Bust of Socrates
Bronze bust of Socrates, one of the most important Greek philosophers (470-399 BC). Socrates was Plato's teacher and was sentenced to death by drinking hemlock for contempt towards the gods. He accepted his fate rather than fleeing into exile.Socrates was the son of Sophroniscus and Phaenarete, got married to Xanthippe at an old age and had three children. In his philosophical research, Socrates was attended by many, mostly young people, and a group was formed around him, but it was not a school, because he did not teach systematically; he was confabulating with people of all social classes in every part of the city. Unlike the sophists, Socrates did not take money from his students. He stated that he heard a voice inside him, which he called "demon" and forbade him to do certain things. Socrates avoided getting involved with politics and preferred to pursue his own independent path. The only exception was when his homeland called him. According to Socrates, our true happiness depends on whether what we do is righteous. "You can't be happy if you act contrary to what you believe," he said. Socrates thought that when people act immorally they do not do it on purpose, which is also known as the "Socratic Paradox". He often asked his fellow citizens, "Aren't you ashamed of your desire to get as much wealth, fame, and honour as possible, but you don't care the same about wisdom or truth, or about the better state of your soul?" He also stressed, that instead of constantly dealing with their families, and their political responsibilities, people should be concerned about the "well-being of their souls". Socrates did not write any books, and yet is still considered to be as one of the philosophers who changed forever the way we perceive philosophy. He also influenced almost all philosophical schools around the world.
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