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Early Greek Philosophy - Essay Example

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Here, we review the discussion between Sophists and Socrates. We do so with respect to the varied beliefs about nature of knowledge, the application of the Socratic Method, Socrates’ specific exchange with and…
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Early Greek Philosophy
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"Early Greek Philosophy"

Download file to see previous pages They believed everything is only so to the eye of the beholder, and so to was it with knowledge itself according to the Sophists. Socrates, however, opposed to the Sophist position. He attempted to understand the nature of such absolutes as Justice, Goodness, or Beauty in discussion with others. Ultimately, his aim appears to be a form of the Golden Rule. If everything is relative and nothing is static, how would it be for one to be on the less than desirable side of relativity?
Socrates used a dialectic technique (86). Socrates’ preferred method of debate was that of the question-answer session. He would question his opposition, and based on their answers, formulate additional questions until the relative err or truth in a given belief could be brought to light. This way, it was more as if the student derived his own conclusion from obviated facts than simply believing what is told him or her. The path to wisdom is not necessarily the accumulation of knowledge but more the honing of one’s power of discernment.
Socrates believed that much like a midwife helps a mother bring forth a newborn so do teachers assist students in drawing out clarity from things in their own minds (96). As such a teacher can no more bring forth understanding from a person devoid of at least some ideas than a midwife can bring forth life from a woman not pregnant. Socrates augmented this method with strategic use of Irony. Irony is the employment of communication on multiple levels – usually an exoteric and an esoteric. The exoteric level is that of obvious, literal meanings. The esoteric is that of hidden, basic meaning. Socrates applies this method to keep his listeners engaged in his speech throughout the processes of clarification.
Socrates’ discussion with Thrasymachus is representative of this process (99). The question he is trying to decide in the discussion with Thrasymachus is whether might makes right. He ultimately argues against Thrasymachus position by ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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