of b. Kalfa and c. Zografides

O Swkraths pinei to kwneio

The new face of filosofias

We get our hands on a typical Platonic dialogue and attempt to read him. What picture transmit us; Let us not rush to talk about the philosophical meaning of dialogue, forgetting momentarily that the text we have in front of us was written by the greatest philosopher of all time, and let's stay on scene and on the protagonists of. We well in Athens in the 5th century b.c., and watching familiar faces of the time to discuss with impressive tenacity and passion for ethical and political problems. Πιο συγκεκριμένα. O stage is the market, a gym or a rich Athenian home. O dramatic time is the time of Pericles and Peloponnesian War. O a protagonist is almost always the Athenian philosopher Socrates and his interlocutors are either famous sophists (ο Πρωταγόρας, the Gorgias, the Hippias, the Thrasymachos) or important persons of the Athenian political scene (Alcibiades, nicias, the Kritias, the Xarmidis). The topics discussed are pressing issues of life in an organized State: What determines the moral conduct of the individual, What is the proper education of citizens, What mode is preferable, What is the importance of laws. O pattern, τέλος, the debate evokes more picture tutorial or court despite an exchange of views in a friendly company: constant questions and answers, successive attempts at definition of concepts, projection and rejection of arguments.

The Plato's dialogues is not historical documents. Is literary texts, aimed to promote philosophical positions rather than to represent actual encounters historical persons. However, give us a picture of how the exercise of philosophy in democratic Athens 5th century. H this picture is not only a creature of Plato. Emerges from the philosophical works of Xenophon, from excerpts of lost dialogues other authors of the 4th century, but also from the Clouds by Aristophanes, that satirize the Socrates and the Sophists. Maybe even Aristophanes to be most reliable source, After raising the Clouds it 423 BC, in time of great prosperity of Socrates and the sophistic movement.

The comedy of Aristophanes the naïve and illiterate peasant Strepsiades, chased by the debts of spatalis woman and his son, resorting to the famous "Plato's" Socrates and asks him to accept him in the school of, to know there tricks that would exempt from the lenders of. O Socrates the accepts, know new gods to whom they should believe – is the Chaos, the Clouds (displayed as "protective goddesses of the Sophists ') and the Language -, and the promises that with tough training in philosophy and rhetoric will be able not only to make lenders of, but also to dominate the Church of the municipality and to succeed in every aspect of social life. Teaching role in Socrates school undertakes customisable and the "Unrighteous Reason», felled the ' Reason ' Law, representative of traditional values, trapping him with tough questions and making demo emerging knowledge and elaborate arguments. Strepsiades O, Despite the lessons of Socrates, eventually driven to destruction.

If we exclude the identification of Socrates with the Sophists, to which we will return, the aristofaneia description is the comic supplement of Platonic. Epibebaiwnei on our suspicion that the philosophy has become over the years an entirely new role in the spiritual atmosphere of Athens, It is now an important factor of social life, so in order to cause the interest and curiosity of the general public and is the subject of a popular satire.

Where detected though the innovations compared with the older practice;

Πρώτον, the philosopher leaves the podium of isolated wise and is now the man next door. Meet ordinary people, tramping the streets and the city's haunts, participate in the institutions of, is in direct contact with their political leaders.

Δεύτερον, the philosophy for the first time presented as something useful. In philosopher to employ those still puzzled about the salvation of their souls and for the moral foundations of human behavior. But now the philosopher seems to have solutions to practical problems. Is the teacher of artistic use of speech, of rhetoric, presented as the key to success in various areas of social life. To convince his fellow citizens in the municipality's Church, to defend himself in court, even to administer properly the household and raise his children, need philosophical education. H systematic discipline among philosophers begins to work as a form of higher education in the ancient world.

Thirdly, the thematic philosophy change. Tο interest in nature and the universe, in this generation of philosophers, waived, and philosophers are moving resolutely towards the complex problems posed by life in the cities. According to the famous dictum of Kikerwna, first Socrates (and the Sophists, We had one we) Download the philosophy from the sky and settled in cities and in people's homes. From theory of the world, the philosophy becomes the art of life.

Fourthly, the philosophy seems to be claiming a own method. H method is not easy to determine nor appear uniformly among philosophers of the era. However, details of the new method is the interactive report mode of philosophical problems, the wording antithetic positions in each issue, search definitions, rejecting criticism of the dogmatic decisions.

An Athenian philosophy;

I have noticed the multiple references that we have already done in Athens, speaking for the new mission that took the philosophy in the 5th century. Actually, It is almost impossible to imagine the action of Socrates and the Sophists outside the Athenian social context. H consolidation of this picture may partly be due to the fact that we derive the information for the spiritual movement of this era of Athenian writers – Aristophanes, Plato, Xenophon, Isocrates, the Lysia. However, Despite the one-sidedness of our sources, the domination of Athens in Greece's cultural scene is not disputed by anyone. Especialy the philosophy, which until the beginning of the 5th century was developing on the periphery of the Greek world, I have since installed permanently in Athenian territory.

