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What we know of Socrates' philosophy is almost entirely derived from Plato's writings

Socrates (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Happiness and Freedom in Socrates and Callicles | …

PDF Happiness and Freedom in Socrates and Callicles Kristian Urstad
The poets didn't know anything either, but at least they , under inspiration, many "fine things." Now we get to the "craftsmen" -- actually the , , the "hand-artists." We have already been told that Socrates discovered that "those who were thought to be inferior were more knowledgeable," and here we get to those who might well be "thought to be inferior." They are also, interestingly, the people of Socrates' own class.

Ancient Greek Philosophy | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Commentary on the Apology of Socrates - Friesian School
Socrates could well have been an ordinary artisan for the ancient equivalent of entire lifetime, until 35, and still had another full 35 years to live a new life as a philosopher.


The Internet Classics Archive | Meno by Plato

Plato, The Apology (The Death of Socrates)
"...good hope as regards death...a good man cannot be harmed either in life or in death, and that his affairs [, ] are not neglected by the gods." A final statement of Socrates' peculiar idea that the good cannot be harmed, though here with the implication that this is guaranteed by the gods, who watch over us -- as Socrates certainly felt watched over himself, by his "sign." This all by itself would imply that death is a good thing, since death happens to good people as well as bad.

APOLOGY by Plato translated by Benjamin Jowett New York, C
Socrates had no interest in whether his corpse was burned or buried,but he bathed at the prison’s cistern so the women of his householdwould be spared from having to wash his corpse. After meeting with hisfamily again in the late afternoon, he rejoined his companions. Theservant of the Eleven, a public slave, bade Socrates farewell bycalling him “the noblest, the gentlest, and the best” of men(Phaedo 116c). The poisoner described the physical effects ofthe Conium maculatum variety of hemlock used for citizenexecutions (Bloch 2001), then Socrates cheerfully took the cup anddrank. Phaedo, a former slave echoing the slave of the Eleven, calledSocrates, “the best, … the wisest and the most upright”(Phaedo 118a).

Scribner's Sons, [1871] INTRODUCTION

This brings us to the spring and summer of 399, to Socrates’s trialand execution. Twice in Plato’s dialogues (Symposium 173b,Theaetetus 142c–143a), fact-checking with Socrates took placeas his friends sought to commit his conversations to writing before hewas executed. [spring 399 Theaetetus] Prior to theaction in the Theaetetus, a young poet named Meletus hadcomposed a document charging Socrates with the capital crime ofirreverence (asebeia): failure to show due piety toward thegods of Athens. This he delivered to Socrates in the presence ofwitnesses, instructing Socrates to present himself before the kingarchon within four days for a preliminary hearing (the same magistratewould later preside at the pre-trial examination and the trial). Atthe end of theTheaetetus, Socrates was on his way to that preliminaryhearing. As a citizen, he had the right to countersue, the right toforgo the hearing, allowing the suit to proceed uncontested, and theright to exile himself voluntarily, as the personified laws laterremind him (Crito 52c). Socrates availed himself of none ofthese rights of citizenship. Rather, he set out to enter a plea andstopped at a gymnasium to talk to some youngsters about mathematicsand knowledge.

Quotes About Life and How to Live it Well

It certainly agrees in toneand character with the description of Xenophon, who says in the Memorabiliathat Socrates might have been acquitted 'if in any moderate degree he wouldhave conciliated the favour of the dicasts;' and who informs us in anotherpassage, on the testimony of Hermogenes, the friend of Socrates, that hehad no wish to live; and that the divine sign refused to allow him toprepare a defence, and also that Socrates himself declared this to beunnecessary, on the ground that all his life long he had been preparingagainst that hour.

Socrates > By Individual Philosopher > Philosophy

In short, one is now more free to answer, Who was Socrates really?in the variety of ways that it has been answered in the past, in one’sown well-reasoned way, or to sidestep the question, philosophizingabout the issues in Plato’s dialogues without worrying too much aboutthe long toes of any particular interpretive tradition. Those seekingthe views and methods of Plato’s Socrates from the perspective of whatone is likely to see attributed to him in the secondary literature(§2.2) will find it useful to consult the related entry on .