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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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 "...
Garmen1778's user avatar
21 votes
6 answers
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Are the unexamined lives of others worth examining?

Socrates continually admonished his interlocutors to become more introspective, arguing passionately for self-examination: The unexamined life is not worth living. But an examined life is painful, ...
Joseph Weissman's user avatar
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Are all philosophers subject to a variation of the Socrates problem?

Obviously, the specific problem of knowing who Socrates was and what he taught is wholly unique to the man. However, reading books and articles about philosophers and philosophy, I'm struck by the ...
Jon 'links in bio' Ericson's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
43k views

Is there a correct or better order to read Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates?

I would like to read the text written by Aristotle, Plato, Socrates and so on. Is there any reference of the best order to read them? Is the chronological order the best or correct one? Or is there a ...
The Student's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
37k views

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 ...
James Kingsbery's user avatar
11 votes
5 answers
4k views

What makes a good question?

Most philosophy begins with a question. I'm wondering why certain questions provoke more profound thoughts than others. What characteristics do good questions share with each other? How can we go ...
john's user avatar
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3 answers
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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: ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
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Why was Socratic epistemology diminished?

My question is a follow-up from reading this answer; "Roughly speaking, Socrates believed truth could not be discovered with certainty, Plato believed that truth could only be known via ...
Jas 3.1's user avatar
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11 votes
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Does Apology's Socrates contradict Crito's Socrates?

In Plato's Apology Socrates clearly indicates he would continue to philosophize even if the court ordered him not to: if now, when, as I conceive and imagine, God orders me to fulfil the philosopher’...
Emryss's user avatar
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10 votes
6 answers
13k views

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 ...
mil's user avatar
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Did Plato record actual conversations in his dialogues?

For example, Did Socrates really meet Zeno in Parmenides as a young man and the conversation that took place between them was recorded by Plato? Are ANY of Plato's dialogues recordings of actual ...
Parmenides's user avatar
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Does Nietzsche's rejection of Socrates mean that he is a relativist about ethics?

In Twilight of Idols (passage 10 in Problem of Socrates section) Nietzsche asserts that Socrates's equating Reason, Virtue and Happiness is a sign of decadence. Does it follow from this that ...
Frank Booth's user avatar
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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 ...
stoicfury's user avatar
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8 votes
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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 ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
724 views

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 ...
Jon 'links in bio' Ericson's user avatar
7 votes
5 answers
6k views

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 ...
Jaja bae's user avatar
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5 answers
986 views

What is a question?

Sponsored by Socrates: Alcibiades 113, b SOCRATES: Come then, give me the general principle. When there’s a question and an answer, who is the one saying things--the questioner or the answerer? ...
Xeon's user avatar
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Buddhism in Phaedo

At the end of Phaedo, Socrates proves, in his own manner, that the soul is immortal and goes through an endless cycle of metempsychosis and, "if deemed to have lived an extremely pious life are freed ...
Kandrax's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
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Is Socrates wrong in 'Euthyphro'?

I'm trying to understand 'Euthyphro', a popular book by Plato about Socrates. I believe I'm understanding what Socrates is saying; however I do not think it is correct. Referring to 10d to 11b ...
Ignoculture's user avatar
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5 answers
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What did Socrates mean by " there is no more fitting reward than maintenance in the prytaneum"?

According to wikipedia: "In general in ancient Greece, each state, city or village possessed its own central hearth and sacred fire, representing the unity and vitality of the community. The fire was ...
mil's user avatar
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5 votes
4 answers
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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 ...
Mark D Worthen PsyD's user avatar
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4 answers
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Is the temperance resulting from the socratic maxim "know thyself" always about knowing others?

I was just thinking about what good 'know thyself' means. There is something arguably narcissistic and unnecessary - or at least self absorbed - about examining your life just to know your own flaws ...
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5 votes
3 answers
1k views

"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 ...
Albert Ruelan's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
686 views

Did Socrates' actual apology resemble Plato's Apology?

I have seen that Plato's writings have traditionally been classified as Early, Middle or Late and that the earlier the work, the closer it resembles what Socrates might have actually said. In view of ...
Saegusa's user avatar
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Socrates as a foot soldier and his political philosophy

Socrates is well known for his participation of several wars during his life span (for almost 30 years). It is believed that he was 48 at his final participation in a war. As an armed foot soldier, ...
Nanhee Byrnes PhD's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
2k views

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 ...
Ameet Sharma's user avatar
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Does Socrates fear Euthyphro?

In Plato's Euthyphro, Socrates in dialogue with Euthyphro is asked to clarify his questions "is all which is just pious? or, is that which is pious all just" and attempts to clarify his wording by ...
Alex L's user avatar
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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?
Amro's user avatar
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1 answer
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Was Socrates of the belief that knowledge was attainable after death?

