Socrates: War Hero Turned Father of Philosophical Dialogue

Socrates (469 BCE - 399 BCE)

Socrates (469 BCE - 399 BCE)

 Fun Facts About Socrates 

  • Son of the Sculptor Sophroniscus. Husband of Xanthippe, father of several children.
  • Socrates served in the Peloponnesian War, dabbled in politics, and then became a stonemason.
  • Socrates himself served in the military as a hoplite, or heavy-armed foot-soldier, at the siege of Potidaea, at the battle of Deliurn, and at Amphipolis. We know from Symposium that Socrates was decorated for bravery.
  • His financial inheritance from his father allowed him to devote his life to philosophy.
  • Socrates was particularly interested in what are often called the five cardinal virtues (held to be such by Socrates’ Greek contemporaries), namely, pietywisdomtemperancecourage, and justice.
  • Invented the process of Philosophical Dialogue.
  • Socrates did not create any philosophical works of literature. In fact, his life and method of philosophy are only known to us due to Socrates’ prominent role in Plato’s Dialogues.

  • Known as one of the wisest men of all time.
  • Socrates believed that ” … no one knowingly does wrong.”
  • Socrates believed in the necessity of doing what one thinks is right even in the face of universal opposition, and the need to pursue knowledge even when opposed.
  • “Socrates considered it a duty imposed on him by the Delphian god, to cross-question men of all degrees, as to their knowledge, to make them conscious of their ignorance, and so put them in the way of becoming wise.”
  • Socrates spent most of his life engaged in discussion with the young aristocrats of Athens. He used this discussion to learn about the nature of topics such as morality and justice, and to inspire deeper reflection upon these topics to battle ignorance.
  • His discussions with the citizens of Athens eventually led to his demise. The parents of the young aristocrats did not like the influence Socrates was having on their children. He was charged with lack of piety and corruption of the city’s youth. He was found guilty and sentenced to death by drinking hemlock (a poison).
  • It is said that about 557 people attended the trial of Socrates.

Special thanks to www.extremeintellect.com

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