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WESTERN CIVILIZATION In todays modern world much of our own cultures beliefs and morals are directly due to the impact of Socratic philosophy on European thinkers and therefore our own in the western world This philosophy was based upon the thoughts of Socrates who was an Athenian philosopher and possibly the most enigmatic figure in the entire history of philosophy To begin after about 450 BC Athens was considered the cultural center of the Greek world and from then on Athenian philosophy took a new direction In the past the Greek world had experienced ideas presented by the natural philosophers or pre-Socratic since they were born before Socrates which were the earliest Greek philosophers and were mainly concerned with the natural or physical world and its processes This concept gives the pre-Socratics a central position in the history of science After the pre-Socratics emerged the sophists whose name meant in definition wise and informed people The sophists were a group of itinerant teachers and philosophers from the Greek hellas who flocked to Athens where they made a living by teaching the citizens of Athens for money Socrates himself had long been accused of being a sophist a designation he bitterly resented as his thoughts were very similar to those of a sophist During the age of the sophists Socrates 470-399 BC became known as one to talk with the people he met in the marketplaces and city squares of Athens and could also have been seen standing lost in thought for hours on end Although he never once wrote a line Socrates would become one of the philosophers who has had the greatest influence on European thought not least because of the dramatic manner or circumstances of his death which have been questioned for 2400 years He would however not be the first or last to have seen things through to the bitter end
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