From Xenophon's Memorabilia he learned when a boy the Socratic method of argument.
He made use of the Socratic method of instruction and left no writings.
In his Socratic power of convincing his pupils of their ignorance he did more than perhaps any other man of his time to awaken in those who came under his sway the desire for knowledge and the process of independent thought.
The special function of the so-called "Socratic dialectic" was to show the inadequacy of popular beliefs.
Plato extended the Socratic discovery to the whole of reality and while seeking to see the pre-Socratics with the eyes of Socrates sought " to see Socrates with the.
It was the great work of Descartes to exclude rigorously from science all explanations which were not scientifically verifiable; and the prevalence of materialism at certain epochs, as in the enlightenment of the 18th century and in the German philosophy of the middle, 9th, were occasioned by special need to vindicate the scientific position, in the former case against the Church, in the latter case against the pseudo-science of the Hegelian dialectic. The chief definite periods of materialism are the pre-Socratic and the post-Aristotelian in Greece, the 18th century in France, and in Germany the, 9th century from about 1850 to 1880.
Zeller, Socrates and the Socratic Schools, Eng.
Filled with enthusiasm for the Socratic idea of virtue, he founded a school of his own in the Cynosarges, the hall of the bastards (P6001).
In the system of Hegel the word resumes its original Socratic sense, as the name of that intellectual process whereby the inadequacy of popular conceptions is exposed.
Like the Cynics and the Cyrenaics, Euclides started from the Socratic principle that virtue is knowledge.
Zeller, Pre-Socratic Philosophy (Eng.
By Plato, however, this conclusion could have been held only before he had accomplished the movement of thought by which he carried the Socratic method beyond the range of human conduct and developed it into a metaphysical system.
Starting from the two Socratic principles of virtue and happiness, he emphasized the second, and made pleasure the criterion of life.
Perceiving the difficulty of the Socratic dictum he endeavoured to give to the word "knowledge" a definite content by divorcing it absolutely from the sphere of sense and experience, and confining it to a sort of transcendental dialectic or logic. The Eleatic unity is Goodness, and is beyond the sphere of sensible apprehension.
Also Zeller, Socrates and the Socratic Schools; Dyeck, De Megaricorum doctrines (Bonn, 1827); Mallet, Histoire de l'ecole de Megare (Paris, 1845); Ritter, Ober die Philosophie der r meg.
But with these insignificant exceptions it holds true that, after the sceptical wave marked by the Sophists, scepticism does not reappear till after the exhaustion of the Socratic impulse in Aristotle.
The pre-Socratic philosophy took its stand on natural science, to the exclusion of ethics and religion.
It is true that pleasure is the summum bonum of Epicurus, but his conception of that pleasure is profoundly modified by the Socratic doctrine of prudence and the eudaemonism of Aristotle.
In the first place, the reason why the account of prudence begins by confusing the speculative with the practical is that the Eudemian Ethics starts from Plato's Philebus, where, without differentiating speculative and practical knowledge, Plato asks how far good is prudence (cbpovoacs), how far pleasure (7)Sovi 7); and in the Eudemian Ethics Aristotle asks the same question, adding virtue (ap€r,) in order to correct the Socratic confusion of virtue with prudence.
In depth of philosophic insight, in the method of Socratic questioning often adopted, in the earnest and elevated tone of the whole, in the evidence they afford of the most cultured thought of the day, these dialogues constantly remind the reader of the dialogues of Plato.
It may be conjectured that, when he emerged from the purely Socratic phase of his earlier years, Plato gave himself to the study of contemporary methods of education and to the elaboration of an educational system of his own, and that it was in this way that he came to the metaphysical speculations of his maturity.
However this may be, we find amongst his writings - intermediate, as it would seem, between the Socratic conversations of his first period of literary activity and the metaphysical disquisitions of a later time - a series of dialogues which, however varied their ostensible subjects, agree in having a direct bearing upon education.
