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Socrates: A Remarkable Philosopher

Photograph: Universalimagesgroup

Photograph: Universalimagesgroup

Katie Baker, Writer

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Born approximately 470 B.C. in Athens, Greece, son of a Athenian stonemason named Sophroniscus and midwife named Phaenarete, receiving a basic Greek education, learning the stonemason craft, teaching later in life, Socrates’ philosophies changed the history of Western culture.

Laying philosophical groundwork, Socrates’ “Socratic Method” gave solid foundation for later Western systems of logic and philosophy. Socrates believed his philosophy translated into politics functions best when ruled by individuals who have the greatest ability, virtue, knowledge, and possess a complete understanding of themselves.

As a philosopher, Socrates believed that philosophy should achieve practical results for the greater wellness of society. Instead, the government worked best when ruled by individuals who had the greatest ability, knowledge, virtue, and possessed a complete understanding of themselves. For himself, Athens operated as a classroom, and he went about asking questions to both the elite and common man alike, seeking to arrive at political and ethical truths.

During Socrates’ life, Athens experienced a dramatic transition from hegemony in the classical world to a humiliating defeat by Sparta in the Peloponnesian War. While many Athenians admired Socrates challenges to Greek conventional wisdom and the humorous way he went about it, an equal number grew angry and felt he threatened their way of life and uncertain future.

Through the covert methods of politicians, Socrates came to trial for corrupting the youth of Athens. The court found him guilty by a slim vote and sentenced him to death.

Before his death, some friends offered to bribe officials and rescue him so that he could flee into exile. He declined their offer, telling his friends that he does not fear death, standing as a loyal citizen of Athens.

Standing as a loyal Athens’ citizen, willing to abide by its laws, even the ones who condemned him to death, he courageously took a fatal dose of hemlock dying in 399 B.C. Shortly before his final breath, Socrates described his death as the soul’s release from the body.

A philosopher and fearless citizen, Socrates overwhelmingly influenced both Athenians and modern ideals.

 

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The School Bulletin of New Caney High School
Socrates: A Remarkable Philosopher