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Socrates (470 – 399 BCE) Socrates Socrates the man (the “historical Socrates”) Socrates’ philosophical project Socrates’ main ideas.

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Presentation on theme: "Socrates (470 – 399 BCE) Socrates Socrates the man (the “historical Socrates”) Socrates’ philosophical project Socrates’ main ideas."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Socrates (470 – 399 BCE)

3 Socrates Socrates the man (the “historical Socrates”) Socrates’ philosophical project Socrates’ main ideas

4 The Historical Socrates I A working class man, served in the army, a bricklayer by trade The Oracle at Delphi labeled him “The wisest man in Athens” Socrates did not believe he was wise, so he set out to prove the oracle wrong “There must be someone wiser than I, since I am not wise at all”

5 The Historical Socrates II Most of the men he questioned were Sophists, wealthy men whose profession was to teach aristocratic young men how to be successful According to the Sophists, success was the ability to gain and hold onto Wealth Fame Power

6 The Historical Socrates III Socrates believed that the Sophists were wrong Wealth, fame, and power are not important What matters most in life is our moral goodness In order to be morally good, we need to think and re-evaluate our moral values

7 The Historical Socrates IV Eventually Socrates got in trouble with the wealthy, famous, powerful forces in Athens He was accused of two crimes – lacking respect for the city’s gods and of poisoning the young men’s minds Questioning values was the crime; the penalty was death

8 The Death of Socrates David, 1786

9 Socrates’ Approach to Philosophy Socrates did not write anything. Everything we know about him was written by others He pursued values in conversation with others – Goodness, Justice, Truth, Self-Knowledge He criticized the self-satisfied Sophists because they claimed to possess the final answers to all questions – wealth, fame, power

10 Socrates - His Main Ideas I Our interior life – our “psyche” or “soul” – is the most important part of life Our psyche is “healthy” when it seeks goodness, truth, justice, and self- knowledge A soul in search of wealth, fame, and power becomes weak, sickly, ignorant

11 Socrates – His Main Ideas II Being ignorant is to mistake the appearance of good for the reality of it All evil is caused by ignorance People who cheat, lie, steal, harm others are always motivated to do so by their own ignorance concerning what is good They don’t know what is important in life, so they seek wealth, fame, power, and in doing so they find they must cheat, lie, steal, and harm others

12 Socrates – His Main Ideas III “THE UNEXAMINED LIFE IS NOT WORTH LIVING” If we spend our lives examining and criticizing ourselves, our psyches become strong In seeking goodness, justice, truth and self- knowledge, we will not become self-satisfied, bigoted, and ignorant We may not find what we seek, but the life we live will be one that strengthens our inner selves


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