Socrates and education

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Socrates  was a classical Greek (Athenian) philosopher. Credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, he is an enigmatic figure known chiefly through the accounts of later classical writers, especially the writings of his students Plato and Xenophon and the plays of his contemporary Aristophanes. 

socratesBust of Socrates in the Vatican Museum

 During his life, Socrates often disrupted the status quo by questioning the public and creating controversy. His views on knowledge and truth have influenced the way many people view learning.

Socrates preferred conversational teaching and didn’t leave a single record behind. As a result, all of the “quotes” from Socrates we have today are actually from the writings of his students (primarily Plato and Xenophon).

So here are some of those:



Then according to SocratesWhat is learning? How are skills and knowledge acquired ?

Learning is the seeking of truth in matters, and it occurs when after questioning and interpreting the wisdom and knowledge of others, one comes to recognize their own ignorance. Skills and knowledge are acquired by: (1) interpreting the statements of others; (2) testing or examining the knowledge or wisdom of those reputed (by themselves or others) to be wise; (3) showing those who are not wise their ignorance; (4 ) learning from those who are wise; (5) examining oneself; (6) exhorting others to philosophy; (7) examining the lives of others; (8) attaining moral knowledge. (Benson p.17)

 Benson, Hugh C., 2000 Socratic Wisdom. New York: Oxford University Press


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