How is this development; As a degree, the answer is simple. H philosophy followed the broad intellectual and artistic trends of the season. The same reasons that explain the birth of the ancient Greek tragedy, Comedy and scientific historiography in Athens of Pericles, explain and shifting the Centre of gravity of the philosophical search from the Greek colonies in Athens.

The Persian wars were undoubtedly the high point of Athens. H general recognition of the decisive role of the Athenians at Marathon victories and Salamis and the creation of the Athenian Alliance 477 π.X. radically changed the fate of the city. From relatively insignificant provincial town, as it was throughout the past centuries, Athens suddenly became the most powerful, the richest and most big city of Greece. Kome steeper was the change in the spiritual atmosphere. And until then the Athens did not offer the slightest in the spiritual development of Greece, within a few years becomes the focus of an artistic and intellectual cosmogony. Poets, artists and sages of the colonies are flocking to Athens and come into contact with the brilliant generation of Athenians counterparts. Those items and if you invoke, We can hardly explain the speed of developments, that brings in the same time in the same city three great tragic poets and Aristophanes, pheidias and Polykleitos, Thucydides, the Anaxagora, the Protagoras and Socrates.

In great splendor of Athens of Pericles is due and the appointment of Athenian Socrates with immigrants from the colonies sophists. For the form that took the philosophy with this generation of thinkers, a side of Athenian history played a decisive role: the development of democracy.

During the 7th and 6th century Athens torn by severe internal conflicts. H inability to participate in the colonization and the limitation of in ground of Attica led to financial crisis and exacerbated social differences. To achieve immediate and wider democracy in the fifth century, where all the Athinaioi people participated in the governance of the city, needed political reforms of Solon (592 BC), cleisthenes (508 BC), of Nightmare (462 BC) και του Περικλή (457-451 BC). Common characteristic of all of the reforms was the progressive removal of privileges of wealthy landowners in the interests of "municipality". H power passes from the classy Areopagus in Ecclesia, the sovereign body of the democratic State, where major political decisions are taken with pandimi participation and equal vote of the citizens of Athens.

In Athens the filling of all public offices were draw – only the generals elected by the Church of the municipality. As the main institutions of the Republic were crowded, a very large part of the population of Athens was busy at any time with the administration of the city. It has been estimated that over one third of the Athens citizens served in institutions of the city and the army, without mentioning the Assembly of the municipality who met at least 20 times each year. Επομένως, every Athenian, regardless of the origin, the estate, education or profession, had the opportunity several times in his life to pass from the position of the Member, judge, even drawn Lord or Dean of House. Tο fortunate for Athens was that the integration of democracy coincided with the period of maximum political and economic power. Given an opportunity to Pericles to establish "salary" for all public office, allowing even in most poor Athenian to exercise with dignity and devotion his political duties. O role of "citizen" becomes the most respected human activity within the Athenian democracy.

H the average Athenian life changes radically. H substantial participation of stronger Greek city, and even in the crucial period of the Peloponnesian War, brings people face new problems. Is democracy better than the oligarchic regimes of the past and of other cities; What are the limits of democracy; Who should vote and to be elected; How to ensure the correctness of the decisions of the municipality and the effective exercise of power; How should we legislate, and when we change the laws; How can we reduce the strong;

New problems facing not only a citizen who is called for the first time to participate in the common, but he who loses its prerogatives. For the old aristocratic families of the Athenians, from which came the overwhelming majority of leaders even in the age of democracy, the policy takes on whole new meaning. H noble origin and the great ownership does not guarantee the access to power. To get hold of power in democratic Athens, There is only one road: you need to have the majority of citizens in the House and the Church of the municipality. Need to know how to convince his fellow citizens about the correctness of the opinion, and not every four years, as it is today, but on a daily basis. In Athenian democracy, in the Republic of the ' reasons ', the art of persuasion becomes the Supreme political virtue.

H Art of persuasion but is demanding and not learned easily. It's not like the other arts, passed from generation to generation with the exercise and experience. H family, as prominent as it is, cannot ensure such a learning, and the city of Athens, like all Greek cities, has no institutions of public education. The role of teacher policy, at this juncture, you claim the orator and philosopher.

We understand now why the philosophy is changing orientation in the 5th century, and why linking the fate of Athens. In a kosmogonikwn political environment changes, It would be absurd for philosophers to stay unaffected. H overthrow the old order of things doesn't change just the social balance, creates and crisis of values. Nothing is now given as regards the position of man in society and the acceptable ethical behavior. H philosophy discovers a new continent fruitful reflection. And in the philosopher is given for the first time the opportunity to appeal to a broader audience and to reclaim a functional role within the democratic State.

