Socrates, the ancient Greek philosopher known as the father of Western philosophy, is one of the most influential thinkers in Western history. He was one of the founders of Philosophy and the main motivator for its formation and directly influenced other prominent Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle. Socrates was one of the main motivating elements for encouraging humanity to think about the world and the right way to live.
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However, most of the information we have about Socrates and most scholars believe that it is the closest picture to reality in the writings of one of his students, namely Plato is found to have become one of the most prominent figures in Western Philosophy and an integral part of Socrates's legacy. Scholars agree that Socrates was born in Athens in 469 BC. He was first a sculptor and later served in the Athenian army during the Peloponnesian War.
It did not take long for him to become pessimistic about what was considered wisdom in his day, and he came to the conclusion that most men who were considered wise were merely arrogant.
In Apology, Plato, Socrates refers to a wise man:
When I spoke to this man, it seemed to me that he was wise in the eyes of many people, especially himself, but he was not. Then I tried to show him that he only thinks he is wise, when he is not wise. But after doing that, he, along with many of those present, hated me. But when I passed him, I thought to myself that I was wiser than this man. The truth is that none of us knows anything about beauty and goodness, but he thinks he knows, while he does not know, but I do not know anything and I do not think I know. So I know him only for the simple reason that when I do not know something, I do not think I know.
people day and precise definition wisdom. it can be said he right, because this simple slogan became one most enduring aspects legacy, legacy left for millennia, while wise men time were forgotten at best after few generations. p>
Socrates spent much of his life teaching the rest of his teachings and persuading them to question what they considered to be pure truth, and finally to come to a conclusion that he himself had best summarized. "The only true knowledge is to know that you have no knowledge."
Socrates hoped in this way to persuade others to join him in the path of philosophical questions with the goal of a better life, and thus They realized that the answers and beliefs they had at the time were insufficient.
Over time, a number of young students who became interested in Socrates's thought gathered around him. Although he was pessimistic about popular knowledge and ideas, he also had his own ideas. He made claims about politics and taught his ideas about it, he criticized democracy's well-being, set a set of values, and preferred virtue, self-knowledge, goodness, truth and happiness to wealth, fame and power. Ethicists have stated that the root of evil deeds is in ignorance, and that the one who commits an evil deed will suffer more than his victim. He provided a definition of the concept of spirit, and the list goes on.
Socrates's greatest distinguishing feature from thinkers His predecessor (known as the pre-Socratic philosophers) was that, contrary to their cosmic and cosmic concerns, Socrates believed that the goal of Philosophy was to answer the very pragmatic and simple question: "What is the right way to live?" Although Socrates had good intentions, his efforts did not receive good feedback from the masses. He was tried for blasphemy and corrupting young people after he overreacted. During this trial he was found guilty and sentenced to death.
In 399 BC, he was given the Cup of Thanksgiving to drink. Shukran moved slowly in his body, reached his heart and killed him. One of the greatest minds in the history of mankind was silenced forever by questioning, because the world in which he lived was still unwilling to admit that he was just the beginning of the line.
Although his mission remained half-finished , But did not fail in any way. One of the greatest legacies left by Socrates was his disciple Plato. He successfully took the torch that Socrates had lit, and formally started the Western Philosophy Relief Competition, during which each philosopher handed the torch to the philosopher after him.
Plato, like Socrates, took the path of skepticism, critical thinking, reasoning and logic, and preferred knowledge to attain Eudemonia - a happy and prosperous life. Satisfactory - continued. But unlike Socrates, Plato took up the pen, left manuscripts, devised an organized philosophical system, wrote 36 books during his lifetime, and founded the first university in history, called the Academy.most prominent and perhaps most influential works left by him was his thoughts on the very concept of thinking. Following Socrates' skepticism of the knowledge of the time, he posed the question: How can we acquire knowledge and understand something?
Plato believed that knowledge was possible and that facts were fixed and There are objects to discover and use. Of course, the more correct phrase is "rediscovery", because Plato believed that all knowledge exists in our minds before birth and is forgotten after birth, and we regain this knowledge through our intellect and learning. According to the idea known as Platonic Idealism, Plato separated the realm of truth from the realm of the material world, distinguishing between our understanding of objects and concepts and their reality.
For Plato, reality, as we understand it, is an imperfect reflection of a higher transcendent truth. This transcendent truth belongs to a realm beyond the realm of human space, time, and mind, and includes universal truths and abstract ideas of objects in their purest and most unchanging ideal form. Plato called these ideas Forms or Proverbs and declared that these forms are the building blocks of the material world.
As a simple example, consider that there are many trees in the world, but not all. Trees are different from each other. There is no tree that is exactly the same as another tree, yet they are all considered trees.
According to Plato, the reason for this is that all trees are imperfect shadows of the perfect and ideal form of the tree, the form on which all the trees of the material world are built. Through this form we can discern the "tree" of a tree.
