A biography of plato an ancient greek philosopher

These ideas were transmitted beyond the confines of the classical polis as the Greek city-states came under the suzerainty of larger kingdoms after an initial Macedonian conquest at the end of the fourth century B. C; those kingdoms in turn were eventually conquered and significantly assimilated by the Roman republic, later transmuted into an empire. Philosophers writing in Latin engaged self-consciously with the earlier and continuing traditions of writing about philosophy in Greek. Neither the transformation of the republic into an empire in the first-century BCE, nor the eventual abdication of the last pretenders to the Roman imperial throne in the Western part of the empire in CE, prevented continued engagement with this Greek and Roman heritage of political philosophy among late antique and later medieval scholars and their successors writing in Latin, Arabic and Hebrew.

A biography of plato an ancient greek philosopher

Socrates The Greek philosopher and logician Socrates B. Socrates was the son of Sophroniscus, an Athenian stone mason and sculptor. Details of his early life are scanty, although he appears to have had no more than an ordinary Greek education.

He did, however, take a keen interest in the works of the natural philosophers, and Plato Parmenides, C records the fact that Socrates met Zeno of Elea and Parmenides on their trip to Athens, which probably took place about B.

Socrates wrote nothing; therefore evidence for his life and activities must come from the writings of Plato and Xenophon. From the Apology we learn that Socrates was well known around Athens, that uncritical thinkers linked him with the rest of the Sophists, that he fought in at least three military campaigns for the city, and that he attracted to his circle large numbers of young men who delighted in seeing their pretentious elders refuted by Socrates.

A biography of plato an ancient greek philosopher

His endurance and prowess in military campaigns are attested by Alcibiades in the Symposium. One morning Socrates wandered a short distance off from the other men to concentrate on a problem. By noon a small crowd had gathered, and by evening a group had come with their bedding to spend the night watching him.

At the break of day, he offered up a prayer to the sun and went about his usual activities.

Dating, editing, translation

He was short and Silenus-like, quite the opposite of what was considered graceful and beautiful in the Athens of his time. He was also poor and had only the barest necessities of life. He was not ascetic, however, for he accepted the lavish hospitality of the wealthy on occasion Agathon, the successful tragic poet, was host to the illustrious group in the Symposium and proved himself capable of besting the others not only at their esoteric and sophistic sport of making impromptu speeches on the god Eros but also in holding his wine.

Alcibiades asserts in the same dialogue that Socrates made him feel deep shame and humiliation over his failure to live up to the high standards of justice and truth. He had this same effect on countless others.

His words and actions in the Apology, Crito, Phaedo, and Symposium reveal a deep reverence for Athenian religious customs and a sincere regard for divinity.

Indeed, it was a divine voice which Socrates claimed to hear within himself on important occasions in his life. It was not a voice which gave him positive instructions, but instead warned him when he was about to go astray. He recounts, in his defense before the Athenian court, the story of his friend Chaerephon, who was told by the Delphic Oracle that Socrates was the wisest of men.

After questioning those who had a reputation for wisdom and who considered themselves, wise, he concluded that he was wiser than they because he could recognize his ignorance while they, who were equally ignorant, thought themselves wise.

Socrates was famous for his method of argumentation. His "irony" was an important part of that method and surely helped account for the appeal which he had for the young and the disfavor in which he was held by many Athenians. An example comes from the Apology.

Meletus had accused Socrates of corrupting the youth. Socrates begins by asking if Meletus considers the improvement of youth important.

He replies that he does, whereupon Socrates asks who is capable of improving the young. The laws, says Meletus, and Socrates asks him to name a person who knows the laws. Meletus responds that the judges there present know the laws, whereupon Socrates asks if all who are present are able to instruct and improve youth or whether only a few can.

Meletus replies that all of them are capable of such a task, which forces Meletus to confess that other groups of Athenians, such as the Senate and the Assembly, and indeed all Athenians are capable of instructing and improving the youth.

All except Socrates, that is. Socrates then starts a parallel set of questions regarding the instruction and improvement of horses and other animals.

A biography of plato an ancient greek philosopher

Is it true that all men are capable of training horses, or only those men with special qualifications and experience? Meletus, realizing the absurdity of his position, does not answer, but Socrates answers for him and asserts that if he does not care enough about the youth of Athens to have given adequate thought to who might instruct and improve them, he has no right to accuse Socrates of corrupting them.

Thus the Socratic method of argumentation begins with commonplace questions which lead the opponent to believe that the questioner is a simpleton, but ends in a complete reversal. It is a method not calculated to win friends, especially when used in public. It is probable, however, that the Socrates we find in the Apology Crito, and a few of the other early dialogues represents a fair approximation of the man and his thinking.

Thus his chief contributions lie not in the construction of an elaborate system but in clearing away the false common beliefs and in leading men to an awareness of their own ignorance, from which position they may begin to discover the truth.Sep 05,  · Socrates BC - BC Socrates was an Ancient Greek Athenian philosopher.

See a related article at timberdesignmag.com: timberdesignmag.com Feb 24,  · If ancient skepticism is approached in the context of the larger study of ancient philosophy, we might first of all note that the skeptics in a sense agree with Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, and the Stoics.

ARISTOTLE ( B.C.) Born in the city of Stagira, Chalcidice, Aristotle was the student of Plato and a classical Greek philosopher and scientist. His father, Nicomachus, was a physician at the court of King Amyntus III of Macedonia and his mother too was a member of the traditional medical units.

Watch video · Ancient Greek philosopher Plato founded the Academy and is the author of philosophical works of unparalleled influence in Western thought. Aug 21,  · Watch video · The Athenian philosopher Plato (c B.C.) is one of the most important figures of the Ancient Greek world and the entire history of Western thought.

Philosophical and literary sources

In. The Athenian philosopher Plato (c Socrates, (born c. bce, Athens [Greece]—died bce, Athens), Greek philosopher whose way of life, character, and thought exerted a profound influence on ancient and modern philosophy.

Plato Biography