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Primary School

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About Socrates

Socrates was an ancient Greek philosopher. He is respected as a brilliant thinker and teacher with a great thirst for knowledge.


In pursuit of wisdom and a life of virtue, some ancient philosophers gave up their wealth, or left their homes, to live very disciplined lives. For them, philosophy was a practical way to transform themselves into, they hoped, better people. One of the most famous examples of a philosopher who lived his philosophy is Socrates. He didn’t earn a living, he didn’t participate in city politics. Instead he spent his life wandering around the city, challenging people’s beliefs and purposing knowledge. Philosophy originated thousands of years ago in Ancient Greece. The word philosophy comes from an Ancient Greek word, meaning ‘love of wisdom.’


Socrates did not write down his ideas or teachings, but people who learned from him did. It is thought he trained as a stonemason, like his father, but that he then decided to spend his time searching for knowledge. He did this by spending his time discussing ideas with his friends. They would meet in public places, and people passing by would join in the discussion.



Socrates believed in the importance of reason to develop ideas and identify truths. He asked his students questions about a topic, helping them to discover where their knowledge or beliefs were flawed. He used this method—now called the Socratic Method—to reveal wisdom.