Q:

What are some of the things that made Socrates a famous figure?

A:

In addition to being considered one of the founders of Western philosophy, Socrates is remembered for his iconic trial and execution for irreverence by the Athenian democracy, his development of what came to be known as the Socratic Method and for the almost religious admiration accorded him. Socrates also led a lifestyle that was somewhat contrary to what represented the norm for citizens of Athens during the 5th century B.C. and he gained a reputation as an often irritating social and moral critic of Athenian collective notions. Rigorous self-examination was strongly advocated by Socrates, and one of his most well-known quotes is "the unexamined life is not worth living," which he famously stated at his trial.

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The Socratic Method, or dialectic method of inquiry, is considered to be Socrates' greatest contribution. Based on a series of specially constructed questions designed to determine an individual's or group's extent of knowledge or fundamental beliefs, the Socratic Method represents the inverse, or negative version, of the method of inquiry known as hypothetical elimination.

Socrates' fame can also be measured outside the world of philosophy by the many places and things that bear his name. For example, there is a crater on the moon named "Socrates," eSocrates is the name of a Web-based business enterprise and the name given to a European Union educational program is Socrates. He also appears in famous paintings, such as Raphael's "School of Athens," and is the subject of Jacques Louis David's "The Death of Socrates."

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the differences between Socrates, Aristotle and Plato?

    A:

    Socrates focused on asking probing, sometimes humiliating questions in order to learn, Plato believed in immortality of the soul and Aristotle was a champion of reason and believed in avoiding extremes. While the three philosophers had differences, they were more alike as Aristotle was the student of Plato and Plato was the student of Socrates.

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  • Q:

    Why is Sophocles famous?

    A:

    Greek dramatist Sophocles excelled in the fields of literature and theater; he produced several great works, including the acclaimed drama "Oedipus the King." Historians consider Sophocles a distinguished playwright, and one of the three greatest producers to hail from Greece, along with Euripides and Aeschylus. Sophocles produced more than 120 dramas during his lifetime, and enjoyed a long and distinguished career.

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  • Q:

    Of which two crimes was Socrates accused?

    A:

    Socrates was accused of impiety and corrupting the youth of Athens. These charges were due to his philosophical questions and teachings. He was found guilty and was sentenced to death by drinking hemlock.

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  • Q:

    What charges were leveled against Socrates?

    A:

    The famous Athenian philosopher Socrates was charged with two specific crimes: impiety and corruption of the youth. These charges stemmed from controversial decisions Socrates made as member of the Boule, decisions that ultimately upset influential figures and likely outraged public sentiment as well.

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