Socrates' conception of philosophy

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Essay “Socrates’ conception of philosophy” Ivanov Arkady 1 group Icef Socrates’ conception of philosophy. Socrates, perhaps, the most interesting figure in the philosophy of antiquity, and also a world-famed personage. If shortly recall the periods already passed over, could be found that the ancient Ionic philosophers certainly thought, but without reflecting on the thought or defining its product as thought. The Atomists made objective existence into thoughts, but these were to them only abstractions, pure entities. Anaxagoras, on the other hand, raised thought into a principle which thereby presented itself as the all-powerful Notion, as the negative power over all that is definite and existent. Protagoras finally expresses thought as real existence, but it is in

this its movement, which is the all-resolving consciousness, the unrest of the Notion. Socrates expresses real existence as the universal ‘I,’ as the consciousness which rests in itself; but that is the good as such, which is free from existent reality, free from individual sensuous consciousness of feeling and desire, free finally from the theoretically speculative thought about nature, which, if indeed thought, has still the form of Being in which “I am not certain of my existence”. Socrates herein adopted firstly the doctrine of Anaxagoras that thought, the understanding, is the ruling and self-determining universal, though this principle did not, as with the Sophists, attain the form of formal culture or of abstract philosophizing. Thus, if with Socrates, as with

Protagoras, the self-conscious thought that abrogates all that is determined, was real existence, with Socrates this was the case in such a way that he at the same time grasped in thought rest and security. This substance existing in and for itself, the self-retaining has become determined as end, and further as the true and the good. The freedom of self-consciousness in Socrates breaks out. This freedom which is contained therein, the fact that consciousness is clearly present in all that it thinks, and must necessarily be at home with itself. Thus Socrates’ principle is that man has to find from himself both the end of his actions and the end of the world, and must attain to truth through himself. True thought thinks in such a way that its import is as truly objective as

subjective. But objectivity has been the significance of substantial universality, and not of external objectivity; thus truth is now posited as a product mediated through thought. Since Socrates thus introduces the infinitely important element of leading back the truth of the objective to the thought of the subject, just as Protagoras says that the objective first is through relation to us. The battle of Socrates and Plato with the Sophists cannot rest on the ground that these, as belonging to the old faith, maintained against the others: the religion and customs. Reflection, and the reference of any judgment to consciousness, is held by Socrates in common with the Sophists. But the opposition into which Socrates and Plato were in their philosophy necessarily brought in regard

to the Sophists, as the universal philosophic culture of the times, was as follows: — The objective produced through thought, is at the same time in and for itself, thus being raised above all particularity of interests and desires, and being the power over them. Hence because, on the one hand, to Socrates and Plato the moment of subjective freedom is the directing of consciousness into itself, on the other, this return is also determined as a coming out from particular subjectivity. It is hereby implied that contingency of events is abolished, and man has this outside within him, as the spiritual universal. After this Socrates accepted the Good at first only in the particular significance of the practical, which nevertheless is only one mode of the substantial Idea; the