CYNICISM: A brief look at a troubling topic

Dave Maxwell

CYNICISM: A brief look at a troubling topic

A marble head of Socrates
A marble head of Socrates in the Louvre
Bornc. 470 BC[1]
Died399 BC (aged approximately 71)
Cause of deathExecution by forced suicide by poisoning
EraAncient Greek philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
SchoolClassical Greek philosophy
Notable students
Main interests
Epistemology, ethics, teleology
Notable ideas

Socrates (/ˈsɒkrətz/;[2] Ancient Greek: Σωκράτης Sōkrátēs [sɔːkrátɛːs]; c. 470 – 399 BC[3][4]) was a Greek philosopher from Athens who is credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, and as being the first moral philosopher[5][6] of the Western ethical tradition of thought.[7][8][9] An enigmatic figure, he authored no texts, and is known chiefly through the accounts of classical writers composing after his lifetime, particularly his students Plato and Xenophon. Other sources include the contemporaneous Antisthenes, Aristippus, and Aeschines of Sphettos. Aristophanes, a playwright, is the main contemporary author to have written plays mentioning Socrates during Socrates' lifetime, although a fragment of Ion of Chios' Travel Journal provides important information about Socrates' youth.[10][11]

Plato's dialogues are among the most comprehensive accounts of Socrates to survive from antiquity, from which Socrates has become renowned for his contributions to the fields of ethics and epistemology. It is this Platonic Socrates who lends his name to the concepts of Socratic irony and the Socratic method, or elenchus. However, questions remain regarding the distinction between the real-life Socrates and Plato's portrayal of Socrates in his dialogues.[12]

Socrates exerted a strong influence on philosophers in later antiquity and in the modern era. Depictions of Socrates in art, literature and popular culture have made him one of the most widely known figures in the Western philosophical tradition.

  1. ^ Kraut, Richard (16 August 2017). "Socrates". Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. Archived from the original on 20 October 2017. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  2. ^ Jones, Daniel; Roach, Peter, James Hartman and Jane Setter, eds. Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary. 17th edition. Cambridge UP, 2006.
  3. ^ Easterling, P. E. (1997). The Cambridge Companion to Greek Tragedy. Cambridge University Press. p. 352. ISBN 978-0-521-42351-9. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  4. ^ Smith, Nicholas D.; Woodruff, Paul (2000). Reason and Religion in Socratic Philosophy. Oxford University Press. p. 154. ISBN 978-0-19-535092-0. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 19 November 2017. 469 or 468 (corresponding to the fourth year of the 77th Olympiad), according to Apollodorus...But the year of Socrates's birth is probably only an inference from...Plato [who] has Socrates casually describe himself as having lived seventy years.
  5. ^ James Rachels, The Legacy of Socrates: Essays in Moral Philosophy Archived 1 December 2017 at the Wayback Machine Columbia University Press, 2007 ISBN 0-231-13844-X Accessed 24 November 2017
  6. ^ Gregory Vlastos (1991). Socrates, Ironist and Moral Philosopher. Cornell University Press. p. 43. ISBN 978-0-8014-9787-2.
  7. ^ Moral Philosophy – The Discovery of Ethics : Socrates Archived 18 August 2017 at the Wayback Machine Jacques Maritain Center Accessed 24 November 2017
  8. ^ Peter Singer (1985) – Encyclopædia Britannica Archived 20 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine Chicago, 1985, pp. 627–648 Accessed 24 November 2017
  9. ^ Anne Rooney – The Story of Philosophy: From Ancient Greeks to Great Thinkers of Modern Times Archived 1 August 2018 at the Wayback Machine (search page) Archived 1 December 2017 at the Wayback Machine Arcturus Publishing, 2014 ISBN 1-78212-995-2 Accessed 24 November 2017
  10. ^ Charles H. Kahn (1998) – Ethics Archived 22 December 2017 at the Wayback Machinep. 42 Archived 22 December 2017 at the Wayback Machine, Cambridge University Press. 1998 ISBN 0-521-38832-5 Accessed 22 December 2017
  11. ^ Stern, T (2013) – Philosophy and Theatre: An Introduction Archived 22 December 2017 at the Wayback Machineix Archived 22 December 2017 at the Wayback Machine Routledge 2013 ISBN 1-134-57591-2 Accessed 22 December 2017
  12. ^ Kofman, Sarah (1998). Socrates: Fictions of a Philosopher. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-8014-3551-5.