Socrates (Greek: Σωκράτης, Ancient Greek pronunciation: [soˈkraːtɛːs], Sōkrátēs; c. 469 BC–399 BC, in English pronounced /ˈsɒkrətiːz/) wis a Classical Greek Athenian philosopher. Creditit as ane o the foonders o Wastren philosophy, he is an enigmatic figure kent chiefly through the accoonts o later classical writers, especially the writins o his students Plato an Xenophon, an the plays o his contemporary Aristophanes. Mony woud claim that Plato's dialogues are the maist comprehensive accoonts o Socrates tae survive frae antiquity.
Through his portrayal in Plato's dialogues, Socrates haes become renouned for his contribution tae the field o ethics, an it is this Platonic Socrates who an aa lends his name tae the concepts o Socratic irony an the Socratic method, or elenchus. The latter remains a commonly uised tool in a wide range o discussions, an is a type o pedagogy in which a series o questions are asked no ae tae draw individual answers, but an aa tae encourage fundamental insicht intae the issue at hand. It is Plato's Socrates that an aa made important an lastin contributions tae the fields o epistemology an logic, an the influence o his ideas an approach remains strang in providin a foondation for muckle wastren philosophy that follaed.
As ane recent commentator haes put it, Plato, the idealist, affers "an idol, a maister figure, for philosophy. A Saunt, a prophet o the 'Sun-God', a teacher condemned for his teachins as a heretic." Yet, the 'real' Socrates, like mony o the ither Ancient philosophers, remains at best enigmatic an at wirst unkent.
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