Questions tagged [socrates]

Socrates was a classical Greek Athenian philosopher. Credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, he is an enigmatic figure known chiefly through the accounts of later classical writers, especially the writings of his students Plato and Xenophon and the plays of his contemporary Aristophanes. Many would claim that Plato's dialogues are the most comprehensive accounts of Socrates to survive from antiquity.

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Does Socratic intellectualism suppose that no one is evil?

Since one will always do what one believes is right.
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Was Socrates a fictional character invented by Plato?

I have read a lot of websites that suggest Socrates was a fictional character created by Plato (albeit without the citation of any corroborating evidence), but I have also read the opposite (and by "...
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What Socrates meant when he pointed his finger up?

This image explains my question:
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"The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms." - Socrates?

Did Socrates actually say, "The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms"? The aphorism, "The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms" is often attributed to Socrates, but I could not ...
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If Socrates time travelled to the 21st century, would he still face the same fate?

I believe that the Athenian community and authority did not appreciate his philosophy and political view. Sometimes, I tell himself that they just didn't know his worth as he was way ahead of his time....
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Is Socrates' wisdom intrinsically valuable?

I don't mean specifically felicity etc. at philosophy, but whether a state of ambivalence toward death, while alive, can be intrinsically valuable because of some knowledge or wisdom that ambivalence ...
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The anti socratic method: what is it?

Socrates' interlocutor asserts a thesis, for example "Courage is endurance of the soul". Socrates decides whether the thesis is false and targets for refutation. Socrates secures his ...
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Is there an issue with the Socratic method arguing against points?

So, I've noticed something, looking at the classic example: Do the gods know everything? Yes. Do some gods disagree with others? Yes. So gods disagree about what is true? I suppose they must. So gods ...
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If Socrates said he was ignorant but was in fact knowledgeable, was he simply a liar?

According to "Does the center hold?" by Donald D. Palmer, Socrates's main argument during his trial was that "he knew nothing". But Socrates discussed various topics with many ...
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Plato's Ion - Can a god inspire a wrong thing?

Let's suppose that Socrates does not mock Ion in the dialogue. Socrates states that in every topic which Homer talks about, the master of that topic have the authority to judge whether Homer is right ...
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Did Aristotle accuse Plato of distorting Socrates?

It is always said that Plato sometimes put his words in the Socrates's mouth. Aristotle is the contemporary and critic of Plato. If Plato misattributed some Platonian notions to Socrates, Aristotle ...
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How to understand that "It is fear and terror that make all men brave, except the philosophers"?

In Phaedo, plato writes the following: And the brave among them face death, when they do, for fear of greater evils? That is so. Therefore, it is fear and terror that make all men brave, except the ...
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Is Socrates a teacher despite him denying so?

Despite him denying that he actually taught his followers anything and that they did everything on their own accord, what argument could be put forth that he was actually a teacher
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Is the examined life worth living?

Obviously, the unexamined life is not worth living. But, for Socrates, or indeed any Socratically influenced philosophy, is any examined life valuable or in some sense a success; fully lived? Put ...
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Is studying the origins of philosophy In the pre-socratic thinkers useful?

In what way can the study of the origins of philosophy in the pre-socratic thinkers illuminate the nature of philosophy?
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In Plato's Republic, why would a musical, medical, or knowledgeable man NOT try to get the better of another like man?

Book I, 349e, Socrates confirming the position of Thrasymachus: "...is any musical man who is tuning a lyre in your opinion willing to get the better of another musical man in tightening and ...
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Who is Plato and Socrates' God?

I'm reading the Phaedo, as translated by Benjamin Jowett. The characters alternately mention "God" (As a monotheist would spell it with a capital "G"), for example, at one point, Socrates says: ...
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How do we know which dialogues Plato didn't write?

I understand that there are dialogues of Plato for which the authorship is contested, with some more than others. How are the dialogues determined to be spurious? Is it a different process for ...
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What is the origin of the idea that moral realism requires a god?

This idea has always been very strange to me. The first time I encountered this idea was when I was required to read about the Euthyphro Dilemma in college. It felt like a whole dialogue about ...
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Does the Euthyphro dilemma apply to secular ethics?

The original statement of the dilemma is found in Plato's Euthyphro: Just consider this question:—Is that which is holy loved by the gods because it is holy, or is it holy because it is loved ...
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Socrates' absence in Plato's Laws

Is there any significance in Socrates not being present in Laws; the only dialogue of undisputed authenticity to not feature him? It is my understanding that Plato's early dialogues depict a more ...
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No treatise by Plato exists or ever existed

In Plato's second epistle appears the following line: For this reason I myself have never yet written anything on these subjects, and no treatise by Plato exists or will exist, but those which now ...
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What were the government ideals for the Socrates and Aristotle?

Winston Churchill famously quipped, "The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter." Plato also seems to have held such a view, where he wrote in The ...
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What influence did Socrates and Plato have on ancient Greece?

We know that Socrates and Plato are two of the most influential Greek philosophers in current Western society. But what influence did they have in the Greece of their time and subsequent centuries? ...
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What were Socrates views on afterlife?