I've begun reading The Phaedo, wherein Socrates argues against the case of suicide. He begins by assuming that since we as men are possessions of the gods, they would be angered were one of their ...
Dario's user avatar
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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?
Dark Knight's user avatar
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3 answers
277 views

Is Socrates' happiness possible for average, normal people?

Socrates talked a big game in the Republic: we don't need money, family or friends to be happy; all that requires is that we pursue truth and wisdom. I can sort of see how this can make sense for ...
Daniel Li's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
318 views

'Daemons' vis-a-vis transcendental personification of self-will

Greek mythology, classical philosophy and early theology is teeming with things referred to as 'daemons'. Many, such as those of Plato's Socrates, hint at an externalised transcendental corollary of ...
Tom Boardman's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
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What's the argument of Socrates in addressing Thrasymachus' argument that the pursuit of self-interest or injustice pays better than that of justice?

While reading The Republic by Plato, I don't quite understand the argument. It seems that the argument did not address why a just man won't be worse off than an unjust man. What's the argument of ...
JOHN's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
561 views

In Plato's Symposium, what are the similarities and differences between Phaedrus's speech and Socrates's/Diotima's?

I feel like these two speeches have some things in common like how they're both striving for something in the name of love but I'm not too sure. What are the similarities and differences between the ...
Jordan's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
3k views

Are there any listings of Plato's dialogues in internal chronological order?

Traditionally, the dialogues of Plato have been listed in the order in which Plato is thought to have composed them, because it's believed that Plato presented a more accurate picture of Socrates' ...
Keshav Srinivasan's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
993 views

Is the Phaedo relevant to a materialist?

I've just finished reading the Phaedo, and I'm wondering if one does not buy into the mind/body dualism arguments that Socrates advances in the dialogue, is there still anything to learned from it? Is ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
236 views

Can the Socratic method be used to teach science or math?

I'm not sure if this is philosophy or pedagogy, because it kind of straddles both! I've seen this method used for extremely abstract problems in philosophy. But I haven't seen it used for resolving ...
Fomalhaut's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
545 views

Meno's paradox of knowledge - how is knowledge possible?

In Plato's Meno, it is talked about how knowledge is neither gained nor searched for. I am confused on this particular question. What does is entail?
wardialer's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
616 views

What evils does Socrates refer to when discussing his State and the origins of war?

In Book II of The Republic (373e), as part of the discussion between Socrates and Glaucon, Socrates states the following (quote taken from Benjamin Jowett's translation): Then without determining ...
Steven Jeuris's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
459 views

Which of Plato's Dialogues should I read to learn about Socrates' views on science and epistemology?

Which of Plato's Dialogues should I read to learn about Socrates' views relevant to the philosophy science and epistemology? I'm quite a beginner in these things and the titles of the Dialogues are ...
orome's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
364 views

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 ...
user546106's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
1k views

Possible Logical Error in Euthyphro?

There is an argument near the beginning of Euthyphro that Socrates tries to make to Euthyphro in which I believe that Socrates makes a logical mistake. It's a pretty basic mistake, so rather than ...
Ivan Lesiv's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
520 views

Is "the mind" in Phaedo the same as "Nous" in Neoplatonic philosophy?

Phaedo 97c speaks about Anaxagoras that he says "that it is the mind that arranges and causes all things. I was pleased with this theory of cause, and it seemed to me to be somehow right that the mind ...
mil's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
304 views

Question about the Argument of Recollection from Plato's Phaedo

Under the argument of recollection, what would the answer to the following scenario? A young child has not learned a single thing about geometrical shapes. If a person were to draw a triangle and ...
Richard Young's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
470 views

Why are the hellenic philosophers before Platos time referred to as pre-socratic?

It seems plausible to me that they could equally have been called pre-Plato. Whats the significance of Socrates? Did he instill an ethical turn in Hellenic philosophy (or be seen to do so)?
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
251 views

The Orphic Socrates

Short introduction Reading about Socrates I found he was more or less Orphic in his beliefs. He believed in the indestructibility of mind or life after dead. Also in certain ascetic life. On the ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the difference between dialectic and logic?

What is the difference between dialectic and logic? By dialectic, I mean what Plato employs in dialogues. Thanks in advance!
Frank Booth's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
4k views

What did Socrates mean by "idea of equality" in the abstract?

In Plato's book "Phaedus", Socrates go further saying "Did we not see equalities of material things, such as pieces of wood and stones, and gather from them the idea of an equality which is different ...
mil's user avatar
  • 559
3 votes
1 answer
257 views

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. ...
Mikey G's user avatar
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3 votes
5 answers
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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 ...
Nicholas's user avatar
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