Q:

Of which two crimes was Socrates accused?

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Quick Answer

Socrates was accused of impiety and corrupting the youth of Athens. These charges were due to his philosophical questions and teachings. He was found guilty and was sentenced to death by drinking hemlock.

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Socrates was a classical Greek philosopher. He is considered one of the founders of Western philosophy and the field of ethics. Although Socrates did not write texts, records of his teachings exist in the writings of his peers and students, such as Plato and Aristotle. Socrates was born in Athens in 470 B.C. His trial and execution took place in 399 B.C.; Socrates was 71 years old.

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  • Q:

    What did Socrates believe in?

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    Scholars do not know the exact nature of Socrates' beliefs because he did not leave behind any writings. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, nearly all available knowledge about Socrates comes from the writings of Plato, Xenophon and Aristophanes, all of whose reliability is questionable.

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  • Q:

    Why was Socrates charged with impiety?

    A:

    Socrates' enemies charged him with impiety because they saw him as a political liability; his philosophy contradicted the foundations of Athenian democracy, and two of his disciples were the primary instigators of revolts against the democracy in 411 and 404 B.C. Many of the notable men of the city detested Socrates because his manner of dialectical conversation caused them public embarrassment. Socrates also held religious views unorthodox for the time.

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  • Q:

    How was Socrates different from the Sophists?

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    Socrates differed from the Sophists because he believed in looking for the absolute truth in an objective fashion, while the Sophists believed that people should make decisions based on what they felt was "true" inside of themselves. Socrates felt that society needed wisdom, and that wisdom was more than the subjective "truth" that the sophists praised.

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  • Q:

    What were some of Socrates' theories?

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    The most significant theories of Socrates include the theory of value, theory of knowledge, theory of human nature, theory of learning, theory of transmission, theory of society, theory of opportunity and theory of consensus. Socrates was an ancient Greek philosopher who lived in the fifth century BC, often regarded as one of the greatest philosophers in history.

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