Socrates

Introduction

Socrates sŏk´rətēz [key], 469–399 BC, Greek philosopher of Athens. Famous for his view of philosophy as a pursuit proper and necessary to all intelligent men, he is one of the great examples of a man who lived by his principles even though they ultimately cost him his life. Knowledge of the man and his teachings comes indirectly from certain dialogues of his disciple Plato and from the Memorabilia of Xenophon . In spite of conflicting interpretations of his teachings, the accounts of these two writers are largely supplementary.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.