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Plato was about twenty-five when Socrates was tried and executed, and had probably known the old man most of his life. The extant sources agree that Socrates was often to be found where youths of the city spent their time. The dialogues have dramatic dates that fall into place as one learns more about their characters and, despite incidental anachronisms, it turns out that there is more realism in the dialogues than most have suspected.

It does not follow, however, that Plato represented the views and methods of Socrates or anyone, for that matter as he recalled them, much less as they were originally uttered. There are a number of cautions and caveats that should be in place from the start.

Even when a specific festival or other reference fixes the season or month of a dialogue, or birth of a character, one should imagine a margin of error. Although it becomes obnoxious to use circa or plus-minus everywhere, the ancients did not require or desire contemporary precision in these matters.

All the children born during a full year, for example, had the same nominal birthday, accounting for the conversation at Lysis b, odd by contemporary standards, in which two boys disagree about who is the elder. This is a way of asking a popular question, Why do history of philosophy?

One might reply that our study of some of our philosophical predecessors is intrinsically valuable , philosophically enlightening and satisfying.

The truly great philosophers, and Plato was one of them, are still capable of becoming our companions in philosophical conversation, our dialectical partners. Because he addressed timeless, universal, fundamental questions with insight and intelligence, our own understanding of such questions is heightened.

That explains Plato, one might say, but where is Socrates in this picture? Is he interesting merely as a predecessor to Plato? That again is the Socratic problem. Inconsistencies among the dialogues seem to demand explanation, though not all philosophers have thought so Shorey Most famously, the Parmenides attacks various theories of forms that the Republic , Symposium , and Phaedo develop and defend.

In some dialogues e. There are differences on smaller matters as well. A related problem is that some of the dialogues appear to develop positions familiar from other philosophical traditions e. Three centuries of efforts to solve the Socratic problem are summarized in the following supplementary document:. Contemporary efforts recycle bits and pieces—including the failures—of these older attempts.

Until relatively recently in modern times, it was hoped that confident elimination of what could be ascribed purely to Socrates would leave standing a coherent set of doctrines attributable to Plato who appears nowhere in the dialogues as a speaker. Many philosophers, inspired by the nineteenth century scholar Eduard Zeller, expect the greatest philosophers to promote grand, impenetrable schemes.

Nothing of the sort was possible for Socrates, so it remained for Plato to be assigned all the positive doctrines that could be extracted from the dialogues. In the latter half of the twentieth century, however, there was a resurgence of interest in who Socrates was and what his own views and methods were. The result is a narrower, but no less contentious, Socratic problem. Two strands of interpretation dominated views of Socrates in the twentieth century Griswold ; Klagge and Smith Although there has been some healthy cross-pollination and growth since the mid s, the two were so hostile to one another for so long that the bulk of the secondary literature on Socrates, including translations peculiar to each, still divides into two camps, hardly reading one another: The literary-contextual study of Socrates, like hermeneutics more generally, uses the tools of literary criticism—typically interpreting one complete dialogue at a time; its European origins are traced to Heidegger and earlier to Nietzsche and Kierkegaard.

The analytic study of Socrates, like analytic philosophy more generally, is fueled by the arguments in the texts—typically addressing a single argument or set of arguments, whether in a single text or across texts; its origins are in the Anglo-American philosophical tradition. Hans-Georg Gadamer — was the doyen of the hermeneutic strand, and Gregory Vlastos — of the analytic. Thus terms, arguments, characters, and in fact all elements in the dialogues should be addressed in their literary context.

For both varieties of contextualism, the Platonic dialogues are like a brilliant constellation whose separate stars naturally require separate focus. Marking the maturity of the literary contextualist tradition in the early twenty-first century is a greater diversity of approaches and an attempt to be more internally critical see Hyland Beginning in the s, Vlastos , 45—80 recommended a set of mutually supportive premises that together provide a plausible framework in the analytic tradition for Socratic philosophy as a pursuit distinct from Platonic philosophy.

The first premise marks a break with a tradition of regarding Plato as a dialectician who held his assumptions tentatively and revised them constantly; rather,. The evidence Vlastos uses varies for this claim, but is of several types: The result of applying the premises is a firm list contested, of course, by others of ten theses held by Socrates, all of which are incompatible with the corresponding ten theses held by Plato , 47— Many analytic ancient philosophers in the late twentieth century mined the gold Vlastos had uncovered, and many of those who were productive in the developmentalist vein in the early days went on to constructive work of their own see Bibliography.

