What Is Philosophy According To Socrates?

1074 words - 5 pages

Philosophy is an academic subject that exercises reason and logic in an attempt to understand reality and answer fundamental questions about knowledge, life, morality, virtue, and human nature. The original word for philosophy comes from the ancient Greek word philosopha, which means love of wisdom. Although Socrates himself never claimed to have any answers to the questions he raised, his views and methods of philosophy became the foundations of what philosophy is today. Socrates actually wrote nothing, because he felt that knowledge was something to be gained by living and interacting in the world. So most of what we do know about Socrates comes from the writings of another very important ...view middle of the document...

Socrates devoted himself to discussions or arguments that questioned the truth. Socrates did not have his own definition of truth, he only believed in questioning what others believed as truth and he invented dialectic what is called the Socratic Method. If something passed the Socratic Method, it could be classified as truth. He asked questions of his conversation partner. When his partner answers, he would then ask another question about the answer. Then he would ask more questions, and very often at the end of the dialogue the other fellow was forced to admit that he did not know the answer to the first question. He merely assumed he did, or took the conventional point of view. Socrates would question things over and over until there were no logical fallacies within the virtue that was being discussed. Socrates did not think he knew the answers to all questions. But he saw that no one else knew them either and so his questions where open to debate for all people. He believed that genuine knowledge came from discovering universal definitions of the key concepts, such as virtue, piety, love, justice, and other ethical ideas, but he did not teach students what he believed.
Socrates identified knowledge with virtue, and he thought knowledge is the highest good of virtue. Socrates also thought if knowledge includes everything that is good, then virtue is a part of knowledge. If virtue is beneficial to our well-being, and if virtue is a most quality of the soul, then it must include wisdom, since if it were used unwisely it would be detrimental to our well-being. Socrates consistently argued with his colleagues in search for an absolute meaning. Generally, the conversation usually continued of a series of manipulations ending with the question unanswered. However, it seems Socrates never really searched for an answer, simply an understanding. Some questions need not clean answers, but answers that give a general understanding of possibilities. Through knowledge, people can achieve an understanding.
The search for a good life and for happiness has probably always been central to human activity. Furthermore, good life would not be unusual to think that living in the common ways. Socrates represents the...

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