Socrates is acknowledged as the father of Western philosophy, a great teacher who taught Plato, who in his turn taught Aristotle, Alexander the Great's teacher. Beyond philosophy, Socrates was a brave and skilled soldier who once saved the life of Athenian general Alcibiades.Continue Reading
Socrates' primary interest was in using philosophy as a tool to make society better. In service to that goal, he taught a system of rational ethics to the young men (and future leaders) of Athens, using the Socratic Method, a system of questioning to reach an answer, to ensure they learned to think for themselves. This technique did help people come to rational conclusions, but because it also revealed how foolish didactic beliefs were, it made many enemies as well.
Socrates' insistence upon people facing the truth ultimately led to his downfall. During his lifetime, Athens was in social turmoil. The city-state had lost to Sparta in the Peloponnesian War and was having a collective crisis, turning to past glory and beauties instead of facing the tough future. When Socrates challenged this and taught his young students to challenge it, he was charged with corrupting Athenian youth. After a trial, he was sentenced to death. Though his followers were willing and able to smuggle him out of the city into exile, Socrates willingly drank the hemlock that killed him.Learn more about Ancient Greece
Some cities named after Alexander the Great are Alexandria in Egypt, Kandahar in Afghanistan and Iskandariya in Iraq. After conquering an area, Alexander would build a fortress, garrison it with troops and often name it after himself, so such cities exist or existed across the Middle East and Central Asia.Full Answer >
Plato is famous for being one of the most influential figures in Western philosophy, and his student Aristotle went on to have a similarly large impact on the world. According to Alfred North Whitehead, a mathematician and philosopher, "The safest general characterisation of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato."Full Answer >
Socrates focused on asking probing, sometimes humiliating questions in order to learn, Plato believed in immortality of the soul and Aristotle was a champion of reason and believed in avoiding extremes. While the three philosophers had differences, they were more alike as Aristotle was the student of Plato and Plato was the student of Socrates.Full Answer >
Plato, born around 428 B.C. in Athens, Greece, was an ancient Greek philosopher, a student of Socrates and a teacher of Aristotle who founded one of the first institutes of higher learning. He wrote on a variety of subjects, including justice, equality, politics, theology and cosmology.Full Answer >