What are the Sophists movement;

The Sophists are not faculty, like the Pythagoreans or the Platonic Academy. Do not profess a common doctrine, do not refer to someone archigeti or founder, you do not have the same objectives, the same political position and the same opponents. The most likely is that they will not even include them selves in a single stream.

H dealing with the Sophists as a distinct group of philosophers with common identity is largely a construct of Plato, a construct imposed on delayed. Also due to Plato and the negative connotation that got the word "sophist", a significance which should not have been established, If you consider that, fifty years after the death of Socrates, the pupil of Aeschines does not hesitate to call the Socrates and Demosthenes "sophists".[1] O Plato's purpose is clear. Wants at all costs to bring out the uniqueness of Socrates. In the eyes of the average Athenian, as demonstrated by the Clouds by Aristophanes, the difference of Socrates from the Sophists was by no means evident.

Unfortunately almost all works of sophists are lost. The negative image that we carry the Plato's dialogues, There are few opposing testimonies we can invoke to arrive at a more objective valuation. Usually even the later authors refer collectively to the positions of the Sophists, and so it is very difficult to identify the specific contribution of each representative of the sophistic movement. Not only remains for us to do the same and we.

If skip momentarily the philosophical arguments, the Platonic martial displays with intensely negative way two traits of the Sophists. O sophist has no fixed place and home, are stateless when travelling.[2] Additional, teaching fee, is "salaried predator new and rich».[3] O Plato did not fabricate the truth at this point. The most famous sophists come from the region of Greece: O Protagoras from Abdera in Thrace, O Gorgias of the Sicilian Leontinoys, the Prodicus by Kea, the Hippias by Ilia, the Thrasymachos from Chalcedon of propontida. Only the Antifwn is Athinaios. H action of sophists not placed at asimes home, but in centres of Hellenism, and mainly in Athens. Modernistic reasons aloud on national holidays, surrounded by students, living by teaching them, Perhaps this employment is highly profitable and.

If the categories of Plato had formulated some years later, No one will take it seriously. O wise of the Hellenistic era feels his country the whole world. And expects to have paid for teaching, as we already paid Isocrates. But in the era of Socrates and the Sophists things are different. For the Athenians, citizenship and civic participation is the highest honour. A stranger or a metic, as the rich and famous and they were (and there were too many such in the 5th century), does not cease to be considered a junior, After the riches and fame does not guarantee political rights. On the other hand, to teach the fine art of fee policy to classify automatically in the category of «banaysoy», Since only the manual were marketing their art. These categories therefore Plato should place though, especially when raised the opposite model of Socrates, who does not hide his poverty and he was so proud of the Athenian origins that never in his life has left neither for a day in the city of.

What do they teach but the Sophists in Athens; How attract students; When Socrates poses this question in the Protagoras (in the Platonic dialogue), gets the answer that the subject of his teaching is the "political art", the ability to modulate one's "virtuous citizens": "my lesson is the proper treatment of intimate affairs – How to manage anyone out of the House — and the Affairs of the city – How to become unbeatable in political practice and in political discourse».[4] When the same question is addressed in Gorgia, the answer is more specific: O Gorgias teaches "the prettiest art», the art of rhetoric. H the greatest offers good rhetoric in humans, because of "ensures the personal liberty, giving him the ability to dominate others through the city of». H power in democratic city relies on persuasion. Dominates, Whoever owns the art of persuasion, "Whoever can convince with their words in court judges, Members in the House, citizens in Ecclesia».[5]

It could be assumed that the two answers are different. O prudent Protagoras teaches the hallowed in Athens art policy, While the canine Gorgias the power of persuasion. In the extreme version of Gorgia attitude leads to the identification of virtue and strength, What proclaimed another sophist, the Thrasymachos, saying that "law is nothing else than the interest of the fittest».[6] Maybe again Gorgia's response not so different from the reply Protagora. O sophist teaches the proper exercise of political practice, which depends on the correct use of political discourse. In this match and the two. O Gorgias simply adds that proper use of political discourse has a name: This is the new art of rhetoric, which is defined as "creator of persuasion». O Plato, that recreates the entire discussion, lets us draw our own conclusions.

For some well things we are sure. The Sophists purport to cover a gap in the education of citizens, a gap that arose from the rapid prevalence of democratic institutions. H their specialty is knowledge of art policy. They claim that by teaching art policy make people better – connect therefore virtue (the good) with the political. And see the direct relationship of political effectiveness with the workmanlike use of speech.

