Socrates was a major Greek philosopher of the classical period, a period also often referred to as the Socratic period in his honor. He was regarded as the father of Western philosophy and unlike most of the pre-Socratic philosophers who came before him, who were far more interested in establishing how the world works, Socrates was more interested in how people should behave , and was considered as the first great philosopher of Ethics . Plato was his most famous student and he would also teach Aristotle who would be Alexander the Great’s tutor. With this progression, theGreek philosophy , first developed by Socrates, spread throughout the world during Alexander’s conquests .

  • When was he born:  470 BC
  • Where he was born: Alopece, Ancient Greece
  • When he died:  399 BC
  • Where he died: Athens, Ancient Greece

Who was Socrates?

Socrates was a great and important philosopher of Greece which was considered the most important representative of the philosophy Western , the classical period and the world in general, who was responsible for founding the moral philosophy .

  • Socrates biography
  • Death
  • Socrates thought
  • Socrates contributions
  • Ethics
  • Arche
  • Socrates works
  • Phrases
  • Importance

Socrates biography

Socrates was born, according to the antecedents found, in the city of Athens around the year 469 BC. There is no extensive knowledge of his life and what has been achieved is incomplete and comes mainly from three contemporary sources, the dialogues of Plato and Xenophon (around 431 – 355 BC), and the works of Aristophanes (c. 456 – 386 BC). According to Plato, Socrates’ father was Sophroniscus , who was a sculptor and stonemason and his mother was Phaenarete , a midwife. His family was of respectable but humble descent. Apparently, the education he had was an ordinary education, such as reading, writing, gymnastics andmusic , and later geometry and astronomy, time before devoting almost entirely to intellectual interests. He married Xanthippe , a woman younger than him and known for her wickedness. With her he had three children, Lamprocles, Sophroniscus, and Menexenus , who were all very young children at the time of their father’s trial and death. He seems to have studied the doctrines of Parmenides , Heraclitus, and Anaxagoras . For a time he continued his father’s stonemasonry profession and served as a member of the Senate of Athens , and in the Athenian army for three campaigns at Potidaea, Amphipolis, and Delium . Using the method now known as theSocratic Method became famous for drawing knowledge from its students by asking a series of questions and examining the implications of their answers. He often questioned people’s unwarranted reliance on the truth of popular opinions, but generally without offering them a clear alternative teaching.


The best known part of Socrates’ life is his trial and execution . He was tried for his pursuit of virtue and his strict adherence to the truth that collided with the course of Athenian politics and society. Socrates raised questions about Athenian religion , but also Athenian democracy , and in particular praised Athenian archrival Sparta , prompting some scholars to interpret his judgment as an expression of political infighting. He was then accused of introducing new gods and corruptingyouth morale. Despite the fact that many of his friends proposed to post bail for his freedom , and planned for him to escape from prison, Socrates preferred to be executed. It was to trial where he was found guilty and died of circuit poisoning in 99 BC, in Athens, when he was 70 years old.

Socrates thought

His thought is a bit difficult to understand because he did not leave any type of written work and because his teachings have been transmitted by other philosophers , mainly by Plato . Socrates’ influence greatly changed Western philosophical thought . He tried to overcome relativism and achieve a single absolute truth for personal ethics and for social organization. He was looking for a way to guide people in the search for good and justice , and he thought that these could be taught to others. He firmly believed that virtuous people needed to learn about true virtue., and he thought that people had knowledge of the truth that was within the soul .

Socrates contributions

Some of their contributions are the following:

  • He viewed management as a personal skill, which was separate from technical knowledge and experience .
  • He created the maieutics : question-answer.
  • He founded a relationship between philosophy and education .
  • He got the students involved in the classroom.
  • He taught that education is something basic just like knowledge .
  • He made critical analyzes of the concepts of life.


His ethics was based on educating man through a continuous exercise in search of good and justice . He dedicated his career to helping people so that they could know themselves and so that they could practice their virtues to attract happiness . For him, knowledge led to virtue and vice was mere ignorance and intellectual error .


Socrates’ arche was against his moral intellectualism because for him virtue is knowledge and knowing the good is reason enough to do so. Virtue is not just knowledge, virtue is something that is learned and practiced .

Socrates works

Socrates did not leave any written work, and what is known of his teachings was thanks to his disciples who were in charge of transporting his ideas from generation to generation.


Some of his most famous phrases are mentioned below.

  • An honest man is always a child.
  • Knowledge begins in wonder.
  • The friend must be like money; Before you need it, you need to know its value.
  • Bad souls can only be conquered by gifts.
  • There is only one good: knowledge. There is only one evil, ignorance.
  • He fears the love of a woman more than the hatred of a man.
  • The greatest of all mysteries is the man.
  • Death could be the greatest of blessings


Socrates’ teachings have had a great impact on today’s society , mainly in the field of education , as he wanted students to learn and achieve an educational goal . He was the first person to decide to use active methods to achieve learning, and he distinguished the concrete from the abstract . He also explained that the arts and sciences are means to achieve knowledge , but that the most important thing is the dialecticas it mixes all things so that they can be seen as a whole.

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