Reichel, Socrates and the Socratic Schools (1868; 2nd ed.
His Plato is important in that it emphasizes the generally neglected passages of Plato in which he seems to indulge in mere Socratic dialectic rather than to seek knowledge; it is, therefore, to be read as a corrective to the ordinary criticism of Plato.
Heidel, " The Logic of the Pre-Socratic Philosophy," in Dewey's Studies in Logical Theory (Chicago, 1903).
It is rather in virtue of his general faith in the possibility of construction, which he still does not undertake, and because of his consequent insistence on the elucidation of general concepts, which in common with some of his contemporaries, he may have thought of as endued with a certain objectivity, that he induces the controversies of what are called the Socratic schools as to the nature of predication.
The one in the many, the formula which lies at the base of the possibility of predication, is involved in the Socratic doctrine of general concepts or ideas.
When the personality of Socrates is removed, the difficulty as to the nature of the Socratic universal, developed in the medium of the individual processes of individual minds, carries disciples of diverse general sympathies, united only through the practical inspiration of the master's life, towards the identity-formula or the difference-formula of other teachers.
Escape from this impasse, and among his Socratic contemporaries he seems to have singled out Antisthenes 4 as most in need of refutation.
Other names of the pre-Socratic and Socratic times are mentioned by Xenophon, Plato and Aristotle.
In the case of Pythagoras, conspicuous among pre-Socratic philosophers as the founder not merely of a school, but of a sect or order bound by a common rule of life, there is a closer connexion between moral and metaphysical speculation.
Hence, whatever influence the Pythagorean blending of ethical and mathematical notions may have had on Plato, and, through him, on later thought, we cannot regard the school as having really forestalled the Socratic inquiry after a completely reasoned theory of conduct.
It is only when we come to Democritus, a contemporary of Socrates, the last of the original thinkers whom we distinguish as pre-Socratic, that we find anything which we can call an ethical system.
The fragments that remain of the moral treatises of Democritus are sufficient, perhaps, to convince us that the turn of Greek philosophy in the direction of conduct, which was actually due to Socrates, would have taken place without him, though in a less decided manner; but when we compare the Democritean ethics with the post-Socratic system to which it has most affinity, Epicureanism, we find that it exhibits a very rudimentary apprehension of the formal conditions which moral teaching must fulfil before it can lay claim to be treated as scientific.
The pre-Socratic thinkers were all primarily devoted to ontological research; but by the middle of the 5th century B.C. the conflict of their dogmatic systems had led some of the keenest minds to doubt the possibility of penetrating the secret of the physical universe.
It is only when we keep all these points in view that we can understand how from the spring of Socratic conversation flowed the divergent streams of Greek ethical thought.
It is by their recognition of the duty of living consistently by theory instead of mere impulse or custom, their sense of the new value given to life through this rationalization, and their effort to maintain the easy, calm, unwavering firmness of the Socratic temper, that we recognize both Antisthenes and Aristippus as " Socratic men," in spite of the completeness with which they divided their master's positive doctrine into systems diametrically opposed.
Of their contrasted principles we may perhaps say that, while Aristippus took the most obvious logical step for reducing the teaching of Socrates to clear dogmatic unity, Antisthenes certainly drew the most natural inference from the Socratic life.
Virtue, and maintained that the Socratic wisdom was Cynics.
The ultimate views of these two Socratic schools we shall have to notice presently when we come to the post-Aristotelian schools.
We must now proceed to trace the fuller development of the Socratic theory in the hands of Plato and Aristotle.
Between Euclides and Antisthenes the Socratic induction and universal definition were alike discredited from the point of view of the Eleatic logic. It is with the other point of doctrine that Plato comes to grips, that which allows of a certainty or knowledge consisting in an analysis of a compound into simple elements themselves not known.
It is evident that the Socratic search for the essence by an analysis of instances - an induction ending in a definition - has a strong resemblance to the Baconian inductive method.
