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Socrates took philosophy into a new stage. He changed philosophy by introducing a new firm. According to him, philosophy should have firmly addressed how one should live while people were not thinking and neither was there any consideration by the people that philosophy could explain these things. Initially, people were accustomed to sophist philosophy which Socrates condemned to great heights. People held firmly to the philosophy that required them to pay for the wisdom they were offered. He termed this philosophy as deceptive. Socrates brought up a new firm that changed the previous perception held by the people in different approaches. He encouraged people to inquire into the phenomenon of nature instead of just influencing others to change their mind sets (Brickhouse and Nicholas, pp. 23-87). Sophism is founded on rhetoric and persuasive approach that believes that man is the standard of all things.
This conflict between the Socratic and Sophistic approaches is very much relevant in contemporary education. Socrates presented a logical point of view of the education system while sophism was taken as a mere rhetoric. According to Socrates, people should live by making an enquiry before a sound technology is embraced and must ceaselessly be utilized in an effort of sustaining a scientific civilization. Socrates attitude of enquiry, the willingness and eagerness to get explanations of the nature of what is in existence was for the purposes of enhancing knowledge instead of just accomplishing subjective goals related to human beings (Brickhouse and Nicholas, pp. 23-87). This approach was not present in the great pre-historic civilization. Socrates brought a new revolution and a very sound concept regarding the way in which people should live and deal with issues of life.
Consequently, sophism was applied during the time of the Babylonians because scientific breakthroughs were hardly recorded. For instance, the development of complex mathematical skills by the Egyptians although without geometry and the progress made by Babylonians in astrology and not astronomy should have been recorde. However, the failure to keep these records gave way to the rhetoric philosophy which according to Socrates was a misguided approach explaining the way people should live. Socrates helped to establish changes through his enquiry approach (Brickhouse and Nicholas, pp. 23-87). This has enabled people in the contemporary society to make consistent and rational decisions in policies such as those found in education.
Socrates helped to change the perception held by people that, even though people cannot know everything with complete certainty, they can feel confident concerning some things (Nails, pr. 3-16). Thus, Socrates changed a view held by Meno who firmly believed in his personal opinion. Socrates went ahead to disapprove his profess to knowledge. Socrates asserted that people should fast accept that they are ignorant before they attain wisdom. Initially, people were ignorant of their personal ignorance. Accepting that we know little is a recipe to enquiring more concerning that which is not known. This would thus lead to attaining knowledge.
Socrates said that the life that has not been examined is not worth living. This meant that if a person is not open to be criticized, then it is a waste of life. This is because criticism triggers more thought and action leading to the discovery of more knowledge (Nails, pr. 3-16). There is no reality in that life according to Socrates. Socrates was very careful in his choice of words. ‘Examine’ can be used to imply checking the condition of a thing or somebody; to observe or critically and carefully inspect; to analyze or study and make an inquiry into something. Thus, the life that is not examined is that whose objective or purpose has never been put to question. It is a life that has not been inquired into, analyzed or even inspected. According to Socrates, an unexamined life is a life that can never be appreciated further than its face value. These discerning questions put forward by Socrates lead us to enquiring ourselves whether there is more than what we see with our eyes. They also make us ask ourselves wwhether we live our own lives in accordance to the rules we have set or it is by the rules other people have set (Brickhouse and Nicholas, pp. 23-87).
Socrates meant that the search for meaning in life gives meaning to the whole concept of life. Thus, a person who does not examine the life they are living concerning nature, relationships, motivations, thoughts and reality is wasting the most valuable experiences. Therefore, that life is not worth living. Socrates asserted that people should not follow a societal norm without inquiring the ethics of the norm (Nails, pr. 3-16). According to Socrates, people should not live their lives through the guidance of the actions of other people as this would prevent the growth of our spiritual potential. People must therefore understand themselves first as this is the point of start. There is a lot of dynamism in today’s world and therefore a person who follows Socrates’ philosophy is most likely going to excel. For any individual to succeed, he or she must quickly adapt and shifting his or her ways very fast. The most important question would be whether a person is pro-active and whether the person is opening up other paths of action (Brickhouse and Nicholas, pp. 23-87). The life of an individual should not be led by reacting to the conditions set by other people.
In conclusion, Socrates presents a conflicting and logical approach to ancient approaches used in pre-historic civilization. Making enquiries to life and the nature around us is thus beneficial other than hanging on to the predispositions postulated by others. Sophists were merely persuasive and subjective in their philosophy something that Socrates disregarded by questioning every action that was realized amongst people. The Socratic Method has spurred growth amongst people and the development of their lives by having an attitude of enquiring into matters of life. Indeed, Socrates presented a new firm that changed the whole concept of living and the reasons why people live and how they should do it in order to live meaningful lives that would be beneficial to them.