It is a risky business to say where ancient philosophy is now, but an advantage of an entry in a dynamic reference work is that authors are allowed, nay, encouraged to update their entries to reflect recent scholarship and sea changes in their topics.

To use them in that way is to announce in advance the results of a certain interpretation of the dialogues and to canonize that interpretation under the guise of a presumably objective order of composition—when in fact no such order is objectively known. And it thereby risks prejudicing an unwary reader against the fresh, individual reading that these works demand. As in any peace agreement, it takes some time for all the combatants to accept that the conflict has ended—but that is where we are.

In short, one is now more free to answer, Who was Socrates really? In the smaller column on the right are dates of major events and persons familiar from fifth century Athenian history. Although the dates are as precise as allowed by the facts, some are estimated and controversial Nails Assuming that his stoneworker father, Sophroniscus, kept to the conventions, he carried the infant around the hearth, thereby formally admitting him into the family, five days after he was born, named him on the tenth day, presented him to his phratry a regional hereditary association and took responsibility for socializing him into the various institutions proper to an Athenian male.

Athens was a city of numerous festivals, competitions, and celebrations, including the Panathenaea which attracted visitors to the city from throughout the Mediterranean.

Like the Olympics, the Panathenaea was celebrated with special splendor at four-year intervals. This he delivered to Socrates in the presence of witnesses, instructing Socrates to present himself before the king archon within four days for a preliminary hearing the same magistrate would later preside at the pre-trial examination and the trial.

At the end of the Theaetetus , Socrates was on his way to that preliminary hearing. As a citizen, he had the right to countersue, the right to forgo the hearing, allowing the suit to proceed uncontested, and the right to exile himself voluntarily, as the personified laws later remind him Crito 52c. Socrates availed himself of none of these rights of citizenship.

Rather, he set out to enter a plea and stopped at a gymnasium to talk to some youngsters about mathematics and knowledge. This preliminary hearing designated the official receipt of the case and was intended to lead to greater precision in the formulation of the charge. In Athens, religion was a matter of public participation under law, regulated by a calendar of religious festivals; and the city used revenues to maintain temples and shrines.

Evidence for irreverence was of two types: Socrates did not believe in the gods of the Athenians indeed, he had said on many occasions that the gods do not lie or do other wicked things, whereas the Olympian gods of the poets and the city were quarrelsome and vindictive ; Socrates introduced new divinities indeed, he insisted that his daimonion had spoken to him since childhood.

Meletus handed over his complaint, and Socrates entered his plea. Socrates had the right to challenge the admissibility of the accusation in relation to existing law, but he did not, so the charge was published on whitened tablets in the agora and a date was set for the pre-trial examination. From this point, word spread rapidly, probably accounting for the spike of interest in Socratic conversations recorded Symposium a—b.

At the pre-trial examination, Meletus paid no court fees because it was considered a matter of public interest to prosecute irreverence. Unlike closely timed jury trials, pre-trial examinations encouraged questions to and by the litigants, to make the legal issues more precise. This procedure had become essential because of the susceptibility of juries to bribery and misrepresentation. Spectators gathered along with the jury Apology 25a for a trial that probably lasted most of the day, each side timed by the water clock.

For example, there are no indications in the Greek text at 35d and 38b that the two votes were taken; and there are no breaks at 21a or 34b for witnesses who may have been called. Though Socrates denied outright that he studied the heavens and what is below the earth, his familiarity with the investigations of natural philosophers and his own naturalistic explanations make it no surprise that the jury remained unpersuaded.

And, seeing Socrates out-argue Meletus, the jury probably did not make fine distinctions between philosophy and sophistry. Socrates three times took up the charge that he corrupted the young, insisting that, if he corrupted them, he did so unwillingly; but if unwillingly, he should be instructed, not prosecuted Apology 25e—26a.

The jury found him guilty. By his own argument, however, Socrates could not blame the jury, for it was mistaken about what was truly in the interest of the city cf. Theaetetus d—e and thus required instruction. In a last-minute capitulation to his friends, he offered to allow them to pay a fine of six times his net worth Xenophon Oeconomicus 2.

The jury rejected the proposal. It is more likely, however, that superstitious jurors were afraid that the gods would be angry if they failed to execute a man found guilty of irreverence. Sentenced to death, Socrates reflected that it might be a blessing: While the sacred ship was on its journey to Delos, no executions were allowed in the city. Although the duration of the annual voyage varied with conditions, Xenophon says it took thirty-one days in Memorabilia 4.