From here begin the variations among the Sophists. Others focused on the analysis of social institutions and culture, like Protagoras, and the Antiphon, and brought to the fore the contrast "nature" and "the law" — fixed payments of social conventions is the Foundation of human behavior; The problem of objective knowledge and truth employed the Protagoras and Gorgia. O Prodicus was the first that was interested in language issues, While Gorgias is considered the founder of rhetoric. O Hippias maybe is Sophistic link with the earlier pre-Socratic philosophy, After appearing to insist in the teaching of mathematics and astronomy. And the only reference to the problems listed above is sufficient to grasp the Sophists ' contribution to the transformation of philosophy during the 5th century.

Can be taught the virtue;

Teaching art policy, the Sophists assert that teach virtue: say they know how to formulate the best and brightest among citizens. H claim this was not something the ordinary. No one until then did not claim the role of teacher of virtue. Rightly triggered intense reaction. Many felt that virtue is not something that is taught, but something that is inherited or given by nature. Others again, like Socrates and Plato, not disputed that virtue is a form of knowledge, but they wanted to show that the Sophists is unable to teach this knowledge. Tο certain is that the concept of virtue found suddenly the focus of philosophical controversy.

What is the virtue; For older Greek virtue was linked with the honor and recognition, It was not something the single. H virtue was derived in the Warrior's bravery and virtue of the craftsman in the proper execution of his art. Even a horse could have its own virtue. At the political level, virtue prosidiaze only those who had access to power, in brood of aristocratic families who had assimilated a set of fixed values, like the bravery in battle, the afilokerdeia, the leniency toward friends and rigor to enemies – they were called "good kagathoi". O mob could not by definition be virtuous.

When the Sophists speak of virtue, have in their minds a new educational ideal of universal validity. In democratic Athens virtuous is the educated citizen, He demonstrates the excellence of the effective participation of the common. H celebrating in the arena of policy does not depend on the inherited values of aristocratic tradition, but new skills and knowledge – from rhetoric, legal and historical training and citizenship. The Sophists assert that such training is something that is taught: virtue is didakti policy.

H new conception of virtue was perfectly in line with the "equality", which had already been imposed in democratic State. At the philosophical level meant more, something revolutionary: meant that all humans start in life from the same starting point, they are innately equal. When Socrates causes the Protagoras to prove that virtue is didakti, the great sophist responds with a legend. Tο mankind would be impossible to survive, If Prometheus was not equipped with fire and the arts. With supplies these people managed to some extent to resist the aggression of other animals, invented religion and language, acquired some basic goods and special technical skills. Yet they lacked the political art, and so was unable to live collectively. Then Zeus decided to help them and gave them the Aidw and Trial (namely, respect towards each other and justice), "to organize harmonic States and to develop ties of friendship between them» . With the Shame and the trial were all people, γιατί, When Jupiter, politics is not like the other arts, that only a few hold. O law imposed by Zeus to people was "that whosoever would not participate in the Trial and Aidw, You ought to run, because this is the disease of the city».[7]

All reviewers well people are naturally endowed with the seeds of political virtue, and, therefore, are entitled to participate equally in society. If we now look after this good side of themselves by practicing and teaching, We distinguish in pursuit of art policy. O sophist appears just as the appropriate middleman, He has the ability to highlight and to cultivate their innate virtue and citizenship.

Language and truth

We don't know exactly how to teach the Sophists. Organized schools probably aren't founded ― the first philosophical schools are those of Plato and Isocrates at the beginning of the 4th century. The most likely is that expose private lessons in wealthy young. O Aristotle say that asking their students to apostithisoyn written reasons, which was written in such a way as to the proper use of argument and the persuasiveness.[8] A good sample of such speech, that has survived, is the Helen Egkwmion the Gorgia. In this text the Gorgias tries skillfully to overturn the commonly accepted view that the Beautiful Helen is responsible for the Trojan War, showing that Helen was forced by overriding powers to follow Paris in Troy (either by horse love, either of the divine will, either from the "effect of persuasion of the grounds has the same power with coercion»[9]). O Gorgias did not hesitate to close the reason of calling it the "game", showing that he is not interested in the specific case of the truth, but the correct structure of possible arguments.

The text of the Gorgia brings to mind the controversy of fair and unfair Discourse on Clouds by Aristophanes. The Sophists order that each issue was able to "make the argument invalid strong».[10] Does not mean that their purpose was obviously the conscious pursuit of injustice. They wanted to show that there is always a way to argue just as well a place and the opposite of. This content should have and some writings entitled Contradictions or Dissoi Reasons, attributed to sophists. An important dimension of Sophistic teaching was the practice of students in "dialectic", in other words, debate technique of each post with the appropriate wording of questions and answers. It is obvious that such a skill was especially useful in Athenian courts and on the market. At the same time, however the dialectic was the new method of philosophy, a method claimed both by the Sophists and Socrates and Plato.

H the importance acquired by the 5th century the rhetoric and dialectic creates a special interest in language issues. It is reported that the Protagoras ' orthoepeia cultivated», the proper IE use of language types. In ' Protagoras ' orthoepeia should recognize the first attempt wording grammatical and syntactic rules of the language, in a period where the written expression of language is gaining ground. The same season the Prodicus attempted the first searches in the etymology of words, a field that will employ highly and Plato. H history of words, the Greek or foreign origin, analysis on syllables and letters, leading to the crucial problem of the relationship between language and reality. It is characteristic that the ancient Greek word element, in philosophical terminology refers to the primary components of beings, originally meant the letters of the alphabet. What goes well; H language faithfully reflects reality or has its own autonomy;

From previous philosophers Parmenides only indirectly raised such a question, When he claimed that the thought and language give us much greater certainty from the experience. O Gorgias will adopt the reasoning of Parmenides, disconnecting the full language of the empirical reality.


"The means by which inform others about things is the reason, and why aren't the beings before us. Not present therefore our beings in adjacent rooms, but somehow ... Likewise, as the visible could not be arrested by hearing, so being, outside us, could not speak of our ". Gorgias, On the non-being.[11]

"The measure of all things is the man: for what there is that there are, and for what is not there that there are no ". Protagoras re. 1.


Communicate with other people with reason, and our communication this is satisfactory. This however does not mean that convey why some objective truths about things. H human experience is inevitably subjective – This realizes the Protagoras, When the famous "all their money man». H my own experience based on the data of my own senses, and it is equally true with every other human experience. I cannot prove the objective of truth, but I can draw my conclusions from this and to share with you the best way to my interlocutors. O human reason deemed not as to the truth of, but as for its internal consistency and conviction.
H nature of institutions

H belief that there is no objective knowledge in philosophy called agnosticism. The Sophists displayed agnostic attitudes and when they turned their critical spirit in established social institutions. O Protagoras caused the common sense when he had the audacity to support: "For the gods, I can't know anything: nor that there are, or that there are no, What kind of format are. Many are those that prevent us to know — so the latency issue and the brevity of human life».[12] H religion is rooted in the tendency of people to accept the existence of a power, which exceeds. H human faith but should not be confused with knowledge. It is said that the Kritias, the student of Socrates, and one of the Thirty tyrants, starting from the critique of Protagoras in religion arrived in the groundbreaking that the gods are an invention of the rulers to dominate the nationals of.

A so subversive attitude, like that of Kritia, should not be found many imitators. Even in democratic Athens the majority citizens remained conservative in matters of religious practice. H category of disrespect will formulate several times during the 5th century, with the aim of some of the most familiar faces of the season – Socrates, βέβαια, but before this Anaxagoras, the Protagoras, but Pericles, Phidias, Alcibiades. Αντιθέτως, absolute freedom of expression existed with regard to the review of the foundations of the regime and of ethical conduct.

In Athens of intense political conflict and major political upsets seems anachronistic to argue the divine origin of the Constitution and laws. The constitutions and the laws change according to the will of the people, and it is natural to coexist in the same town supporters and opponents of Athenian democracy, the oligarchy of Sparta, even the reign of Persians. Formed well gradually the common belief that society is based on a contract form, in an agreement of people who decide to live together. H is a product transaction law and compromise contrary interests. It is essentially human creature, and, as a human, by definition variable – a place completely opposite from the oldest aristocratic ideal of stability.

H identification of the contractual nature of laws puts the person in front of new critical dilemmas. Two of them will prove crucial for the later philosophical thought. First dilemma: If the laws are products of compromise, the person would have to obey them or has the right to violate them; Second dilemma: What, What characterizes society, features and the person; Is the Assembly of individual product social compromises or is there a deeper, stable nature of the individual, which determines the moral behavior;

O reflection that is pervasive in the Sophists movement. The answers vary. O Protagoras adopt agnosticism and moral. As there is no objective knowledge, so there is no absolute sense of Justice and morality. Fair and ethical is that which accepts each time the society as a whole. Both laws and values are shaped by humans and changed by people, but the existence of society requires respect for the. H obedience to the laws is considered untouchable civic duty, is the cohesive element of human societies. H decision of Socrates drink the hemlock I found absolutely Covenant the Protagoras. Others however sophists may not agree. O Thrasymachos, for example, taytize the law rather than the interests of all citizens, but with the interests of the fittest. So why should you settle for anyone with a law or an institutional decision, It considered grossly unfair; O Antiphon and Hippias again I raised another objection. In their own opinion, human behavior cannot be fully determined by social conventions. Yperanw of laws and institutions placed some ethical rules, peculiar to the nature of man, as the friendship, the Concord, respect for parents. Impossible rules should primarily follow the person, Since only"the imperatives of nature is necessary, While the requirements of the law is arbitrary and conventional».[13] If Socrates thought the category versus product diabolis, I did not have to obey the decision of the Court – When the Rider, the laws are not amiss predicted some sanction for those who slander others, Although the slander is awesome offense.[14]
O Socrates against the Sophists

Her philosophy of 5th century, We did not far any effort to separate Socrates from the Sophists. What we have said about the spiritual atmosphere of the era, for the new needs and new questions that brought forth the prevalence of Athenian democracy, form elements for the interpretation of the sophistic movement and philosophy of Socrates. Socrates undoubtedly belongs to the same mental stream with the Sophists. We saw that in Aristophanes, Socrates is also a sophist. What conclusion would also pull out the average Athenian who would see Socrates to moves in the same circles with the Sophists, to discuss the same problems, to use the same eccentric philosophical jargon;

Yet this identification seems absurd today. O Socrates is recorded in our consciousness as the main opponent of sophists: is he with his life, the philosophical stance and, κυρίως, with the exemplary of death, actively opposed to amorality of the Sophists. In the mythology of philosophy Socrates is one of the main heroes, While the Sophists are negative figures. No other philosopher has not inspired more successors of them, No one else has contributed so decisively to lift the reputation of philosophy.

How is it possible then to xegelastike so much Aristophanes, and don't understand the peculiarity of Socrates; But perhaps this is not so strange – the target of the satire found many famous Athenians, righteous and unrighteous. Tο importantly fell out and the Athenian municipality, When he arrived at point to condemn to death for his views. No doubt, the condemnation of Socrates is one of the worst moments of the Athenian democracy. It is however an unimpeachable witness that the hallowed image of Socrates was not given at the end of the 5th century. For his contemporaries, Socrates was a controversial person.

H idealisation of Socrates, the building of the myth of, After the death of the first generation of dedicated students of. O Socrates was considered the initiator of all philosophical schools, created at the beginning of the 4th century: of the shameless, of kyrinaϊkwn, of megarikwn, the Platonic Academy. While Socrates himself wrote nothing, his students compiled extensive ' Socratic ' Secretariat, a multitude of IE interactive texts starring Socrates. Some of the "swkratika" texts were literary and philosophical masterpieces, read with passion and dedication of generations of readers and exerted a profound influence on subsequent thought — Plato's dialogues are the highest achievement of this secretariat. From here we derive the form of Socrates, with which we are familiar. H this format is so suggestive, so easily forgotten that the Socrates of Plato and Xenophon is not a historical figure but a literary guise.

The primary objective of "Socratic dialogues" was the restoration of memory of the teacher. We should therefore, through these texts, to demonstrate how unfounded and unjust accusations against him were, how the real Socrates differed from the ' diafthorea ' and the ' Rapporteur travelled demons», whom the Athenians sentenced. To restore the Socrates had mostly look the radical difference from the Sophists. O real danger for Athens and its values are not originated from the modest, law-abiding, bizarre and ironic Socrates, from Socrates who said at every opportunity of ignorance, but from the set, omniscient and adventurers sophists.

The "smoke problem"

O Socrates is the very embodiment of philosophy, the most famous philosopher of all time. H truth though is that most known philosopher know little. O Socrates himself wrote nothing — and we don't know even why he decided not to write. The philosophy should therefore learn from second or third-hand. But none of the generation of Socrates or the next generation does not give us clear information about the philosophical views, writing as a historian or as philosopher. The same applies to the facts of his life. Only for the trial and his death have enough evidence. Must arrive to Aristotle, who was born several years after the death of Socrates, to collect some short information about the philosophy of.

So no ancient writer, He met Socrates, not having encountered as a historical person. Nobody gave us life and philosophy, Nobody directly antidikise with him. Those who knew Socrates and wanted to write about him, they did it through literature. O Socrates who we all know is a theatre person. Is the comical caricature of Plato in Clouds and the heroic figure of the philosopher in Plato's dialogues. O real Socrates always remains hidden behind a mask.

Here is the so-called "smoke problem": How to distinguish the historical Socrates from the Socrates of literature, and especially from the Socrates of the Platonic dialogues; Soon, however, we realize that the wealth of literary accounts do not have to convey historical information, We understand that the smoke problem is doomed to stay unsolved. O Platonic Socrates, as a self-contained entity, will continue always is a source of inspiration and admiration. As for the historical Socrates, It is both a few things we can say about him, so not enough for either to outline a simple portrait.

It was citizen Athinaios. Lived by the 470 as the 399 π.X. It must have been rather poor, but not too, having never needed to exercise any profession involves. He lived all his life in Athens. On the close friendly circle belonged to some of the well known names of the Athenian aristocracy, as the Alkibiadis, the Xarmidis and the Kritias. Did not participate actively in common, but not refused his services whenever he was called to arms or whenever Alphas in a public office. As Dean of the House opposed the decision by the municipality to perform the winners generals of the battle of Arginoyswn. After the restoration of democracy and the fall of Triakonta, led to a lawsuit with two categories: 1. It does not recognize the gods of the State and introduces new deities. 2. That corrupts the youth. Katadikastike by majority in death, and preferred to take the kwnio rather than to escape.