Did Socrates believed in reincarnation or did he believed in heaven and hell concept? And if he did, did he justify his beliefs and how?
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Quote about serving to someone better than you

I remember reading something along the lines of "what can be better than to serve to someone who is better than you" in my philosophy class back in the days. I was pretty sure that I read ...
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Platos's/ Socrates' conception of reincarnational purpose and the soul's nature

I can not help but wonder what must have been Socrates' opinion of the human soul. On the one hand I am told that 'the Greeks' (and thus, I assume, Socrates and his followers too) took ψυχή which is ...
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Do philosophers ever admit to arguing for things they themselves don't believe? [closed]

Do philosophers ever admit to arguing for things they themselves don't believe, without that meaning the former is not really the case, but merely explicative or similar of something they do believe. ...
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Why is Nietzsche so against Socrates?

Nietzsche recalls the story that Socrates says that 'he has been a long time sick', meaning that life itself is a sickness; Nietszche accuses him of being a sick man, a man against the instincts of ...
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Are people inherently good according to Plato?

Are people inherently good according to Plato? Are Gods subject to forms, in the sense that they are good because they are subject to the form of good, or are they independent of the forms? Because I ...
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How is Socrates's daimon related to one of Aquinas's laws/views of virtue and justice

In Plato's Apology of Socrates, Socrates talks about having a daimon, a divine being/voice that tells him of things not to do. For Aquinas, what would this be?
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Is there any contradiction in Phaedo 102d-103a and 103c-105b?

I'm a complete beginner in philosophy and have been reading Phaedo for the first time. While reading about Forms in this, I understood that a thing can share in tallness and shortness at the same time,...
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Was Socrates a monotheist?

I know my question seems weird, but in Plato's books Apology, Crito, and Phaedo (and probably in other books since I've read only these three and I am in the middle of the third one), when Socrates ...
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Plato Symposium - Is Socrates's Response to Agathon Warranted?

I'm reading Plato's symposium and I had a question about the section 199b - 201c where Socrates responds to Agathon. This comes after Agathon's speech, but before Socrates tells the tale of Diotima. ...
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When the Oracle called Socrates the wisest of the Greeks he at first rejected the label then accepted it. What caused Socrates to change his mind?

And in what sense could he be called wise? Can you please help me in this essay assignment?
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The concept of nature in the Greek philosophy

My question is: Is it possible to point to a development in the concept of "nature" in the period between pre-Socratic philosophers and Aristotle (inclusive)? Thank you very much.
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Which philosophers proposed theories containing a performative contradiction?

Socrates was blamed of this by being wrongly interpreted of saying: "I know that I don't Know." or other variants. What he really said was: "I neither know nor think that I know." Source: https://en....
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Are beautiful things difficult?

As you may already know, the dialogue Hippias Major ends with the following asseveration by Socrates: So, I think, Hippias, that I have been benefited by conversation with both of you, for I think ...
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How can there be order without intelligence to understand it?

Chicken or the Egg argument. TLDR update Is the ability to reason, which is required to understand our surroundings (as explained with science below), proof of reason existing prior to our own ...
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Book to start studying ethics and Socrates especially

As far as I know Socrates is one of the first philosophers who started thinking about ethics and morals. So what book would you recommend me to read as a beginner in this topic. I recently read Early ...
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"Corresponding behaviour" in text on Socrates' philosophy

I don't know if this is the right place to post this question, but as I was reading Diogenes Laertius' 'The Life of Socrates', I came upon the following line: "He recommended to the young the ...
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Irony in Friedrich Nietzsche?

Wikipedia defines verbal irony as a statement in which the meaning that a speaker employs is sharply different from the meaning that is ostensibly expressed. The ironic statement usually ...
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Please expose how Socrates subtly Appeals to Pity

Source: pp 235-236, With Good Reason, An Introduction to Informal Fallacies (2000 6 ed) by York U. Prof. S. Morris Engel   This fallacy [Appeal to Pity, abbreviated to AtP] is very common. It is ...
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The index finger of Socrates and Plato

Why do we see Socrates in Jacques-Louis David's The Death of Socrates, and Plato in Raphael's School of Athens pointing up with their index finger? What does this gesture symbolize? My initial ...
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Are there any Good Compilations of Socrates?

Fellow Thinkers, does anyone know of a book that has compiled all the main sources that we know Socrates from (Plato, Xenophon, Aristophanes, ...)? Thank you for your time. - SDH
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What was Socrates/Plato's view on free-will?

Socrates (or, rather Plato, through the voice of Socrates) leads us to the conclusion in the dialog Protagoras (see this for example) that our actions are entirely determined by our beliefs of what is ...
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What was Socrates' goal in life?

What did he hope to accomplish by asking people questions? What was his view on why to bother living at all?
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Would answering belief challenges be the same as the scientific method?

Let's say I believe this statement: "all swans are white". Someone comes and asks me these Socratic questions: "is it true that all swans are white?", "is there an instance that a swan is not white?", ...
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When did the idea of free will begin? Same for determinism

Hey so I'm doing this free will v determinism thing for class and I've tried but I can't seem to find when the separate beliefs came about. I know Socrates and Aristotle had something to do with them ...
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Socrates question on god

What was Socrates idea of God? What does Socrates say about the idea of the good in the republic? How did he act on this idea? Also, how would you know that his idea of God is correct?