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Does Socrates get the credit he deserves?

We quite often read the praise of Plato and Aristotle but Socrates was the first teacher of philosophy. What’s the deal?


  1. Not really sure we can answer this one. We don’t have any of the writings of Socrates. We only have what Plato said he said, and the second reports of other writers. The very concept of intellectual property did not exist then, so citing someone was more a matter of respect for the person and a way to make your own point sound better than any sort of systematized reference.
    In a nutshell, yes, he does. He’s one of the first recorded critical thinkers. The Socratic Method, i.e. asking questions to get answer from the questioner, is still a favorite methodology of teacher today.

  2. It’s hard to say. I have not read any of his works. Most of what he taught was given to us by his student Plato. His belief in virtue and the innocence of man went against what was generally believed. The sanctity of life was not considered then. He was sentenced to death. If he truly believed in virtue, he would do the honorable thing as a virtuous man and kill himself. He did so and died in the presence of his students. Teachers today use his method of drawing out the answer from the student by use of a series of well-framed questions. Which supports the thesis “that all knowledge is within”. This is the basis of “New Age Thought” and irritates the heck out of a lot of average people.
    However, he does seem to pop-up in unusual places. He was the supposed impetus in the movie “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure”
    More is known about his students, which in a way says a lot about the man Socrates, to have inspired his students in such a way they continued with their philosophical endeavors.
    It is hard for modern day students to understand Socrates’ decision to commit suicide. People tend to disagree with those who choose death over life. Questions arise about why he would not continue with his work. Personal Honor and accountablity is a hard thing for most to “wrap their heads around” if it isn’t for a group, a cause, etc.
    What I have read of Socrates I tend to accept and respect. There just isn’t enough of his literature for us to think about. Most of what we have are from his students (second hand knowledge). I find what I do read admirable.

  3. Socrates has not left behind anything in black and white which Plato and Aristotle have done and so he does not get the credit that he deserves.

  4. We don’t find any of Socrates’ writings because he didn’t write anything down. But he is given alot of credit, especially when you look at the cycle of philosophy. Chaos in the world (whether politically, socially, morally, etc), Logical breakdown (Socratic Method), Idealism establishment (Plato’s Teachings), settling for Realism (Aristotle’s Teachings). This pattern is found through out history and is used by many a philosopher, scientist, or mathematician on a regular basis. In fact, some would say that Socrates is the most famous of the three.


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