The term ‘Philosophy’ was coined by the Greek which means ‘love of wisdom’. Philosophy evaluates the nature of reality, knowledge and existence which are questioned though arguments and reasoning. Socrates ‘attempted to establish an ethic system based on human reason rather than a theological doctrine’ (Biography.com, 2017)
Socrates was a well-known philosopher and was one of the most charismatic men in history who sparked thought provoking conversations. Socrates questioned people’s core belief as well their perception on life. Even the simplest of things such as truth standard were scrutinized. Before speaking to Socrates, the people were convinced of their beliefs, however when he engaged in conversation with them he would break down their reasoning’s by asking, why. Although his questions seemed somewhat straightforward, basic and perhaps patronizing, they were far from that inspired people contemplate their answers, which until now is profound way of evaluating your conclusions about life which is at the core of philosophy. An image that comes to mind is that of speaker’s corner in London, where people gather together to engage in free speech.
He questioned people in the market place leaving people confused and questioning how much they really knew, this must have been extremely disconcerting, yet people enjoyed speaking to Socrates although he himself claimed to ‘know nothing’! He was a truly humble character, One day his friend Chaerophon Visited Oracle who was a wise woman, a sibyl – women that ancient Greeks believed had divine revelation and answered questions that visitors asked. ‘When chaerophon asked “Is anyone wiser than Socrates?” she replied “No, no one is wiser than Socrates”. When Socrates heard about this conversation he became puzzled as he claimed he lacked knowledge which was indeed contradictory. He later did conclude that she was accurate. ‘Warburton, 2011. He loved to debate and was very sceptical of any answer which was given and inspired people to think deeply and not take the answer for face value. Despite, how articulate and truly inspiring this man was he refused to write anything down much of what we know about him was from his student Plato whether this was completely authentic is unknown.
On the other hand, Socrates was not everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ in fact people saw his views as precarious as he was seen to be challenging the government, undermining the gods and initiating people to oppose authorities. His ‘free speech’ and anti-democratic views was not welcome in the street of Athens and he was threatened to be taken to court, “in 399BC, when Socrates was 70 years old, one of them, Meletus took him to court” Warburton,2011. The court had voted whether he was guilty and ‘just over half of the 501 citizens who made up the jury thought he was and sentenced him to death’ Warburton,2011. In spite of that fact that Socrates was a highly articulate man, who spoke eloquently, it is argued that he may have been able to defend himself by putting forward his argument unsurprisingly he didn’t and sadly, he was forced to drink the poison. Socrates dissipates the fear of death as he presupposed that fearing death is unreasonable as he challenged everything. He was an advocate for courage and his actions aligned well with his beliefs, he truly put into practice what he preached of philosophy and was not intimidated by death as Plato puts it “while the Athenians did succeed in killing Socrates, they failed in their effort to silence him” Google books, 2017 and as Socrates puts it “be as you wish to seem”-socrates
Biography.com. (2017). Socrates. [online] Available at: https://www.biography.com/people/socrates-9488126 [Accessed 16 Dec. 2017].
Google Books. (2017). The Death of Socrates and the Life of Philosophy. [online] Available at: https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=x4sDLZXn01MC&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=socrates+death+philosophy&ots=OqtoJGYfPZ&sig=kEXuWbWvOwKKOiMrwG37lHIgHI8#v=snippet&q=socrates%20conversation&f=false[Accessed 16 Dec. 2017].
Warburton, A little History of Philosophy . New Haven: Yale UP, 2011.PRINT