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Evaluation of Socrates Philosophical Conversations

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Philosophy
Wordcount: 1385 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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Philosophical Purpose

After thoroughly reflecting back on the readings throughout this semester, I choose to examine and elaborate Socrates philosophical conversations, the point and purpose of why he has these conversation is important. Socrates captured the attention of the people, and his students by a unique attractiveness. He raised debates, and thoughts to people, he expanded their minds with simple questions, and made them think. Socrates beliefs are that the mind is more powerful than the human body, with his philosophical conversations he aimed for greater results for the greater good of the people and society. Socrates preached the more knowledge a person had, the greater their ability to reason, and make decisions to achieve happiness, which is the ultimate good.

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How Socrates came to philosophize was by being told he was the wisest. One of Socrates friends, Chaerephon went to the oracle of Delphi, and revealed Socrates is the wisest. “No one is wiser than Socrates” (apologgy 21a). Socrates being told he was the wisest, encouraged his philosophy because he wanted to prove the oracle false, he is not the wisest. Socrates never claimed to be the wisest, he was aware of his own ignorance, and he attempted to find people who had wisdom to prove the oracle was mistaken. He used three categories to do so: politicians, craftsman, and poets. He observed politicians, poets, and craftsmen, and concluded all three occupations lacked wisdom, they all had expertise, but in one field, Socrates believed wisdom is the best examination of peoples claim to knowledge, and the constant search for the truth. Socrates helped people realize and reshape to what they think to be true to what is actually true.

Socrates decided knowing nothing is having a false sense of wisdom, he concluded he is wiser than average people because he does not think he knows what he does not know. Socrates did not boast, nor consider himself a expert in wisdom, he humbly went on to continue his devotion to the god of the oracle. Socrates felt obligated to philosophize, as it was his duty. Socrates had been directed to philosophy by a god, disobeying a command of a god is impious to Socrates. Socrates philosophies, and encourages others to philosophize, he was open, and public about philosophizing, and was confrontational to help get immediate responses. Socrates philosophized because he was concerned with the way citizens should behave, and ethics.

“The unexamined life is not worth living”, Socrates called everything into question, he strived to evaluate, and encouraged humans to overcome ignorance. At his time, the citizens of Athens dividedly admired or scolded Socrates interpretations. Socrates created his own method of thinking, “The Socratic Method”, until today his works are still being evaluated, and studied thoroughly. Socrates is praised, and considered an influential figure of history, Socrates does not have any surviving accounts of his works, he spoke publicly, and casually, he did not write any of his work down. Socrates philosophized orally, all of his works are deprived from his sophists or literature work. He was known for public, oral conversations, all of his ideas/work were published by his followers or students like Plato.

The Socratic method allows interrogation from various viewpoints. Socratic dialogue, and readings throughout the course have demonstrated the different philosophies, and outlooks in everyday life. Socrates asks numerous questions until the person Socrates is asking has found their understanding/purpose of the subject matter. Socrates had a unique way of philosophizing, he would casually walk outside in Athens, approach people, and ask them questions. Socrates starts off with basic questions, then he would shift to another question which would lead to more questions far from the subject. Socrates did this to highlight the contradictions in the person’s responses. Socrates taught to help capture, and teach the authentic meaning of words, the conviction of reason, analysis, and logic lead to essence of everything- this concept has become a popular belief of Socrates.

The Socratic method is still used in today, and looked as a way to discuss broad topics to discover the underlying problems in both subject and between speaker. Socrates breaks down the issue into a series of questions. The answers lead to a better solution, the question, and person being questioned explore the viewpoints from another position, which helps in making better decisions because it is rational. Socrates philosophical conversations began with simple questions, and resulted in gaining reasoning. The idea of thinking, and potential to live an examined life was what Socrates philosophy aimed for. Socrates purpose was to help people uncover and break away from their own ignorance. Socrates asked confrontational questions because that is what lead to wisdom, and growth. Socrates questioned, and encouraged to question.

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In the Crito dialogue, Crito approaches Socrates before his execution with an escape plan. Socrates explains to Crito the damage escaping will do, the damage to the soul, and to Athens. Socrates tells Crito the laws of Athens are into place, laws must be obeyed, they are not in anyone’s favor, escaping jail means he is escaping the law. Socrates will not harm, or damage his soul. Socrates unravels the obligation of ruining or nourishing the soul, doing what is right and wrong for the soul. The Socratic method helps force a person to discover the essence of a issue, to know how to think than rather having knowledge given to you.

The word “philosophy” is derived from a Greek term that means “the love of wisdom”. Socrates believed wisdom is defined by what is right and accurate, Socrates helped people discover the truth by thinking logically and trusting your conscience. The Socratic method is enforced by asking questions that make the person use logic. This was a main reason why Socrates philosophized orally, he believed in one-on-one confrontation, face to face. Socrates taught people to trust their judgment, and this later became a issue in the Athens Society. Socrates philosophizing resulting him being brought up with charges and faced death at the age of 70. The ideas Socrates brought attention to were seen as wrong doing, and corrupting the young. Socrates during his trial asked his accusers to justify how Socrates has corrupted the young, and the standards of a person to educate the young.

Although Socrates works may be extremely difficult to grasp, and comprehend, Socrates works have changed and impacted the history of literature. Socrates is not a usual philosopher, he was remarkable, and his legacy lives on. Socrates beliefs and value of wisdom shaped what I believed to be right and wrong. To not live an unexamined life is a idea I believe people should use to conduct themselves and to live their lives by. Life has meaning, Socrates urges people with questions to find self knowledge. Self knowledge is wise and important it can be hard to acquire but it helps cultivate and strive for knowledge. Socrates devotion to the truth, and knowledge is something humans forget to focus on. Socrates learned what people mean is to also learn what others talk with mean, everything can be expanded with knowledge, it is the capability, and willing to do so. People do things, and do not know why or the reason or purpose of the action being taken place. The purpose of life is to grow, and learn, examining your life and values helps better your life. Being aware of your ignorance leads to modesty, and knowledge, uncovering ignorance is improvement. The Examining your beliefs, and testing them to be contradicting helps a person live a life based on those correct ideas, if not you go through your life living a false belief.

Works Cited

  • Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, www.iep.utm.edu/republic/.
  • “The Socratic Method.” The Socratic Method | University of Chicago Law School, www.law.uchicago.edu/socratic-method.


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