Xanthippe commiserated with Socrates that he was about to enjoy his last conversation with his companions; then, in the ritual lamentation expected of women, was led home. After meeting with his family again in the late afternoon, he rejoined his companions.

The poisoner described the physical effects of the Conium maculatum variety of hemlock used for citizen executions Bloch , then Socrates cheerfully took the cup and drank.

Allusions to Socrates abound in literature, history, and political tracts, and he has been a subject for artists since ancient times. Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.

Richard, The Founders and the Classics. I found this [Socratic] method the safest for myself and very embarrassing to those against whom I used it; therefore, I took delight in it, practiced it continually, and grew very artful and expert in drawing people, even of superior knowledge, into concessions the consequences of which they did not foresee, entangling them in difficulties out of which they could not extricate themselves, and so obtaining victory that neither myself nor my causes always deserved.

Like Benjamin Franklin, the English romantic era poets were taken with Socrates as a model for moral behavior and pressed the comparison with Jesus. To solve a problem, it would be broken down into a series of questions, the answers to which gradually distill the answer a person would seek. The development and practice of this method is one of Socrates's most enduring contributions, and is a key factor in earning his mantle as the father of political philosophy , ethics or moral philosophy, and as a figurehead of all the central themes in Western philosophy.

The Socratic method has often been considered as a defining element of American legal education. To illustrate the use of the Socratic method, a series of questions are posed to help a person or group to determine their underlying beliefs and the extent of their knowledge.

The Socratic method is a negative method of hypothesis elimination, in that better hypotheses are found by steadily identifying and eliminating those that lead to contradictions. It was designed to force one to examine one's own beliefs and the validity of such beliefs. An alternative interpretation of the dialectic is that it is a method for direct perception of the Form of the Good. Philosopher Karl Popper describes the dialectic as "the art of intellectual intuition, of visualising the divine originals, the Forms or Ideas, of unveiling the Great Mystery behind the common man's everyday world of appearances.

Hadot writes that "in Plato's view, every dialectical exercise, precisely because it is an exercise of pure thought, subject to the demands of the Logos , turns the soul away from the sensible world, and allows it to convert itself towards the Good.

The beliefs of Socrates, as distinct from those of Plato, are difficult to discern. Little in the way of concrete evidence exists to demarcate the two. The lengthy presentation of ideas given in most of the dialogues may be the ideas of Socrates himself, but which have been subsequently deformed or changed by Plato, and some scholars think Plato so adapted the Socratic style as to make the literary character and the philosopher himself impossible to distinguish.

Others argue that he did have his own theories and beliefs. Consequently, distinguishing the philosophical beliefs of Socrates from those of Plato and Xenophon has not proven easy, so it must be remembered that what is attributed to Socrates might actually be more the specific concerns of these two thinkers instead.

The matter is complicated because the historical Socrates seems to have been notorious for asking questions but not answering, claiming to lack wisdom concerning the subjects about which he questioned others. If anything in general can be said about the philosophical beliefs of Socrates, it is that he was morally, intellectually, and politically at odds with many of his fellow Athenians.

When he is on trial for heresy and corrupting the minds of the youth of Athens, he uses his method of elenchos to demonstrate to the jurors that their moral values are wrong-headed. He tells them they are concerned with their families, careers, and political responsibilities when they ought to be worried about the "welfare of their souls".

Socrates's assertion that the gods had singled him out as a divine emissary seemed to provoke irritation, if not outright ridicule. Socrates also questioned the Sophistic doctrine that arete virtue can be taught.

He liked to observe that successful fathers such as the prominent military general Pericles did not produce sons of their own quality. Socrates argued that moral excellence was more a matter of divine bequest than parental nurture. This belief may have contributed to his lack of anxiety about the future of his own sons. Also, according to A.

Long, "There should be no doubt that, despite his claim to know only that he knew nothing, Socrates had strong beliefs about the divine", and, citing Xenophon's Memorabilia , 1.

According to Xenophon, he was a teleologist who held that god arranges everything for the best. Socrates frequently says his ideas are not his own, but his teachers'.

He mentions several influences: Prodicus the rhetor and Anaxagoras the philosopher. Perhaps surprisingly, Socrates claims to have been deeply influenced by two women besides his mother: Plato's Symposium , a witch and priestess from Mantinea , taught him all he knows about eros , or love ; and that Aspasia , the mistress of Pericles , taught him the art of rhetoric.

