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Philosopher Socrates and the Power of Doubt Essay


Socrates did not present his arguments in writing. His arguments were presented by his learners. These learners included Plato, Xenophon, Aristotle, and Aristophanes. Socrates did not value themselves as the perfect human beings. Plato provides relevant details concerning the philosophy and life of Socrates. Socrates thinking can be attributed to Cartesian doubt, a philosophy linked with the works of Descartes. Cartesian doubt is a form of reasoning that eliminates all uncertain things with the aim of deriving meaning.

The life of Socrates is explained in the conversation between Plato and Xenophon and also in theater performances of Aristophanes. From Plato’s perspective, Socrates was the child of Sophroniscus and Phaenarete. Socrates was not considered to be handsome because of his height and ugly face. However, he married Xanthippe who was younger than him and later on they were blessed with three sons namely Lamprocles, Menexenus and Sophroniscus.

Some sources such as Timon of Philius explain that Socrates was a mason whereas others argue he used to collect his revenue from his learners. Plato also argues that Socrates was a soldier in Athens.

Additionally, Socrates is perceived to be the artist who designed the statue of the three graces in Acropolis; hence his source of income is confusing. Socrates was determined to analyze the people who were regarded by the residents of Athens city as the most updated fellows. He found them to be way behind to be accorded such a status in the society.

Socratic Method is accredited to a popular Greek philosopher known as Socrates. It employs the use of questions and answers format. The persons involved in this dialogue have different opinions and therefore opt to ask each other queries that may enhance their critical thinking. The Cartesian doubt is relevant in this approach because, in critical thinking, all things that are in doubt can be disproved.

Socrates encouraged the use of human reasoning, and it is this tough perspective that ignited people who were opposed to his opinion to have him eliminated. The people who killed him were threatened by his doctrines because they felt he could open the minds of the people of Athens and thereby end their dominance on decision making in Athens.

Philosophers who were inquisitive like Socrates are subjected to executions because their questions do not go down well with most governments. Socrates method identifies facts that frame peoples’ thinking and creates questions that analyze the conformity of these facts to other ideas.

Socrates involved other residents of Athens in brainstorming sessions after an old friend toured the oracle of Delphi and proved that Socrates was the sole individual with extreme understanding. Socrates’ experience in critical thinking is owed to his negligence. He explains to his subjects that though they see him as the most experienced person his real life does not imply so.

Socrates’ negligence assisted him to correct his mistakes, unlike others who thought they were always correct. His queries left intellectuals confused. For instance, he argued that riches do not attract gentleness, but rather gentleness attracts riches to a person and the country. He also explains that a life without evaluation is meaningless.

Socratic Method is mostly applied in institutions of law such as the school of law. The educators in this sector query their students without a proper sequence of asking questions with the aim of demonstrating their knowledge in the subject at hand.

More queries are used to enhance the student’s understanding and they require the student to support his answer until the educator has exhausted his queries. These queries can be used to analyze the previous answers given by a learner. This in return makes the student to acquire skills in thinking and eliminate uncertainty through Cartesian doubt.

This model was influenced by Socrates belief that there are more outcomes in one query hence the need to identify other possible outcomes. By doing this the students of law were expected to have an upper hand in their profession because they did not need to memorize possible queries and results. If this method is applied in a typical court preceding it can justify the magistrates or the judge’s verdict is enhanced by his conscience.

A focus on Socrates’ philosophy indicates that his thoughts were always in conflict with those of his states men. For instance, during the court proceedings where he was accused of impairing the thinking capacity of the youth of Athens, he told the panel of judges that their concerns were centered on worldly things rather than securing their souls. His remarks attracted fowl reactions.

Socrates also mentioned that the qualities of prominent people of Athens were not reflected in their sons. To further support his argument, he evaluated the qualities of military generals against those of their sons and found them to be incompatible.

Socrates reckons that he is not the master mind but explains that he acquired his skills in critical thinking from his trainers. He also acknowledges the contributions of the two women in his life that molded him into who he is. Most principles of Socrates have been declared as a paradox because they contradict common sense.

The first principle of these paradoxes argues that there is no person who wishes to do evil. The next one explains that no one does a mistake that offends himself or others with his knowledge. This means that those people who offend others never plan to do so but the mistake happens by default. This argument can be referred by criminals who are accused of violating the rights of other people to justify their actions.

The above mentioned paradox is widely disputed because all human beings are expected to exercise self control since every one is responsible for his actions hence all humans are treated as independent entities.

Socrates argued that wrong doing or mistakes were results of unawareness. He did not declare himself as the most updated person but he was quick to illustrate his strong feelings towards knowledge and accepts these strong feelings as the driving force behind his devotion to knowledge. He also compared human ignorance to awareness (Vernon).

Socrates argued that life would be better if only humans gave the first priority to personal contentment rather than worldly things. He encouraged others to engage in responsible relationships with their fellows as this was the only way a community would advance. His arguments were parallel to his lifestyle because when he was sentenced to death he chose to accept it to display his devotion to society.

Socrates emphasized on the importance of human morals. He expressed responsible morals as the most relevant elements of human life and can not be compared to material things.

Socrates argued that only a human being with extreme awareness was appropriate to rule others. He was not pleased by the then democracy of Athens. He suggested that only the philosophers can form a proper government. He was not only disappointed by the government of Athens but also those of other states that did not match to his argument.

The above arguments encouraged the students of Socrates to seek government positions and thus the democracy of Athens was forcefully removed from power by the thirty tyrants who included relatives of Socrates. These same students took charge of the government. However, their authority only lasted one year because the democracy was restored.

The thirty tyrants did not satisfy the expectations of Socrates hence the leadership of the thirty tyrants was perceived to be worse than democracy according to Socrates. The Socrates seemed to encourage spirituality. Socrates argued that awareness is enhanced by memory because if one can relate with previous events it’s only then he can be declared to be wise. The Socrates is highly appreciated for his role in promoting education. Thus, with Cartesian doubt, people can be able to shape their thinking with the aim of improving knowledge.

Work Cited

Vernon, M. Socrates and the Power of doubt. 2009. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2020, April 17). Philosopher Socrates and the Power of Doubt. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/philosopher-socrates-and-the-power-of-doubt/

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"Philosopher Socrates and the Power of Doubt." IvyPanda, 17 Apr. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/philosopher-socrates-and-the-power-of-doubt/.

1. IvyPanda. "Philosopher Socrates and the Power of Doubt." April 17, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/philosopher-socrates-and-the-power-of-doubt/.


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IvyPanda. 2020. "Philosopher Socrates and the Power of Doubt." April 17, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/philosopher-socrates-and-the-power-of-doubt/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Philosopher Socrates and the Power of Doubt'. 17 April.

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