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Philosophy examines and probes many different fields Virtue morality immortality death and the difference between the soul and the body are just a few of the many different topics which can be covered under the umbrella of philosophy Philosophers are supposed to be experts on all these subjects The have well thought out opinions and they are very learned peopleAmong the most revered philosophers of all time was Socrates Living around the 5th century BC Socrates was among the first philosophers who were not a sophist meaning that he never felt that he was wise for he was always in the pursuit of knowledge Unfortunately Socrates was put to death late in his life One of his best students Plato however recorded what had occurred on that last day of Socrates life In Platos The Apology Socrates was put on trial and charged with undermining state religion and corrupting young people The speech he offered in his own defense provides us with many reminders of the central features of Socrates approach to philosophy and its relation to practical life Explaining his mission as a philosopher Socrates reports an oracular message telling him No one is wiser than you Plato He then proceeds through a series of ironic descriptions of his efforts to disprove the oracle by conversing with notable Athenians who must surely be wiser In each case however Socrates concludes that he has a kind of wisdom that each of them lacks namely an open awareness of his own ignorance The goal of Socrates questioning as he points out was to help individuals to achieve genuine self-knowledge even if it often turns out to be negative in character In the The Apology his cross-examination of Meletus shows that Socrates intentions were to turn the methods of the Sophists inside out using logical nit picking to expose rather than to create illusions about reality Even after the jury has convicted him Socrates declines to abandon
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