Socrates the most Influential Philosopher of all Time

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His ideas not only changed the course of history but laid the groundwork for what is today considered Western philosophy. First, it is essential to know “who was Socrates?”. Socrates was born in 469 B.C. and spent nearly all his life in Athens, Greece. The city was then at the center of Greece’s “Golden age” a time of rapid development and democratization. He was a soldier and a stonecutter, before devoting his life to be a “philosopher” which translates as “lover of wisdom.” However, little is known about Socrates’s early life and his journey in philosophy as he did not document his life in any form. Everything we know about him is through the writing of his contemporaries and most of which through the literature penned by his student Plato. Plato published a series of dialogues in which Socrates deliberates with politicians and townspeople in Athens.

Moreover, in one Plato’s most famous works, the symposium, Socrates and his interlocutors discuss the nature of love. Socrates claimed that everything he knows about love was taught to him by a wise woman named Diatima. According to Diatima, “love is neither physical nor divine, and it cannot be described as good or beautiful. Instead, love is the desire for something- it is the spirit of seeking something like people, objects, children or beauty.” Socrates concludes that his relentless pursuit of idea makes him a lover of knowledge. Socrates had plenty of ideas, but he was always known to a humble person who was never boastful of his wisdom.

It is debatable as to whether Socrates and his philosophies are relevant in the 21st Century. The central theme of this paper will be to explore the relevance of Socrates, his philosophy and his methods in the world today and in the future.

Socrates once said, “True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing.” He went around the city pressing people on their belief, ultimately exposing that they knew nothing — the process of asking, and, questioning known as a Socratic method which was his most significant contribution of the academic world. Moreover, Professionals and academicians still use this method in the 21st century in the legal and English literature classes for critical thinking. method in the 21st century is known as Debate. A ‘debate’ is where two or more parties argue on a topic of common knowledge. This method is significant for developing skills that enable them to engage in a discussion and learn different viewpoints. This method has both academic and professional relevance. For instance - Being a computer science student; In our classes, we get a lot of assignments and group projects, which require a certain amount of discussion wherein we discuss possible on several aspects of the assignment. In this way, we save much time and generate more ideas. Furthermore, group brainstorming helps us to improve ourselves and help identify one's weakness which boosts our creativity and innovative thinking.

Moreover, “He Taught Us to Question Everything” this idea is very helpful in primary and secondary schools. Because nowadays class size of students is very big. The results, that teachers are not able to give full attention on every student because of this result of students are not that good. By using questioning method teacher can communicate with every student. In this way, they can understand the class and material better way. This kind of teaching creates very exciting atmosphere in classroom. And students also give attention. Ask questions will lead the students to express their creativity and imagination about the subjects, For example- In my secondary school, some teachers usually concentrate on theoretical part in class. Because students do not get any kind of interest. Because of which I passed my some of classes with just passing grades. Moreover,

Socrates profoundly once said that “Life Is Worthless Without Happiness.” – As we deliberate on that thought, we understand that without happiness, people are not living their lives the way they want to. Happiness is the way to fight with fears and to discover one's identity. Working on something does not make him or her happy if they do not have any interest because there will be no joy doing what they are doing, and no sense of purpose. For example - in the 21st century, Parents pressure their children to take on higher studies, which generally would secure their future professionally and financially such as Engineering, Management, and others. A general view is that this is a sound decision. However, Parents rarely consent the child as to what they want to pursue in their life.

These insecurities and lack of concern on parents’ part direct their children to the different path which they have not chosen for themselves. The consequences of such decisions are devastating at the time as some of them fail or dropout from universities and colleges. The underlying theme here is that Parents need to understand that getting degrees in computers or management do not guarantee their child’s success. There are many famous examples of people who have been hugely successful in their lives professionally and personally as they followed their passion and did something they love to do; such as Bill Gates- when he was young, he loved to do computer programming which makes him one of the most famous programmers and one of the most productive person in the world. (MalcolmJ). The fact is that happiness is a vital part of every human life because without happiness people will lose a sense of purpose to realize who they are as an individual or accomplish anything significant.

