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Incongruities Within the Philosophy of Socrates

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Incongruities Within the Philosophy of Socrates

There appears to be an unnatural and unfounded fascination with the alleged "works" of Socrates. Perhaps that it is simply that the absolutist ideals of philosophers such as Plato and Socrates do not appeal to the post-modern, politically correct, wishy washy, materialistic reader. It is more likely, however, that the problems posed by the philosophy itself and its surrounding circumstances outweigh the insight and philosophical ingenuity.

The world of forms is a creation in the mind of Socrates that contains within it multiple ironies. Socrates claims to be closer to the real and Truth than any other man in the history of the world. Socrates claims that he has achieved this level of higher understanding through a lifetime in passionate pursuit of his personal idealÐ'...Truth. Yet this Greek philosoph is the sole propounder of the viewpoint, which holds that there is one true example of all objects (a singular definition and model of a table or a chair).

The craftsman and idea smith of new theories cannot claim them as fact, for in similar situations, great thinkers have claimed that the world is flat, that the planets, the sun and all the heavens revolve around the Earth, and that Asia and the East Indies lie only 1100 miles west of the European continent. All of these conceptions of reality were later proved to be false, and, indeed, now seem ridiculous to the modern scholar. Anyone who is even slightly educated knows that this planet (and, in fact, all known planets) is spherical; the Earth and the rest of the planets in this solar system revolve around the sun, which is, incidentally, a relatively minor star; and there is an entire continent between Europe and Columbus's Asian objective, the continent, in fact, on which we live. The theories proposed by Socrates are similar. It is difficult for the modern reader to believe that there is one quintessential automobile or television set.

Just as there is no singular true representation of an object, these articles do not even necessarily have a solitary purpose. The world's most perfect stick, the one that exists in the world of forms, also makes a dandy measuring device. According to Socrates, there is only one illustration of each object and one and only one definition of the article's purpose. However, it cannot be denied that a stick can also be used to measure, and a flashlight could also be used as a weapon. After all, we, using the English measurement system, have been using a substitute for an English kings foot as a way in which to divine length for hundreds of years. For any item, there are a plethora of uses and a multitude of definitions. The world defies such concrete and categorical description. It is virtually impossible to state that any given item has one intended purpose. The human imagination is far too inventive for that.

Socrates is asking his disciples and all others who partake of his absolutist philosophy to ignore their instinct for ingenuity. This is one of the qualities that makes the human race so wonderful. It is the reason that we have survived for so long in a Darwinian sense; we have an incredible

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