Socrates : The Soul Man

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Socrates: Soul Man

Intro (245 words)

"How you have felt, O men of Athens, at hearing the speeches of my accusers,
I cannot tell; but I know that their persuasive words almost made me forget who I was
- such was the effect of them; and yet they have hardly spoken a word of truth.”

- Apology, 17A

So, as told by Plato, Socrates began his defence before an Athenian jury on charges of impiety and corrupting the youth of the city. However, the real aim of these accusations seems to have been to challenge the way in which Socrates had conducted his life—a life dedicated to the continuous debate of various ethical issues and the attainment of wisdom and truth. Indeed, Socrates’ importance to the development of philosophy, considered by many to be the greatest achievement of the Greeks, cannot be understated.

Socrates did not invent philosophy. There were several intellectuals and schools of thought before him that began the work of questioning the nature of life, fate, free will, the gods and human duty. However, it was Socrates who shifted the focus of philosophical inquiry from the natural world to the examination of man himself, which proved to be an remarkable advance, forever changing the purpose of philosophy. Therefore, it is noteworthy to identify the Presocratic Greek philosophers who have helped shape Socrates’ own philosophical inquiry. Equally important is to understand which intellectual traditions he was reacting against by virtue of his philosophical

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