Havelock , on the other hand, did not accept the view that Socrates's view was identical with that of Archelaus, in large part due to the reason of such anomalies and contradictions that have surfaced and "post-dated his death. Many of the beliefs traditionally attributed to the historical Socrates have been characterized as "paradoxical" because they seem to conflict with common sense.

The following are among the so-called Socratic paradoxes: The term, " Socratic paradox " can also refer to a self-referential paradox , originating in Socrates's utterance, "what I do not know I do not think I know", [] often paraphrased as " I know that I know nothing. The statement " I know that I know nothing " is often attributed to Socrates, based on a statement in Plato's Apology.

Therefore, Socrates is claiming to know about the art of love, insofar as he knows how to ask questions. The only time he actually claimed to be wise was within Apology , in which he says he is wise "in the limited sense of having human wisdom".

On the one hand, he drew a clear line between human ignorance and ideal knowledge; on the other, Plato's Symposium Diotima's Speech and Republic Allegory of the Cave describe a method for ascending to wisdom. In Plato's Theaetetus a , Socrates compares his treatment of the young people who come to him for philosophical advice to the way midwives treat their patients, and the way matrimonial matchmakers act. This distinction is echoed in Xenophon's Symposium 3.

For his part as a philosophical interlocutor, he leads his respondent to a clearer conception of wisdom, although he claims he is not himself a teacher Apology.

Perhaps significantly, he points out that midwives are barren due to age, and women who have never given birth are unable to become midwives; they would have no experience or knowledge of birth and would be unable to separate the worthy infants from those that should be left on the hillside to be exposed. To judge this, the midwife must have experience and knowledge of what she is judging. Socrates believed the best way for people to live was to focus on the pursuit of virtue rather than the pursuit, for instance, of material wealth.

The idea that there are certain virtues formed a common thread in Socrates's teachings. These virtues represented the most important qualities for a person to have, foremost of which were the philosophical or intellectual virtues.

Socrates stressed that " the unexamined life is not worth living [and] ethical virtue is the only thing that matters. It is argued that Socrates believed "ideals belong in a world only the wise man can understand", [] making the philosopher the only type of person suitable to govern others.

In Plato's dialogue the Republic , Socrates openly objected to the democracy that ran Athens during his adult life. It was not only Athenian democracy: Socrates found short of ideal any government that did not conform to his presentation of a perfect regime led by philosophers, and Athenian government was far from that.

It is, however, possible that the Socrates of Plato's Republic is colored by Plato's own views. During the last years of Socrates's life, Athens was in continual flux due to political upheaval.

Democracy was at last overthrown by a junta known as the Thirty Tyrants , led by Plato's relative, Critias , who had once been a student and friend of Socrates. The Tyrants ruled for about a year before the Athenian democracy was reinstated, at which point it declared an amnesty for all recent events. Socrates's opposition to democracy is often denied, and the question is one of the biggest philosophical debates when trying to determine exactly what Socrates believed.

The strongest argument of those who claim Socrates did not actually believe in the idea of philosopher kings is that the view is expressed no earlier than Plato's Republic , which is widely considered one of Plato's "Middle" dialogues and not representative of the historical Socrates's views.

Furthermore, according to Plato's Apology of Socrates , an "early" dialogue, Socrates refused to pursue conventional politics; he often stated he could not look into other's matters or tell people how to live their lives when he did not yet understand how to live his own. He believed he was a philosopher engaged in the pursuit of Truth, and did not claim to know it fully.

Socrates's acceptance of his death sentence after his conviction can also be seen to support this view. It is often claimed much of the anti-democratic leanings are from Plato, who was never able to overcome his disgust at what was done to his teacher. In any case, it is clear Socrates thought the rule of the Thirty Tyrants was also objectionable; when called before them to assist in the arrest of a fellow Athenian, Socrates refused and narrowly escaped death before the Tyrants were overthrown.

He did, however, fulfill his duty to serve as Prytanis when a trial of a group of Generals who presided over a disastrous naval campaign were judged; even then, he maintained an uncompromising attitude, being one of those who refused to proceed in a manner not supported by the laws, despite intense pressure.

Socrates's apparent respect for democracy is one of the themes emphasized in the play Socrates on Trial by Andrew David Irvine. Irvine argues that it was because of his loyalty to Athenian democracy that Socrates was willing to accept the verdict of his fellow citizens. As Irvine puts it, "During a time of war and great social and intellectual upheaval, Socrates felt compelled to express his views openly, regardless of the consequences.

