Saturday, July 25, 2009

What are you on (about), dear Socrates?

Large headbust of bearded Socrates

Socrates is an enigmatic, highly influential figure of Western philosophy. Although we see him through the eyes of his admiring student Plato, Socrates has been accredited for creating his own method, the elenchus.

The elenchus is a constant and rigorous questioning of values. In fact, it is so intense and rigorous, sharpened by the merciless stiletto of logic that his friends and fellow philosophers are left baffled and speechless on numerous accounts.

In Plato's Dialogues, there are several instances where his friends cry out that they do not understand or have great difficulty following this brilliant philosopher's speeding train of thought. Socrates is often asked to clarify what he means by this or that and how he jumps to certain conclusions – most of which are indeed not immediately self-evident.

In the end, however, almost anybody who comes into contact with this famously “ugly-looking” thinker will leave the conversation in a state of perplexity and utter confusion. Socrates, to their great dismay, has not only left their questions unanswered; he has led them through the shady paths and dark alleys of doubt and has added fuel to the fire by eliciting even more questions!

So, dear readers, a piece of advice or warning: Don't look for answers when dealing with Socrates. Be ready to sacrifice the little knowledge you thought you had. Because as Socrates states himself, he is wise only because he knows that he knows nothing.


Diff.thinkr said...

great blog and great content!!!!
Just love it!

Diff.thinkr said...

Once a thinker ,always a thinker...... you will never find and end to questions....

Arash Farzaneh said...

Thank you for your comments! I agree Diff.thinkr, one should always keep thinking and ask questions and it should never end, otherwise one gets lazy, rigid - and stuck.

Trent, although Nietzsche has perhaps had a larger impact on the deconstructionists, Socrates would not be that far behind. In fact, the method of Socrates has been widely used in the field of psychology. No doubt, Socrates has started a revolution in our way of thinking and interpreting the world.

And you're very welcome ; )

Barkha Dhar said...

I am an admirer of the great socratic philosophy where self examination is a good way to prognosis. Thanks much for sharing this post!
Barkha Dhar

Owl said...


I stumbled on your philosophical blog, and liked it a lot!
Recently I have started my own blog about philosophy.
Just some stories and thoughts for the moment, I am new so am still learning to optimise lay outs etc.
Maybe you can give me some tips.

You can find my blog here: http://philosophylessons.blogspot.c...

I read that people exchange links to get traffic to their websites.
Maybe if you're interested I can link your website to mine?

Just a thought cause I a new with all this.

Kind Regards