Socrates

This passage is about the well-known Greek philosopher, Socrates.

Lexile Level: 820L

Categories: History People & Places


Socrates is called the father of philosophy. He lived in Athens in the fifth century B.C. He never wrote a single book. But he had many famous students. One of his students, Plato, wrote many books in which Socrates appears as a character. Socrates' teaching method consisted of asking his students questions. If a student inquired about a particular injustice, then Socrates might ask, "What is justice?" Plato's books are called "dialogues" because they imitate Socrates' conversational style. In the dialogues, Plato often portrays Socrates as a thinker who could outsmart the wisest men of his time. He asked persistent questions until even the most knowledgeable men had to admit that they didn't know everything. Socrates' method offended many people. The Athenian government accused him of corrupting his students. He was found guilty and sentenced to death. Plato recounts the last days of his teacher in his dialogues. Instead of trying to escape, Socrates placed the law before himself. He accepted the judgment.


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