Socratic sentence example
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.Advertisement
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.
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.
Starting from the two Socratic principles of virtue and happiness, he emphasized the second, and made pleasure the criterion of life.Advertisement
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.
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 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.Advertisement
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.
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.
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.Advertisement
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.
Other names of the pre-Socratic and Socratic times are mentioned by Xenophon, Plato and Aristotle.
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 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.Advertisement
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.
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.
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.
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.Advertisement
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.Advertisement
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.Advertisement
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.
Nor, again, is Aristotle's divergence from the Socratic principle that all " virtue is knowledge "substantially greater than Plato's, though it is more plainly expressed.
In so far as there is any important difference between the Platonic and the Aristotelian views of human good, we may observe that the latter has substantially a closer correspondence to the positive element in the ethical teaching of Socrates, though it is presented in a far more technical and scholastic form, and involves a more distinct rejection of the fundamental Socratic paradox.
Aristotle, discarding the transcendentalism of Plato, naturally retained from Plato's teaching the original Socratic method of induction from and verification by common opinion.
Indeed, the windings of his exposition are best sunderstood if we consider his literary manner as a kind of Socratic dialogue formalized and reduced to a monologue.Advertisement
Again, this Socratic deference to common opinift is not shown merely in the way by which Aristotle reaches his fundamental conception; it equally appears in his treatment of the conception itself.
Partly, again, the analytical distinctness of Aristotle's manner brings into special prominence the difficulties that attend the Socratic effort to reconcile the ideal aspirations of men with the principles on which their practical reasonings are commonly conducted.
Aristotle had already been led to attempt a refutation of the Socratic identification of virtue with knowledge; but his attempt had only shown the profound difficulty of attacking the paradox, so long as it was admitted that no one could of deliberate purpose act contrary to what seemed to him best.
Now, Aristotle's divergence from Socrates had not led him so far as to deny this; while for the Stoics who had receded to the original Socratic position, the difficulty was still more patent.
His philosophy has been characterized as Socratic in content and Platonic in form.Advertisement
Aristotle speaks of him as uneducated and simple-minded, and Plato describes him as struggling in vain with the difficulties of dialectic. His work represents one great aspect of Socratic philosophy, and should be compared with the Cyrenaic and Megarian doctrines.
The first illustration of this movement on a large scale was given in the Socratic reaction against the pantheistic conclusions of early Greek philosophy (see Ionian School).
He did not overlook the need of supplementing merely intellectual insight by " Socratic force of soul "; but it seemed to him that, by insight and self-mastery combined, an absolute spiritual independence might be attained which left nothing wanting for perfect well-being (see also Diogenes).
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.
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.