As a result, he is remembered today, not only for his sharp wit and high ethical standards, but also for his loyalty to the view that in a democracy the best way for a man to serve himself, his friends, and his city—even during times of war—is by being loyal to, and by speaking publicly about, the truth.

In the Dialogues of Plato, though Socrates sometimes seems to support a mystical side, discussing reincarnation and the mystery religions , this is generally attributed to Plato. In the culmination of the philosophic path as discussed in Plato's Symposium , one comes to the Sea of Beauty or to the sight of "the beautiful itself" C ; only then can one become wise.

In the Symposium , Socrates credits his speech on the philosophic path to his teacher, the priestess Diotima , who is not even sure if Socrates is capable of reaching the highest mysteries. In the Meno , he refers to the Eleusinian Mysteries , telling Meno he would understand Socrates's answers better if only he could stay for the initiations next week.

Further confusions result from the nature of these sources, insofar as the Platonic Dialogues are arguably the work of an artist-philosopher, whose meaning does not volunteer itself to the passive reader nor again the lifelong scholar.

According to Olympiodorus the Younger in his Life of Plato , [] Plato himself "received instruction from the writers of tragedy" before taking up the study of philosophy. His works are, indeed, dialogues; Plato's choice of this, the medium of Sophocles, Euripides, and the fictions of theatre, may reflect the ever-interpretable nature of his writings, as he has been called a "dramatist of reason".

What is more, the first word of nearly all Plato's works is a significant term for that respective dialogue, and is used with its many connotations in mind.

Finally, the Phaedrus and the Symposium each allude to Socrates's coy delivery of philosophic truths in conversation; the Socrates of the Phaedrus goes so far as to demand such dissembling and mystery in all writing. These indirect methods may fail to satisfy some readers.

It was this sign that prevented Socrates from entering into politics. In the Phaedrus , we are told Socrates considered this to be a form of "divine madness", the sort of insanity that is a gift from the gods and gives us poetry , mysticism , love , and even philosophy itself. Today, such a voice would be classified under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a command hallucination.

Socrates practiced and advocated divination. He was prominently lampooned in Aristophanes 's comedy The Clouds , produced when Socrates was in his mid-forties; he said at his trial according to Plato that the laughter of the theater was a harder task to answer than the arguments of his accusers. In the play, Socrates is ridiculed for his dirtiness, which is associated with the Laconizing fad; also in plays by Callias , Eupolis , and Telecleides.

Other comic poets who lampooned Socrates include Mnesimachus and Ameipsias. In all of these, Socrates and the Sophists were criticized for "the moral dangers inherent in contemporary thought and literature". Plato, Xenophon, and Aristotle are the main sources for the historical Socrates; however, Xenophon and Plato were students of Socrates, and they may idealize him; however, they wrote the only extended descriptions of Socrates that have come down to us in their complete form.

Aristotle refers frequently, but in passing, to Socrates in his writings. Almost all of Plato's works center on Socrates. However, Plato's later works appear to be more his own philosophy put into the mouth of his mentor. The Socratic Dialogues are a series of dialogues written by Plato and Xenophon in the form of discussions between Socrates and other persons of his time, or as discussions between Socrates's followers over his concepts. Plato's Phaedo is an example of this latter category. Although his Apology is a monologue delivered by Socrates, it is usually grouped with the Dialogues.

The Apology professes to be a record of the actual speech Socrates delivered in his own defense at the trial. In the Athenian jury system, an "apology" is composed of three parts: Plato generally does not place his own ideas in the mouth of a specific speaker; he lets ideas emerge via the Socratic Method , under the guidance of Socrates.

Most of the dialogues present Socrates applying this method to some extent, but nowhere as completely as in the Euthyphro. In this dialogue, Socrates and Euthyphro go through several iterations of refining the answer to Socrates's question, " What is the pious, and what the impious? In Plato's Dialogues, learning appears as a process of remembering.

The soul , before its incarnation in the body, was in the realm of Ideas very similar to the Platonic "Forms". There, it saw things the way they truly are, rather than the pale shadows or copies we experience on earth. By a process of questioning, the soul can be brought to remember the ideas in their pure form, thus bringing wisdom.

Especially for Plato's writings referring to Socrates, it is not always clear which ideas brought forward by Socrates or his friends actually belonged to Socrates and which of these may have been new additions or elaborations by Plato—this is known as the Socratic Problem.

