Historical Who is Who

SOCRATES

469 - 399 BCE
Greece
PHILOSOPHY

 

Hugely influential figure in Western intellectual history, but not from his own writings (none are reported) but principally from his pupil Plato’s representation of him in Apology, Crito and Phaedo. All personal beliefs – moral, political or religious – both his own and those of others with whom he engaged in characteristic dialogue deserved to be scrutinised and challenged for refinement, deepening or rejection. How he treated alcohol use, courage, happiness, justice and virtue are examples of this process. His reputation as socially subversive led to his death sentence and uncomplaining suicide.

 

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