From a pragmatic point of view, Plato argued that through reason and philosophy, individuals and societies can achieve ideals such as justice, happiness, friendship, To know existence and goodness in order to strive for and attain them.
Plato developed this theory in the most popular work attributed to him: The Allegory of the Cave. This allegory is in the seventh volume of "Republic", his most famous work. In this parable, he tells the story of a group of prisoners who have been chained inside a cave since birth and have no knowledge of the outside world. On the wall in front of them, shadows appear in different shapes. The source of these shadows are people who are passing in front of the fire behind these prisoners with various objects in their hands.
Prisoners name and classify these shadows, believing that they are seeing the true form of things. However, when one of the prisoners is suddenly released, he leaves the cave and discovers the real world outside.
he now manages to see the true form of everything that was previously shown to him as a shadow. This prisoner, then Aware of this, he returns to the cave to share his new discoveries with other prisoners. However, when he does, they think he is insane, that his brain has been brainwashed, or that everything in the outside world has corrupted him. They not only resist accepting his profession, but also treat him violently, because his attempt to challenge their current beliefs and encourage them to accept a newer and better truth is threatening to them.
There are different ways to interpret this allegory, but in the context of the theory of forms, Plato likens the objects and shadows they create to the world of forms and the material world we experience. In this material world, too, we are imprisoned in the cave of our five senses and are unable to see the true form of things. , But people resist him and even kill him. Although this allegory is very efficient, creative and interesting, it has a fundamental problem; The reflection of this problem can be seen in Plato's Philosophy and perhaps in the whole of Western philosophy: how can a freed prisoner be sure that he has not entered another cave again after going out into the world? How does he know that objects in their truest and most sincere form outside the cave are not merely ugly shadows of a more sincere source that he does not yet know exists and may never be aware of?
If he somehow succeeds in discovering or reaching a more realistic realm, how can he be sure that there is no more real realm than that? Do not Socrates and Plato play a key role in the founding of Western Philosophy if we realize that the truths we once thought are obvious are not true? They both came up with important and vital ideas and asked important questions about the nature of reality, knowledge, reason, and the right way of life and governing society, but the problem is that most of what they discovered or claimed to be true is obsolete today.
Although they may have been escaped prisoners of their time, they were still prisoners in a cave outside the cave of the people of their time. Perhaps the whole reality is a prison and time is its guardian.
In Plato's Apology, Socrates after His trial tells the people of Athens: "My prediction to you is that after my death, it will not be long before you will be punished, and your punishment will be much more severe than what you imposed on me. You caused my death, and your reason was the false hope of escaping my critical questions
About 2,400 years after Socrates's death, Socrates' prophecy seems to have come true in some respects. We have not yet been able to escape his critical questions. With the birth of each new generation, the founding of a new philosophical school, the opening of the doors of new knowledge, we find ourselves again in the position that Socrates was in: either we are unsure of anything or we must renounce our ignorance.
Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle provided us with some of the basic tools we needed to disassemble the parts of the world, but they themselves could not, and never could, provide us with instructions for reconnecting these disassembled parts.
We still do not know much about the concept of "self", let alone the real self. Concepts such as the meaning of life and the right way of life, the nature of intelligence, the reason for the existence of life or the universe itself, the ultimate purpose of everything are not yet clear to us. We do not know if there is a truth and if it can be confirmed. The list of these fundamental questions to which we have no answer goes on. I know I know nothing.
Socrates knew he knew nothing, but he believed that this contradiction could be overcome in order to achieve a positive goal. At least in many pragmatic issues (for example, scientific issues) this contradiction can be resolved. But in the realm of bigger questions, Philosophy may never get anywhere.
There may be no definitive answer to any question in philosophy, and we may never get that answer, but while experiencing music, art, beautiful scenery, and so on. There is no final answer to talking to a friend. But I personally do not know anyone who deems these experiences worthless.
Perhaps through the same element that condemned humanity to the need for philosophical weaving, we can learn how to enjoy the futility of philosophy. Perhaps the purpose of philosophy, at least the Philosophy that deals with the big questions, is to show that the ambiguity of some things is not a means to an end. Bigger, but the end goal itself. Perhaps what we need to do - and the only thing we can do - is to enjoy playing with the blocks of philosophy, just like children who just enjoy playing with Lego blocks out of curiosity. The reason for dealing with these blocks is not that something is finally going to come out of their hearts that will last forever; We know that sooner or later we will tear these blocks apart, put them aside for a while, and play with them again the next day in a different way.
Whether or not we agree with Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and the Western philosophical tradition as a whole, we should thank them for providing us with the tools we need to think and doubt, a tool that can help our millennia provide philosophical wonders. They were human beings.Download the audio book of Plato's Banquet from Book stories