How Did Socrates Influence Critical Thinking

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Socrates was a Greek philosopher who greatly impacted ancient and modern philosophy. Throughout his native home of Athens, Socrates was hailed as an influential but controversial figure. His honesty and straightforwardness eventually got him into trouble with the Athenian government. In 399 B.C., the Athenian Assembly charged Socrates with disrespecting the gods and corrupting the Athenian youth. Socrates’ trial was well documented by one of his students, Plato, in The Apology. When the jury questioned Socrates’ behavior, he defended himself by saying that the oracle Delphi claimed that he was the wisest of all men. Socrates must be wiser than other men in the way that he knows that he knows nothing. Socrates then professed that it was his duty to question apparent “wise” …show more content…
In particular, the Socratic method was inspired by him. The Socratic method is a question-and-answer discussion in which better hypotheses were found by identifying and eliminating those that lead to contradictions. This method was used to expose false or confused views held by the Athenian population. Centuries later, the Socratic method is still used today. Many law schools teach the method and it is even used in some forms of psychotherapy. This demonstrates how much of an impact Socrates had on critical thinking. Examining and questioning authority was another influential aspect of Socrates. The way that Socrates exposed the ineptness of politicians illustrated the fragility of the Athenian government. Having a Socratic-style public examiner in today’s society would be very beneficial in that it would expose people or groups that hold false or contradictory beliefs. This examiner could be anyone from philosophers, teachers, or groups of people that want to hold powerful people in society for a certain level of critical thinking. This demonstrates why a Socratic-style examiner can be constructive in

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