Amongst the Socratic schools, and canonized Antisthenes and Diogenes; while reverence for Socrates was the tie which united to them such an accomplished writer upon lighter ethical topics, as the versatile Persaeus, who, at the capital of Antigonus Gonatas, with hardly anything of the professional philosopher about him, reminds us of Xenophon, or even Prodicus.
In taking this immense stride and identifying the Cynic " reason," which is a law for man, with the " reason " which is the law of the universe, Zeno has been compared with Plato, who similarly extended the Socratic " general notion " from the region of morals - of justice, temperance, virtue - to embrace all objects of all thought, the verity of all things that are.
The soul of the sage, thought the Cynics, should be strained and braced for judgment and action; his first need is firmness (Ebrovia) and Socratic strength.
The result of this theory of ethics is of great value as emphasizing the importance of a systematic view of conduct, but it fails to resolve satisfactorily the great Socratic paradox that evil is the result of ignorance.
It is true that, as a matter of fact, the earliest uses of the word (the verb /xXoa04Eiv occurs in Herodotus and Thucydides) imply the idea of the pursuit of knowledge; but the distinction between the aogios, or wise man, and the 4nXoaoa50s, or lover of wisdom, appears first in the Platonic writings, and lends itself naturally to the so-called Socratic irony.
In Socrates and Plato, on the other hand, the start is made from a consideration of man's moral and intellectual activity; but knowledge and action are confused with one another, as in the Socratic doctrine that virtue is knowledge.
Removing to Athens in early youth, he became the pupil of the Socratic Aeschines, but presently joined himself to Plato, whom he attended to Sicily in 361.
As models of Attic style Phrynichus assigned the highest place to Plato, Demosthenes and Aeschines the Socratic. The work was learned, but prolix and garrulous.
This hedonism has perplexed Plato's readers needlessly (as we have said in speaking of the Cyrenaics), inasmuch as hedonism is the most obvious corollary of the Socratic doctrine that the different common notions of good - the beautiful, the pleasant and the useful - were to be somehow interpreted by each other.
Perhaps we may best explain this by recurring to the original application of the Socratic method to human affairs.
In a society well ordered on Socratic principles, every human being would be put to some use; the essence of his life would consist in doing what he was good for (his proper 'p-yov).
Even Socrates, in spite of his aversion to physics, was led by pious reflection to expound a teleological view of the physical world, as ordered in all its parts by divine wisdom for the realization of some divine end; and, in the metaphysical turn which Plato gave to this view, he was probably anticipated by Euclid of Megara, who held that the one real being is " that which we call by many names, Good, Wisdom, Reason or God," to which Plato, raising to a loftier significance the Socratic identification of the beautiful with the useful, added the further name of Absolute Beauty, explaining how man's love of the beautiful finally reveals itself as the yearning for the end and essence of being.
On the other hand, since the philosopher must still live and act in the concrete sensible world, the Socratic identification of wisdom and virtue is fully maintained by Plato.
In explaining how Plato was led to answer this question, it will be well to notice that, while faithfully maintaining the Socratic doctrine that the highest virtue was inseparable from knowledge of the good, he had come to recognize an inferior kind of virtue, possessed by men who were not philosophers.
He gradually became a logician out of his previous studies: out of metaphysics, for with him being is always the basis of thinking, and common principles, such as that of contradiction, are axioms of things before axioms of thought, while categories are primarily things signified by names; out of the mathematics of the Pythagoreans and the Platonists, which taught him the nature of demonstration; out of the physics, of which he imbibed the first draughts from his father, which taught him induction from sense and the modification of strict demonstration to suit facts; out of the dialectic between man and man which provided him with beautiful examples of inference in the Socratic dialogues of Xenophon and Plato; out of the rhetoric addressed to large audiences, which with dialectic called his attention to probable inferences; out of the grammar taught with rhetoric and poetics which led him to the logic of the proposition.