Socrates the greatest philosopher

This aspect of the trial will be discussed more fully below. His interlocutors in these typically adversarial exchanges included people he happened to meet, devoted followers, prominent political figures, and leading thinkers of the day. But those composed by Plato and Xenophon survive in their entirety. What knowledge we have of Socrates must therefore depend primarily on one or the other or both, when their portraits coincide of these sources.

Socrates the greatest philosopher

Presocratic Thought An analysis of Presocratic thought presents some difficulties. Even these purportedly verbatim words often come to us in quotation from other sources, so it is difficult, if not impossible, to attribute with certainty a definite position to any one thinker.

Presocratic thought marks a decisive turn away from mythological accounts towards rational explanations of the cosmos. Indeed, some Presocratics openly criticize and ridicule traditional Greek mythology, while others simply explain the world and its causes in material terms.

This is not to say that the Presocratics abandoned belief in gods or things sacred, but there is a definite turn away from attributing causes of material events to gods, and at times a refiguring of theology altogether. The foundation of Presocratic thought is the preference and esteem given to rational thought over mythologizing.

This movement towards rationality and argumentation would pave the way for the course of Western thought. The Milesians Thales c. Aristotle offers some conjectures as to why Thales might have believed this Graham First, all things seem to derive nourishment from moisture.

Next, heat seems to come from or carry with it some sort of moisture. Finally, the seeds of all things have a moist nature, and water is the source of growth for many moist and living things.

Some assert that Thales held water to be a component of all things, but there is no evidence in the testimony for this interpretation.

It is much more likely, rather, that Thales held water to be a primal source for all things—perhaps the sine qua non of the world. Like Thales, Anaximander c.

Philosophical and literary sources

That he did not, like Thales, choose a typical element earth, air, water, or fire shows that his thinking had moved beyond sources of being that are more readily available to the senses.

He might have thought that, since the other elements seem more or less to change into one another, there must be some source beyond all these—a kind of background upon or source from which all these changes happen. How it is that this separation took place is unclear, but we might presume that it happened via the natural force of the boundless.

The universe, though, is a continual play of elements separating and combining. If our dates are approximately correct, Anaximenes c.

However, the conceptual link between them is undeniable. Like Anaximander, Anaximenes thought that there was something boundless that underlies all other things.

Commentary on the Apology of Socrates

Unlike Anaximander, Anaximenes made this boundless thing something definite—air. For Anaximander, hot and cold separated off from the boundless, and these generated other natural phenomena Graham For Anaximenes, air itself becomes other natural phenomena through condensation and rarefaction.

Rarefied air becomes fire. When it is condensed, it becomes water, and when it is condensed further, it becomes earth and other earthy things, like stones Graham This then gives rise to all other life forms.

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Furthermore, air itself is divine. Air, then, changes into the basic elements, and from these we get all other natural phenomena.

Socrates the greatest philosopher

Xenophanes of Colophon Xenophanes c. At the root of this poor depiction of the gods is the human tendency towards anthropomorphizing the gods.Socrates has a unique place in the history of happiness, as he is the first known figure in the West to argue that happiness is actually obtainable through human effort.

Socrates is not only the most important Greek philosopher, but arguably the greatest philosopher in history. Socrates’ significance to Philosophy is at the stature of . Much of Western philosophy finds its basis in the thoughts and teachings of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

You can’t begin a study of world philosophy without talking about these guys: the Big Three ancient Greek philosophers. Socrates: Athens’ street-corner philosopher Socrates was the big-city philosopher in ancient Athens.

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Accused and . Part of a series on: Socrates "I know that I know nothing" Social gadfly · Trial of Socrates: Eponymous concepts; Socratic dialogue · Socratic method Socratic questioning · Socratic irony Socratic paradox · Socratic problem · Apology (Plato): Disciples; Plato · Xenophon Antisthenes · Aristippus: Related topics; Megarians · Cynicism · Cyrenaics.

BECK index Socrates, Xenophon, and Plato Empedocles Socrates Xenophon's Socrates Defense of Socrates Memoirs of Socrates Symposium Oikonomikos Xenophon. Socrates (/ BCE) was a Greek philosopher and is considered the father of western philosophy. Plato was his most famous student and would .

Ancient Greek Philosophy | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy