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The Most Influential Group of Philosophers
by Barry Wright
Essay: The Most Influential Group of Philosophers
Pages: 10
Rating: 3 stars
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In the course of human history, there have been many great, influential philosophers that have changed our view
of this small planet and the universe around it. Perhaps the most influential group of philosophers came from
ancient Greece. Many ideals and principles we use today come from three prominent philosophers named
Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. These men will soon (not in their lifetimes) change the course of human history and
the process of thought.
Socrates was born in 469 B.C. to Sophacles, an Athenian stone crafter. He was born at a time of political upheaval,
causing him to be well versed in his political knowledge. The city of Athens in which he resided would eventually
use him as a scapegoat for their political downfall, resulting in his suicide.
Since Socrates only taught by means of public conversation and oration, most of what we know about him we
learned from his student, Plato. Unlike other philosophers of his era, Socrates didn’t concern himself with issues on
how or why the world worked, he pondered things like how man should live and what morality means. Socrates
was hailed as the inventor of the branch of philosophy known as ethics. It is exactly his concern with
Swetnam 3
ethical matters that lead him into conflicts with the city elders, who accused him of corrupting the minds of the
sons of the rich with revolutionary and unorthodox ideas. “The only thing that I know is that I know nothing.
(Stokes, 36)” This famous quote from Socrates shows that he thought that he knew nothing of the universe and
was barely scratching the surface with his moral and ethical teachings.
The way Socrates taught was with his persistent questioning about a broad subject in hopes of narrowing it down
to sh...