The Philosophy of Socrates

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25 November 2015

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       Socrates, an Athens’s citizen was born in 469 B.C and died in 399 B.C. consequently, during his youth, he not only saw Athens become the leading empire of the Greek states but also emerge as the pole that attracted many talents and great minds. Thus, he emerged as the best philosophical mind of his age. He in fact is the father of western philosophy, Smith (1852). Below are questions and answers to the evaluative questions from the trials of Socrates

Why is it a point of honor with Socrates that he was never compensated for his teaching?

       Socrates was best known for his unique style of life and attitudes because of his questioning methods and noble ideas. The simple and poor life that he lived has led many people to associate philosophy with poverty. He is certainly seen as the most philosophers in Greek that has mostly trapped his life physically. Socrates portrays it as natural for the philosophers to care much about the souls of other people while caring less about money. The sophists lived a fancy life because of the fee they collected. Nonetheless, Socrates collected no payment hence was looked upon as being very poor. As we have noted in the trial, his suggestions was that he be maintained at public expense due to his services and personal poverty. Here, he clearly stated that he neglected property and money-making as he thought he was too honorable wasting his time in pursuing useless goals while there were noble benefits that he could be conferring to the citizens-wisdom and goodness encouragements.

Does Socrates oppose the principle of majority rule?

       In the Funeral Discourse, Pericles acknowledged that the main aspect in Athenian democracy was the politics calling. Pericles acknowledged that representing the people was the finest way to serve the morals and he proofed this by depending on the majority rule intrinsic to democracy for freedom preservation. He was sure through his speech that through dedication and hard work to the state, self-determination would be conserved by the voice of the majority in contrary to that of the few. Additionally, Pericles thought that any citizen not taking some part in the politics realm was not only missing the core of Athenian democracy, but also useless. These arguments by Pericles demonstrate that for democracy survival, people must take part in politics. To the contrary, Socrates saw politics as a wasted adventure and hence did not support the majority rule citing it as corrupt and not just.

Who does Socrates believe is capable of educating the young?

       Socrates does not disseminate authority to any person or any school of thought to teach “thing” as he terms it as they lack the wisdom required for doing so. He himself refutes his own method and knowledge. Though, this is seen as a technique he uses for engaging others and allowing for a open dialogue. He is widely regarded as the best teacher. His teaching technique involved asking leading questions guiding his students to discovery.

       It was a dialectical process that employed critical autopsy to undermine the credibility of widely-held principle. (Brickhouse& Smith 1, p.53)

Why does Socrates’ search for truth hurt others and condemn him?

       Socrates is highly credited for laying the foundation of Western thought. He had won the support of many supporters. But his thoughts and knowledge were a bit contentious leading him to be tried and sentenced to death. He walked around the streets of Athens asking people questions including the rulers who were supposed to be wiser than him. Through the questioning, the person being questioned was intended to realize he did not know what he thought he knew. His theory was that the person being questioned realizes his weak point of understanding and thereafter divests his quest for knowledge. These philosophical arguments however gained Socrates much condemnation and many enemies.

Would you have condemned Socrates?

       If I lived during the Socrates times, I could be his great follower and would not have or would not condemn him any other time. Some of the reasons include; not putting into consideration the time spent in the military, Socrates lived his entire live in Athens where he was well known for his moral integrity, thirst for wisdom and self control. Additionally, through his best student’s writings about him, we learn that he was self examinable and a staunch in self examination. He is also highly credited with the saying “the unexamined life is not worth living”


Bloomfield, Louis A. The Politics of Ancient Rome. Oxford Hill Publishing: New York, 1988.

Brickhouse, Thomas C., and Nicholas D. Smith. 2000 The Philosophy of Socrates. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press

Brickhouse, Thomas C., and Nicholas D. Smith.1994 Plato’s Socrates. New York: Oxford University Press

Smith, W. (1852).The Apology of Socrates, the Crito, and Part of the Phaedo: With Notes from Stallbaum, Schleiermacher’s Introductions, A Life of Socrates, and Schleiermacher’s Essay on the Worth of Socrates as a Philosopher. Taylor Walton and Maberly.

Ahbel-Rappe, S. and Kamtekar, R. (2009).A Companion to Socrates.John Wiley & Sons. pp. 306–309.

Benson, Hugh C., 2000 Socratic Wisdom. New York: Oxford University Press

Easton, Stewart C., 1966 The Western Heritage. New York: Holt Rhinehart& Winston, Inc.

Noonan, John P., 1957 General Metaphysics. Chicago, Ill. Loyola University Press

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