What Did Socrates Contribute to Philosophy?

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Socrates contributed to philosophy by creating what is known as the fundamentals of Western philosophy. He invented the teaching practice of pedagogy, the Socratic method and contributed to the fields of ethics, epistemology and logic.

The Socratic method is described in Plato’s “Socratic Dialogues.” It is a method that works to clarify a person’s own beliefs, as well as evaluate their worth, while clarifying the concepts of good and justice. He believed that a person could find the answer to any problem by first breaking it down into a series of questions and then finding the answer in the responses to those questions.

Socrates was very concerned with achieving practical results for society and he focused on an ethical system of dogma rather than a theological doctrine. He believed human choice was always motivated by an inner desire for happiness. He also believed that ultimate wisdom would come to a person who knew themselves because the greater the person’s ability to reason, then the better the person’s ability to make choices that would bring about great happiness.

The details of Socrates’ methods and life come to historians in the form of his associates and his students. There is no proof that Socrates left behind any written works, making it difficult to ascertain his whole ideology. The details that historians do have come from Plato, Aristophanes and Xenophon.