The Approach of Socates

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Mitchell says, H. B. In the same way that Socrates himself did not leave a writing as reference, his follower, Plato did. (2014), the philosopher Socrates was born back to Athens in 469 B.C.E. Socrates influenced Plato so much that he was caught in the Plato papers and publications almost all his life.
Socrates had a very different approach to philosophy. Unlike all the other philosophers. The Socratic questioning approach was called this approach. Socrates wanted to live a simple life filled with life and everything that made it up. Well, some may argue that Socrates was aware of his absence of knowledge and that he was not ignorant by asking questions. He, therefore, arrived at answers through questions and wanted his listeners to be thinkers.

Socrates viewed philosophy from an ethical point of view and did not just want to explain the world based on its inherent principles (Benson, H. H. 2000).This approach to philosophy is vividly expressed in Plato’s apology in which Plato explains that Socrates differed with the pre-Socratic philosophers about how they view the world. The term pre-Socratic philosophers does not just apply to the philosophers who came before Socrates but also those who were his contemporaries but did not inspire with his view of philosophy.

Borrowing form Mitchell, H. B. (2014), Socratic view to the nature of virtue as regards philosophy is also very interesting. While comparing himself to the Sophists, the group of philosophers who traveled from city to city teaching philosophy for a fee, Socrates argued that he did not have knowledge of human excellence or virtue and went ahead to inquire after the nature of virtue but claimed he did not know it. For this reason, Socrates said he did not need any fee for his conversations.

Socrates ignorance and view of philosophy was realized when he decided to find a wise person so he could be told whether or not he was wise. When he went to the Politicians, he discovered that they did not have wisdom when he moved to the Poets; he realized that the nice words were out of inspirations and not wisdom and finally, he made a revelation that craftsmen had knowledge of craft but limited knowledge than they thought they had. Socrates made a conclusion that he was better that his countrymen because unlike them, he was aware of his ignorance. Socrates moved ahead to mention that a god who spoke through the Oracle is truly wise but human wisdom was and is worth little or nothing.

The Socratic method of questioning came up because in as much as Socrates thought his views were worthless; he had a strong conviction about making an ethical life but could not precisely tell why such was true. Philosophically, Socrates was, therefore, able to hold particular convictions about justice while at the same time, maintaining that he knew not the complete nature of justice (Benson, H. H. 2000).

Socratic made several other arguments after his awareness ignorance including The priority of life, the unexamined life, all virtue is knowledge, no one errs knowingly or willingly, all desire is for good and eudemonism.

For example, the belief of morality in the society can be examined using the Socratic Method. If a statement is made that, “knowledge of what is moral is needed to live well.” This statement can be interrogated in the Socratic Method by asking, “to the extent that we must only be healthy to live well, is it knowledge of morality or a knowledge of medical science, diet and exercise that helps us to live well?”


Mitchell, H. B. (2014). Roots of Wisdom: A Tapestry of Philosophical Traditions. Nelson Education.

Benson, H. H. (2000). Socratic Wisdom: the model of knowledge in Plato’s early dialogues. Oxford University Press on Demand.

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