What Was Socrates’ Main Idea About Philosophy?

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Socrates believed that true knowledge had to be sought and not taught. To him, life was about internal examination and focus. He eschewed the idea of focusing on the material.

Socrates himself is a bit of mystery. He never refers to himself as a philosopher. In fact, most of what is known about him has been acquired from the works of those who wrote about his teachings. For this reason, scholars argue that it is very difficult to differentiate between what Socrates actually believed and what those who wrote about his beliefs invented to argue their own philosophies. Most of what Socrates examines through his ideas relates to the field of ethics. He was very focused on the individual. This was drastically different from previous philosophers, who were more focused on the world and its meaning. He is almost as well-known for his methodology as his ideas. The Socratic method is a way of posing an argument that is still used today. Although he authored no philosophical texts, Socrates was the teacher of Plato, who in turn was the teacher of Aristotle, causing his ideas to be very influential. He was eventually tried by the Athenians for anti-Athenian ideals and infamously sentenced to death by hemlock.