Essay on The Nature of Socratic Philosophy

516 Words 3 Pages
The Nature of Socratic Philosophy

The original word for philosophy steams from the Greek word philosopha,meaning 'love of wisdom'. Although Socrates himself never claimed to have any answers to the questions he raised, his views and methods of philosophy are the cornerstone of what philosophy is today. The nature of philosophy, as viewed by Socrates, is centred around the wellness of the soul, virtue being defined as knowledge and the pursuit of truth through the questioning of beliefs. Socrates heavily subscribed to a dualistic view of the body and the soul.He saw the body, or "the flesh" as something engaging in vacant pleasures and of no value to the betterment of an individual. Instead, Socrates focused himself on the soul,
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Concerned with the wellness of the soul and the divine, Socrates defines virtue as the knowledge of good. He believed that if one knows what is good, he will always do what is good. This lead Socrates to the conclusion that those who do wrong haven't the knowledge of what is good. This is what most likely lead to Socrates placing a primary focus on discussing ethics. Socrates: So with other matters, not to enumerate them all, and certainly with actions just and unjust, shameful and beautiful, good and bad, about what we are now deliberating, should we follow the opinion of many and fear it [wisdom] or that of the one who has knowledge of these things and before whom we feel fear and shame more than before all the others. If we do not follow his directions, we shall harm and corrupt that part of ourselves that is improved by just actions and destroyed by unjust actions. Socrates attempted through philosophy to guide both himself and others to a position where their morals and ethics were flawless, leaving them in a position to do no wrong. Socrates believed that if people had false conceptions about virtues, love, justice, piety and other ethical ideas, they could not be trusted to do the right thing. This gave Socrates the justification he felt needed to tear down the positions held by others concerning moral issues. Socrates: We must therefore examine whether we should act in this was