The philosophical system of Socrates is often divided into four parts: Morality, Asceticism, Dialectic, and Elenchus. Regardless of your interest, you should know what these parts are and how they apply to your life. The Morality of Socrates is a major theme throughout the philosophy, highlighting the importance of moral and ethical standards. It is essential to make happiness a central goal in your life.
Morality of Socrates
The morality of Socrates is a classic example of a classical ethical theory. Socrates did not distinguish between moral knowledge and speculative knowledge, but rather identified the former as moral knowledge. He attributed moral excellence to knowledge of morality. Hence, the morality of Socrates is a logically-sound ethical theory. Socrates’s moral principles are not necessarily universal, but they are rooted in the nature of knowledge.
Socrates’s moral doctrine is essentially a philosophical system of ideas, although it is not yet attained to the level of science. It is a rough sketch with strong features, but it was a significant milestone in the history of Hellenic thought. However, this view is flawed, and it does not preclude further philosophical work on the morality of Socrates. Here are some of the basic ideas of his moral theory.
In the Gorgias, Socrates takes his position to extremes, saying that it is better to do good than to suffer, and that a good man who has his eyes gouged out is better than a corrupt person who has his eyeballs removed. Plato later developed this idea in the Republic. The morally upright person lives a life of inner harmony, whereas the wicked person is at odds with himself.
Asceticism of Socrates
The Asceticism of Socrates is often cited as an example of the virtues that distinguish a great philosopher from the rest of us. In his dialogues, Socrates frequently declared that his entire life had been a preparation for his defense speech. This preparation included abstaining from all unjust acts and activities and examining what was just. According to the historian Xenophon, Socrates repeatedly declared that “just” meant above all legal and proper obedience to the law.
Socrates teaches us that the yeoman farmer is the vector of freedom from the civic and sensually hedonistic life of the city. Likewise, Aristophanes celebrates the yeoman farmer life. By contrast, Thucydides shows how the Athenian people are abandoning the rural life because of the war of Pericles. The Asceticism of Socrates is a form of political philosophy that implies a republican ruling and a drive toward imperialism.
Despite this asceticism, Socrates continued to speak mythically and with amusing tendencies. He was especially amusing when discussing Spartan pederasty. But his speech was not purely pragmatic; it was a way to demonstrate the philosopher’s broader principles. Socrates’ asceticism had many other uses. Rather than being concerned with his own personal needs, he sought to improve the quality of his life by serving others.
Hegel’s dialectics can be interpreted in two ways. First, the dialectical definition of Being, which consists of being and nothingness, suggests that Being is undefined. This means that it is subject to a contradiction between itself and the concept it opposes. Secondly, there is a dialectical moment, which is a “speculative moment” of what Being is. Finally, there is an ambivalent moment, which involves comparing two different concepts.
Socrates believed in the principle of dialectic. He called it the highest form of thought, because it involves examining basic concepts and assumptions. Plato’s philosophy, however, allowed the use of concepts without examination, as it was more satisfying to improve them rather than to simply discard them. But, that doesn’t mean that we should abandon our concepts entirely. While Plato’s method was not perfect, it is highly influential.
The method of dialectics is a process of conflicting viewpoints, with one side being more correct. Plato conceived of dialectic as a process of division, and Socrates employed it to find the truth. Plato looked down on the Sophists’ method of argument, which he regarded as being “entertaining and superficial.” Eristic arguments involved misleading statements and illogical explanations.
The concept of elenchus is similar to medical purging. The process does not impart knowledge, but it is an essential pre-requisite for knowledge. It purifies the mind by removing a conceit, or false assumption, that we know all things already. It is similar to a medical purge in that knowledge cannot be applied to a problem until a problem is understood. The philosophy of Socrates emphasizes the importance of elenchus in our society.
The elenchus in the philosophy of Socrates begins with a statement made by an interlocutor, who has asserted that he knows all things. Socrates follows up the statement with an inconclusive question. This juxtaposition shows the inconsistencies of the interlocutor’s beliefs. In the philosophy of Socrates, ‘elenchus’ is an important tool for fostering a critical thinking mindset, and Socrates’s ‘elenchus’ exercises are crucial for this.
Although elenchus is used in the philosophy of Socrates to challenge the ideas of other people, it does not directly give positive knowledge. Rather, it provides an idea of real knowledge, which can be expressed by propositions. It is also a tool for exposing the falsehood of one’s own opinions. Therefore, the elenchus is a powerful tool for stimulating genuine intellectual curiosity in men. It is also used in the philosophy of Socrates to challenge the philosopher’s own opinions.
Asceticism of Xanthippe
Xanthippe, the father of Sophronicus, was an erudite Athenian philosopher who, by marrying a renowned Athenian woman, established an ideal of asceticism. He also fathered two sons, Menexenus and Lamprocles. The phrase “Socratic paradox” describes his beliefs as being paradoxical, which means they contradict common sense. The term is still used in classroom and law school discourse today.
Aristoxenus of Tarentum, a fellow Greek philosopher, reputedly knew Socrates. According to Xenophon, Socrates was Epistates for the Arginusae debate. In reality, it is much more likely that he served as a sculptor for his own tribe. However, Delebecque and Hatzfeld believe that this account is embellished by Xenophon.
Socrates’s quest for knowledge led him to venture into philosophy after the oracle at Delphi told him there was no such person as a wiser than he was. Socrates was so convinced of this that he questioned Athenians from all social strata, and claimed that most of them knew what they were claiming to know. The Oracle’s response was correct, but it did not stop Socrates from pursuing the knowledge that would make him a philosopher.
Socrates’ beliefs were attributed to several philosophers including Xenophon, Plato, and Xanthippe. Xenophon’s version is somewhat different than Plato’s. Xenophon’s Xenophon version emphasizes the attributes of a good statesman. In his dialogue “Aristotle on Socrates,” he says that Socrates’ greatest value was knowledge, which he equated with a superior stateman.
Asceticism of Euthyphro
Socrates’ Asceticism of Euthyphro in the philosophy of Socrates is an example of a conception of the Forms as a universal principle. The philosopher asks Euthyphro to identify a universal characteristic of all holy behaviors, and he demonstrates his desire to challenge the foundations of others’ beliefs. The highest principle and the higher hypotheses are both subject to the same objections.
Protagoras is a classic case in which Socrates categorizes pleasure according to its nature, as “unlimited,” “admitting of more” and “admitting of less.” Reason, meanwhile, belongs to the fourth class. While pleasure may be remedial, it implies an underlying disturbance of equilibrium. Thus, Socrates’ Asceticism of Euthyphro is a critical assessment of pleasure.
In the philosophy of Socrates, Moderation is a concept that Socrates is having trouble explaining. The philosopher compares moderation to “dyed-in-the-wool adherence to laws.”
Asceticism of Euthyphro is a critical component of Socrates’ ethics. It is a crucial component of his philosophy, because it demonstrates the ‘art of measuring’ in action. Socrates’ dialogues with Protagoras demonstrate that Socrates’ self-confidence is misplaced. His conversation partners profess knowledge that is implicit. Upon challenge, they confess ignorance.