image of the great thinker Socrates (philosophypages).

Plato's Apology is the story of the trial and death of his mentor Socrates. In the Apology, Plato presents Socrates as a man willing to face death rather than compromise his principles. Socrates was accused by an Athenian nobleman, Melitus, of undermining the state religion in Athens and corrupting young people. Lysias, one of the most famous orators of the day, wrote a defense for Socrates and offered it to the philosopher: "Socrates however refused it, observing that a philosopher ought to be conspicuous for magnanimity and firmness of soul" (Taylor). Instead, Socrates embarked on his own defense├╣his apology├╣paying "no attention to the splendour of diction, but trusted wholly to the intrinsic dignity of his sentiments" (Taylor).

Socrates was famous for his rhetorical techniques, which he used to winnow the truth from an opponent. Today, we continue to speak about this Socratic Method. One of his most effective techniques, which is in full display in Plato's Apology, was the use of ironic modesty. As he explains his life's ca...

Page 1 of 4 Next >

More on Socrates' Philosophy...

APA     MLA     Chicago
Socrates' Philosophy. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 22:19, November 30, 2021, from