Philosophy is an academic subject that exercises reason and logic in an attempt to understand reality and answer fundamental questions about knowledge, life, morality, virtue, and human nature. The original word for philosophy comes from the ancient Greek word philosopha, which means love of wisdom. Although Socrates himself never claimed to have any answers to the questions he raised, his views and methods of philosophy became the foundations of what philosophy is today. Socrates actually wrote nothing, because he felt that knowledge was something to be gained by living and interacting in the world. So most of what we do know about Socrates comes from the writings of another very important person in Greek history, Plato. Socrates’ philosophy was based on pursuit of truth through the questioning of beliefs, virtue being defined as knowledge and talking about the elements that make up a good life.
Greek philosophy before Socrates is called Pre-Socratic philosophy and the origin of western philosophy can be found early Greek thinkers of the 6th and 7th century BC. The Pre-Socratic philosophers were called physiologoi; physical or natural philosophers and they lived and taught in Asia Minor, Thrace, Sicily and south Italy. The Pre-Socratic philosophy is a philosophy of nature. The Pre-Socratic combined Greek mythology with rational thinking and sought all the forces which compose nature. Socrates grew up in the atmosphere of the Pre-Socratic thought and explored their knowledge and wisdom. Socrates gave philosophy for the first time an anthropocentric character. The absence of this element in previous thought is the main reason the adjective 'Pre-Socratic' is attributed to the philosophers before Socrates. The central question of the Pre-Socratic philosophy was: what is the nature of cosmos? Based on this question, the Pre-Socratic explored the primary substance (arche) of cosmos, as well as all those cosmic forces on... [continues]
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