Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Author: Professor Thomas C. Brickhouse
Narrator: Lynn Redgrave
Length: 3 hours (Unabridged)
Format: Encoded Windows Media
© 2006 Blackstone Audio Inc
Though Socrates left no written works, there were many ancient accounts of his life
and his philosophy.
The most important of the surviving accounts are from three
contemporaries (the comic poet Aristophanes, the historian Xenophon, and the philosopher Plato) along with two later
Greek biographers: Plutarch (1st cent. AD) and Diogenes Laertius (3rd cent. AD).
The "Socratic Problem" is to determine from those varying accounts
what Socrates actually said and believed. We know that Socrates was an eccentric and often irritating gadfly,
who went about Athens engaging others in philosophical conversation. He rolled his eyes and cocked his head
backwards as he walked, usually barefoot and in tattered clothes; his persistent questioning exposed the
contradictions in people's claims of knowledge. Socrates himself never claimed definitive knowledge, but he
made many enemies among those he refuted and embarrassed. His careful, logical questioning has become known as
the "Socratic method of teaching," and it later became a major alternative to the traditional lecture
Socrates believed that even when we strive to lead the "examined
life," we cannot definitively establish truth or absolute knowledge; we can only refute wrong thinking. He was
interested in religion as it applies to moral virtue, affirming that the condition of one's soul is related to
the "most important things" (such as justice, truth, and piety). Socrates said we must simply live a life of
reason in an effort to determine which views are better than others.
In 399 BC, Socrates was brought to trial on a charge of impiety. He
was sentenced to death, which he accepted in obedience to the rule of law. Socrates spent his last day in
philosophical conversation with friends before carrying out his sentence by drinking extract of
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beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the
source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion
is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt
in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."
"Seek and 'ye shall find,
knock and the door will be opened, ask and it shall be given
"The true understanding of
both the Creator and the creation is considered to be the
transcendental or metaphysical knowledge."
"For every action there is
an equal and opposite reaction."