Islamic Scholars Wiki

Socrates was one of the most important philosophers in western history. Through Plato, his views on ethical questions have had a lasting influence on how Philosophy is taught and conducted in modern universities.

The Greek Oracle had claimed "No one is wiser than Socrates" which puzzled Socrates as he professed to know nothing. By logical discourse he would argue opponent's definitions were inadequate and that they must continue the search for an ideal definition of the discussion's topic.

Socrates was often used by Plato as a mouthpiece to represent Plato's own philosophical viewpoints. As Socrates didn't write anything down it is principally through Plato's writing that the picture we have of Socrates is taken.


In his work The Republic, Plato depicts Socrates discussing the five types of governments. He explains that as you progress from one form of government to the next, you get progressively worse. The sons of rulers are never as good as their fathers, and as power is transferred from the old to the young, you eventually wind up with a tyrant who rules the most wretched form of government – a tyranny. Democracy is not spared by Socrates. He states that in a democracy, freedom is esteemed as the supreme good but this freedom ultimately manifests as a form of slavery. People in a democracy are consumed with unnecessary desires and their misuse of freedom results in a life that has no order or priority.