Socrates was the son of Sophroniscus, an Athenian stonemason and sculptor, and Phaenarete, a midwife. He received a basic Greek education because he wasn’t from a noble family, where he learned his father’s craft at a young age. Socrates worked as a mason for many years before he devoted his life to philosophy. Socrates married Xanthippe, a younger woman, who gave him three sons- Lamprocles, Sophroniscus and Menexenus. There isn’t much known of Xanthippe. Only that she wasn’t happy with Socrates second profession. Philosophy didn’t support his family. Socrates always emphasized the importance of the mind over the relative unimportance of the human body. Athenian law required all males to serve as citizen soldiers, on call for duty from ages 18 until 60. According to Plato, Socrates served in the armored infantry. Known as the hoplite, where he used a shield, long spear and a facemask. He participated in three military campaigns during the Peloponnesian War; at Delium, Amphipolis, and Potidaea, where he saved the life of Alcibiades, a popular Athenian general. Socrates was known for his courage in battle and fearlessness, a trait that stayed with him throughout his life. Socrates compares his military service to his courtroom troubles, and said anyone on the jury who thinks he should retreat from philosophy must also think soldiers should retreat when it seems likely that they will be killed in battle. Socrates believed that philosophy should achieve practical results for the greater well being of society. He attempted to start an ethical system based on human reason. He pointed out that human choice was motivated by the desire for happiness. He also believes that ultimate wisdom comes from knowing oneself. The more a person knows, the greater his or her ability to reason and make choices that will bring true happiness. While devoting his like to Philosophy, he came up with the Socratic method. The most important contribution to Western thought. It laid the
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