We don't know how he turned to philosophy. In all probability, He was self-taught. Not write anything, not systematically taught nor founded school. Many, however, were those who considered themselves disciple of Socrates. For the positive content of philosophy isn't. But we know the outline of. Set in the Centre of philosophical man search and was exclusively for ethical and political issues. Considered the moral duty of self-knowledge and the care of the soul. O he stated that he does not know anything with certainty, but the ability to control the posts of others. H philosophical method applied was a form of dialectic, based on the wording of general positions and efforts for their rejection through questions and answers.

These are everything we know about the historical Socrates. It is obvious that these figures do not show why Socrates is an important philosopher nor because it brought so much effect on those who came into contact with him. Nor can we identify what it was that made him so famous in his time, so is the subject of public satire. And the main: remains unexplained source of «swkratikoy problem». Why have all, friends and enemies, to talk about Socrates directly; Why we all preferred the literary transformation;

A philosopher but cannot become charming literary person unless his life causes more interest than his theories. "It's amazing, but this man doesn't look like anyone, Neither the oldest nor the current», says he in Platonic Symposium. "Although search won't find anyone like him; so weird ("ἄtopos») himself and his reasons».[15] Despise money, prices and expensive clothes and prefers to travel Barefoot; has incredible resistance to hardship, in late nights and drinking groups; never loses his self-control. Showing ultimate confidence in an inner voice – the infamous "demon" ―, that prevents it from the rough stuff. Although he lives in the most troubled and critical period of the history of Athens, avoid all involvement in active politics, and nevertheless argues that only he carries the "true political art '.[16] Like him mocked his interlocutors, gives the impression that playing talking, talks about serious issues using paradoxes examples from everyday life, "something for gaidaroys samarwmenoys and chalkwmatades and shoe-makers and Tanners '. Yet in the end the interlocutors understand that "his discussions are the only ones who have true meaning",[17] the reasons of "capture and ekstasiazoyn people", have the power to make them ' realize that they do not deserve to live like they live».[18]

Everything indicates that the figure of Socrates caused profound impression on his contemporaries. Few understand the exact meaning of his teaching — for this and we delivered so different descriptions of his views. However, It is common belief that Socrates embodies a new ideal philosopher. The smoke screen ideal content of philosophical theories and method of exposure is inextricably tied up with the lifestyle of the philosopher. H care for the cultivation of self and life becomes the primary task of the philosopher and overshadows the largely philosophical concepts. O Socrates claimed that she could live with a completely fair and virtuous way without knowing what exactly is justice and what virtue. H philosophy of Socrates is, first and foremost, his own life.

There is Socratic philosophy;

The Socratic philosophers themselves dialogoi Plato usually start by formulating a query of the form "what is X", where X is a general sense of ethical origin – What is prowess, What is piety, What is justice, What is a virtue. It is interesting that this question is typically not understood by Socrates ' interlocutors. Everyone is willing to discuss whether a particular person, an act, a political system is fairly or unfairly, feel embarrassed when it comes to the general question "what is justice". In the course of the dialogues we have seen successive attempts by the respondents to give a satisfactory definition of the required ethics concept, efforts that eventually all fall on deaf ears. O role of Socrates in this quest is a management and monitoring. Sets the initial query, determines what kind of answers they seek and direct entehnos the discussion there that wants; he declares that he does not know the correct answer, but with a special skill undertakes testing of proposed definitions.

From the Platonic dialogues we learn more about the methodology of Socratic inquiry rather than the philosophical positions of Socrates. Firstly, We see that all the issues concerning Socrates belong in the realm of morality and politics. O Plato suggests that Socrates was the first who raised the questions of the form "what is X", It was namely the first who realized the value of the definition of concepts.[19] H requirement of Socrates to define the ethical concepts consistent with his belief that virtue is knowledge. Virtuous can become a, only when you know exactly what is a virtue. Tο in case of course paradox Socrates is that he decreed himself in any situation that does not know absolutely nothing, without the ignorance to make immoral man.

But element that impresses more in swkratikoys dialogues is the way that the debate. H discussion is always lively, but unregulated. Since attendees participate each time only two in debate, one of whom is the Socrates. O a conversationalist supports a location with the best possible arguments, and the other tries to prove that this position can't stand. O Socrates avoids lengthy monologues and systematically recommends the interlocutors to pose such questions and to respond as soon as they can — if it is possible with a "Yes" or "no". H impression we get is that Socrates has discovered a method for investigating ethical and political problems, and considers that this method is the only one that is peculiar to philosophy. H method is "dialectic", Since it relies on the exchange of short reasons, definitions and arguments, i.e. dialegesthai. Placed in contrast technique of poets, based on verbal shapes and in the ypoblitikotita of poetic images. It differs, however, and by the practice followed by the orators and politicians, where the aim is to maximise the persuasion of the grounds, which is achieved with the long-winded speeches and we could do without speeches.