Generally, the early works of Plato are considered to be close to the spirit of Socrates, whereas the later works—including Phaedo and Republic —are considered to be possibly products of Plato's elaborations.

Immediately, the students of Socrates set to work both on exercising their perceptions of his teachings in politics and also on developing many new philosophical schools of thought. Some of Athens' controversial and anti-democratic tyrants were contemporary or posthumous students of Socrates including Alcibiades and Critias.

While "Socrates dealt with moral matters and took no notice at all of nature in general", [] in his Dialogues, Plato would emphasize mathematics with metaphysical overtones mirroring that of Pythagoras —the former who would dominate Western thought well into the Renaissance. Aristotle himself was as much of a philosopher as he was a scientist with extensive work in the fields of biology and physics.

Socratic thought which challenged conventions, especially in stressing a simplistic way of living, became divorced from Plato's more detached and philosophical pursuits. This idea was inherited by one of Socrates's older students, Antisthenes , who became the originator of another philosophy in the years after Socrates's death: While some of the later contributions of Socrates to Hellenistic Era culture and philosophy as well as the Roman Era have been lost to time, his teachings began a resurgence in both medieval Europe and the Islamic Middle East alongside those of Aristotle and Stoicism.

Socrates is mentioned in the dialogue Kuzari by Jewish philosopher and rabbi Yehuda Halevi in which a Jew instructs the Khazar king about Judaism. Socrates's stature in Western philosophy returned in full force with the Renaissance and the Age of Reason in Europe when political theory began to resurface under those like Locke and Hobbes.

To this day, different versions of the Socratic method are still used in classroom and law school discourse to expose underlying issues in both subject and the speaker. Over the past century, numerous plays about Socrates have also focused on Socrates's life and influence.

One of the most recent has been Socrates on Trial , a play based on Aristophanes's Clouds and Plato's Apology , Crito , and Phaedo , all adapted for modern performance.

Evaluation of and reaction to Socrates has been undertaken by both historians and philosophers from the time of his death to the present day with a multitude of conclusions and perspectives. Although he was not directly prosecuted for his connection to Critias, leader of the Spartan-backed Thirty Tyrants , and "showed considerable personal courage in refusing to submit to [them]", he was seen by some as a figure who mentored oligarchs who became abusive tyrants, and undermined Athenian democracy.

The specific which you have discovered is an aid not to memory, but to reminiscence, and you give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality.

In other words, if a child grew up alone with a Kindle containing all of the books in the Library of Congress, could he gain the same kind of knowledge which a normal person gains via social interaction?

Both arguments seem to hold water, with the exception of the part about Socrates being wrong. And if we use the Internet and the Cloud in the same way, then Bill Keller should be proven quite wrong, because while we may rely more on Google to look up where Namibia is, Facebook and Twitter allow us to have more dialogs more with people than at any other time in history. And if alive today, Socrates would probably be a prolific email, IM, forum, Facebook, and Twitter user. Apartment 46 Interesting, funny stuff.

Bust of Socrates at the Louvre.

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To understand Socrates and his thought, one must turn primarily to the works of Plato, whose dialogues are thought the most informative source about Socrates's life and philosophy, and also Xenophon. These writings are the Sokratikoi logoi, or Socratic dialogues, which consist of reports of conversations apparently involving Socrates.

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(Although Socrates also appears as a character in the later dialogues of Plato, these writings more often express philosophical positions Plato himself developed long after Socrates's death.).

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The analytic study of Socrates, like analytic philosophy more generally, is fueled by the arguments in the texts—typically addressing a single argument or set of arguments, whether in a single text or across texts; its origins are in the Anglo-American philosophical tradition. Watch video · Socrates was born circa BC, in Athens, Greece. We know of his life through the writings of his students, including Plato and Xenophon. His "Socratic method," laid the groundwork for Western systems of logic and philosophy. When the political climate of Greece turned, Socrates was sentenced to death by hemlock poisoning in BC.

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From one of the greatest philosophers of all time, we found these amazing Socrates Quotes on love, youth and philosophy – that can hopefully provide you with actionable insight. Enjoy!! Enjoy!! Famous Socrates quotes about life from his writings and overall philosophy. It has been said that Socrates' greatest contribution to philosophy was to move intellectual pursuits away from the focus on `physical science' Of all these writings we have only the works of Plato, Xenophon, a comic image by Aristophanes, and later works by Aristotle to tell us anything about Socrates' life. He, himself, wrote nothing, but.