Another significant philosophical thought of Socrates was “Stand Up for What You Believe.” Socrates lived by his philosophies – however, his beliefs were scorned, ridiculed, laughed at or feared by many. The state swatted its gadfly, by trying him as a “corrupter of youth” and forced him to commit suicide.

Believing in something is effortless. However, standing for that belief requires a lot of fortitude and courage. One of the most prominent civil right leader Martin Luther King Jr, said, “A man who will not die for something is not fit to live.” Nowadays, We observe people with the attitude of entitlement without the right purpose of philosophy to follow in life. Now more than ever, it is time when one needs to stand up for one’s firm beliefs. For example - The youngest winner (Malala Yousafzai) ever of the Nobel Peace Prize considers herself lucky to be “the voice of the 60 million girls who are deprived of education.” She fought for those women who do not have the right to education. She believes that “it is imperative that children and kids think that their voices are powerful. It does not matter what ones’ age is. We should believe in ourselves. If we want the future to be better, we need to start working on it right now. Children are in the millions in this world. If millions of children come together, they could build up this strong army, and then our leaders would have to listen to us.”

Jack Ma, the charismatic founder of Alibaba in China, is an example who lives by this philosophy of standing by one's beliefs, he failed the primary school twice and middle school three times. He applied in universities for three years and failed to get admitted to Harvard University about ten times. He applied to several other public sectors and private sector jobs such as police officer and KFC and got rejected. He quotes once “Never give up. Today is Hard, Tomorrow will be worse, But the Day after tomorrow will be sunshine”. It implies one must use failures as stepping stones to success in life. However, do we believe in ourselves and have the guts to stand up for what we believe because that is the time when we make a difference. Jack Ma never cared that how many times he failed but continually believed in himself and took another step when he failed instead of losing heart and stop making any further efforts. The outcome of his persistence is that he is one of the most prominent entrepreneurs to build a remarkable business in China in the 21st century.

Socrates in the latter half of his life warned against the follies of materialism. His ideology was that humans must pursue “well-being” rather than wealth, as amassing wealth will only lead humanity to the vicious cycle of being in the state of hunger for wealth, where no amount of wealth amassed by any mortal will satisfy the hunger for having more of wealth. This is the philosophical thought that is completely lost in today’s world wherein consumerism dominates the minds of a highly capitalistic society where the sense of morality has no existence and where materialistic possessions have become the very purpose of human existence. In one illustrative quote, Socrates Said “ It seems strange enough to me that a herdsman who has his cattle decrease and goes to the bad should not admit that he is a poor cowherd; but stranger still is that a statesman when he causes the citizens to decrease and go to the bad, should feel no shame nor think himself a poor statesman.” This quote is relevant in today's times when a capitalist leads a world superpower nation with sick sense of responsibility to the nation and its people while he continues to change the systems and policies which are only beneficial to him and his allies, it is ultimately the people of the nation that label him as a lousy statesman while he applauds himself for his self-serving actions.

In conclusions, Socrates and his philosophy are relevant to the century, and it will be in many decades to come. He has given us so many ideas to tackle one problem in different ways. These methods have changed the way of seeing one point from several perspectives. For a society that is seeking morality and a sound philosophy to live by, then the methods and philosophies of Socrates can be the moral compass that nations across the world can make the fundamental aspect of every human interaction.

Another, significant philosophical thought was “self-development than on material things”. He encouraged the people to make the good relationship with their friends and loves one’s instead of martial thing. This quote does not fit in 21st century. Because nowadays people just care about their life style and fame. Nowadays don’t want to spend their time with love ones. They want to spend their time with gadgets.

This is the reason that nowadays people have a lot of diseases such as depression. Moreover

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Socrates the Most Influential Philosopher of All Time. (2021, Dec 29). Retrieved July 13, 2024 , from

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