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Astro*Dictionary by Michael Erlewine





1 article for "Socrates"

Socrates [Astro*Index]


(BC470-399) Greek philosopher who was born and died at Athens.

He learned rational science in Asia Minor, and may have been a student of Anaxagoras, or of one of his disciples. Nevertheless, he questioned the importance of the pursuit of knowledge about the universe; rather, he sought to understand virtue. This negative attitude helped to divert Greek intellects toward studies in moral philosophy, with the result that Greek science was permitted to wither, and almost die. His methods in dialogue were disarming and earned him an wide repetutation, which endures to this day.

Tried, in BC399, on the charge of atheism and treason, he made no attempt to defend himself with rational arguments, and the death sentence was voted. Drinking the poison hemlock, he died at the age of 70 years. Leaving no writings of his own, we know of him only through the works of other authors. He is a central character in the dialogues of Plato.


Astro*Index Copyright © 1997 Michael Erlewine