H dialectic method will become a hallmark of all subsequent Socratic schools ― and the philosophy of Plato. It must be started from the same Socrates, After the comic poets satirize the peculiar manner in which they discuss Socrates and his disciples. But it would be wrong to consider that the Socratic dialectic is just one way discussion. Its aim is not so much the discovery of some final truth as participation in a quest that leads to the moral improvement of people. Embodies an attitude to life, dedicated to joint investigation of vital problems, on the cultivation of the soul and in constant self-control.


"The greater good for humans is this: to be able to speak every day for virtue and all other things you hear and you to discuss, putting a strain on myself and others — because an uncontrolled life is a life not worth living no man (ï ànexetastos life abiwtos not db ànthrwpw)». Plato, Apologia Sokratous 38a1-6.


O Socrates speaks constantly about ethics, but avoids to project his own moral positions. Restricted to topple the doctrinal decisions of other, giving the impression of a man, who over the years has developed a foolproof detection criterion erroneous perceptions. H wisdom, which has confirmed and the Oracle of Delphi, lies in the fact that only he among men of his era is aware of his ignorance. There is however a circumstance where he prefers to abandon his usual moderation. In his apology to the Court declares passionately to the judges of the: "One thing I know: the disadvantaging anyone and not to obey to the superior, either God is that either man, is bad and shameful».[20] And when his friends encourage him to escape from prison to be spared from an unjust punishment, He strongly resists with the argument that, If escape, will commit greater injustice towards the city and the laws of. H position is clear: "You never have to reciprocate an injustice, nor to any man who, whatever we have suffered from this».[21]

For the ancient Greeks, Socrates ' attitude is incomprehensible. Since the time of Homer as the years of Socrates the archaic sense of the law was based on the principle of retribution. H injustice should certainly be repaid, to achieve the justice. This was teaching Greek mythology; this was in daily practice. That is why we were so radically different attitudes of Greeks towards friends and against enemies. O virtuous person ought to be lenient toward friends and uncompromising toward its enemies. O Anaximander indeed, όπως είδαμε, will make the principle of retribution in secular law – the primary elements balance repaying the injustice committed to one another with the instant their supremacy.

By rejecting the principle of retribution, Socrates paves the way towards a new morality. The Foundation of this new ethic is the mental integrity of the person. H deliberate harm to others, the unfair practice, irreparably harms the soul of drwntos. So if one wants to be righteous and virtuous, will avoid injustice, as long as the evil that he has been and what the material benefits to be reaped with the perpetration of injustice.

O myth of Socrates was based mainly on the type of death. H sentence, When katalagiasan the political passions that actually caused, appeared in subsequent unfair and scandalous. Greater however impression should be caused Socrates ' decision to drink hemlock, stoically accepting the unjust decision of the people's Court. If Socrates had for a lifetime cause its contemporaries with its "inappropriate" behavior of, the end was the biggest challenge. A man who chooses to die not to reciprocate an injustice, at a time when the prevailing morality of allowing (or under) to avoid, demonstrates in the most dramatic way that he had something very important to teach. H cultivation and the integrity of the soul allow the real philosopher to surpass even the fear of death.


[1] Ultra Timarchoy, 125, 173, 175.

[2] For example, Timaios 19e.

[3] Plato, Sophist 231d, 223b.

[4] Plato, Protagoras 318e-319a.

[5] Plato, Gorgias 452d-e.

[6] Plato, Πολιτεία A 338c.

[7] Plato, Protagoras 322d.

[8] On Aristotle, Sofistikoi controls 183b36 Mrs e.

[9] Gorgias, Helen's encomium 12.

[10] "the word kreittw ittw poiein ', On Aristotle, Pitoriki 1402a23.

[11] Sextus Empeirikos, For mathematicians VII 84.

[12] Protagoras re. 4.

[13] Antifwn re. 44.

[14] Ippias re. 17, deinon estin diabolia ' ™».

[15] Symposium 221 cd.

[16] Plato, Gorgias 521d.

[17] Symposium 221e-222a.

[18] What USA. 215d-216a.

[19] In this he agrees and the testimony of Aristotle, who claims that "Socrates turned on moral issues without regard to the nature, and sought the catholicon there bringing out first the importance of definitions» (After the course 987b1).

[20] Plato, Apologia Sokratous 29b6-7.

[21] Plato, Kritwn 49Mrs e c10. The same location shall deliver the Platonic Socrates and in Gorgia and in the 1st book of State.