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invic's avatar

What specific teachings did Socrates teach?

Asked by invic (110points) June 30th, 2009

I have been looking and im stumped. What i am looking for is a sort of postulate of Socrates, kind of like Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” but it being from Socrates ofcourse. And if not that, can anyone give me the name of another philosopher who has a intriguing and “specific” teaching/postulate? Thanks in advance

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6 Answers

augustlan's avatar

In a nutshell:

Major ideas in the Socratic philosophy were:

1. THE PROPER STUDY OF PHILOSOPHY IS MAN. Socrates was not concerned with metaphysical questions as such. He believed that philosophy should achieve practical results in the form of greater well-being for man the individual and for mankind as a society. Hence, the proper study of philosophy is man. In pursuit of this study, Socrates’ interests were centered in ethics and politics.

2. NATURAL ETHIC. Socrates attempted to establish an ethical system based upon human reason rather than upon theological directives.

3. KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM. Socrates asserted that the highest good for any human being is happiness. Whatever action a man chooses is motivated by his desire for happiness. Knowledge, virtue, and wisdom are all the same, since man chooses an action according to what he thinks will bring him the greatest happiness. Therefore the more a man knows, the greater his ability to reason out the correct choice and to choose those actions which truly bring happiness to him.

4. SELF-KNOWLEDGE. The highest knowledge is possessed by that individual who truly knows himself. This knowledge constitutes ultimate wisdom. It enables man to act in a virtuous manner at all times, because he knows what will bring him true happiness.

5. POLITICS. Socrates did not approve of tyranny or of democracy. He believed that the best form of government was one ruled by an individual possessing the greatest ability, knowledge, and virtue. ”

YARNLADY's avatar

Socrates method of teaching was one of the principles that he is most know for. Instead of lecturing them or telling them the answers, he asked leading questions so the students would come up with the answers on their own.

AstroChuck's avatar

Well, for one, he taught Mrs. Socrates where it’s at.

LostInParadise's avatar

I would add to what @augustlan said, that Socrates believed that all knowledge can be derived by reason. Here Socrates and Plato differed from Aristotle, who believed that knowledge comes from our senses.

fireside's avatar

You can also read Xenophon’s Socratic works.

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