Who is Socrates? SocratesJune 26, 2021
Socrates BC. From 470 to BC He is the great Greek philosopher who lived between 399 BC and one of the founding fathers of Ancient Greek philosophy. Socrates is one of the most important philosophers of philosophy in general, and especially of Western philosophy and ancient Greek philosophy.
Socrates was born in a town just south of Athens in 469 BC. His father was a stonemason named Sophoniskos and his mother was a midwife named Phainarete.
Socrates, whom we do not know much about the first period of his life, was married to a woman named Xantippe, who is described as a bad temperament in ancient sources. He had three sons from this relationship.
Ancient Greek philosophy, which is accepted as the basis of Western philosophy, is classified with his name as a whole. All philosophers who lived before Socrates and dealt with natural philosophy are called Presocratics or Pre-Socratic Philosophers, meaning those who came before Socrates.
On the other hand, all Greek philosophers after Socrates were called Socratics, meaning “to be his direct or indirect student, to be inspired by him”. Namely, Plato, the founder of one of the first and greatest philosophical systems that history has known, is the student of Socrates; Aristotle, the last great philosopher of ancient Greek philosophy, is a student of Plato.
Almost everything known about Socrates is based on what is told about him. Because Socrates did not write anything in a period of high literary productivity, and he did not choose teaching as an official profession at a time when professional “knowledge teachers” (sophists) emerged.
What we know about him is based on many ancient stories told by philosophers such as Plato, Xenophanes, Aristophanes, Aristotle, Aristoxenos.
Socrates while explaining philosophy to young people on the streets of Athens…
SOCRATES’ UNDERSTANDING OF PHILOSOPHY
It can be said that the name Socrates began to be heard in the Greek world with the Peloponnesian War that broke out in 432 BC. Socrates, who attended the lectures of Anaxagoras’ student Archelaos, but later gave up on natural philosophy on the grounds that he was uninterested in human problems, could not find the final explanation that natural philosophers sought that would be valid not only for the human world but also for the natural world.
Socrates turned to a purely ethico-political philosophy after his disappointment with natural philosophy and, meanwhile, after some determinations about the decline, even the crisis, especially in the context of moral life and political order in Athens. From the age of thirty-five, he began to mature his mission of moral reform, which can be expressed as “awakening the Athenians and prompting them to think about the meaning of life and what is really good for them”, in which he started on the path of self-education in philosophy.
Indeed, in the next period of his life, Socrates tried to carry out a moral reform by having philosophical discussions with Athenians, but especially with the youth, within the general framework determined by questions such as the meaning of life, what is really good, what the real purpose of man should be.
That they should take care of people and their souls through dialogue and philosophical discussions; Socrates, who showed that they were in a deep ignorance of the subjects they should know best, such as justice, virtue, and wisdom, drew a unique street philosopher picture and directed his criticism not only to ordinary Greek citizens, but also to the current stupid leaders of democracy.
As a matter of fact, the leaders of the new democracy, disturbed by Socrates’ questioning and criticism, took him to court with the false accusation of “seducing the youth and inventing new gods by not believing in the gods of the city”.
No one had any intention of executing him; The power holders of Athens wanted to silence this old and ugly man, who were overwhelmed by his criticism. They expected him to beg for mercy to save his life, as everyone else does. But Socrates, who chose his death as his own life, did not ask for forgiveness, he made an account of his whole life, arguing that he had done nothing wrong in his defense in the court.
In his defense, Socrates, who stated that he philosophized in order to show people, in accordance with God’s message, that they should first live in ignorance, and then live with principles, and pay due attention to their souls, rather than “seducing the youth and inventing new gods by not believing in the gods of the city”. did not satisfy the five-hundred jury, and Socrates was found guilty by two hundred and eighty votes to two hundred and twenty.
After being found guilty, he did not propose or demand a sentence for himself; however, it was possible for him to get away with a small fine as that was all that everyone wanted.
Because proposing an alternative sentence to the death penalty meant for him to accept that those who brought him to court were right; indeed, he is different from almost everyone’s expectation.