What are some profound teachings from Socrates

Ancient philosophy

History of Philosophy pp 1-69 | Cite as


The birth of philosophy - can it be compared with the birth of a human being? Perhaps insofar as it is equally difficult to determine when life actually begins with both of them. The first cry, the first breath is certainly a decisive event: a child is "born". It's alive now - but hasn't its heart been beating for a long time? And how long will it still live in completely different children's worlds? And as an adult, how much has this person lost again that he often doesn't know about or that he mourns or that he pushes aside in the drafts that he makes makeshift? We don't want to widen the comparison too much. Perhaps he can show how questionable, strange, funny and serious at the same time is what we call the "history of philosophy" and what it is about. In this context, the question of the origin always seemed a hopeful way to gain clarity about the matter itself. But the more the origin gets lost in the dark, the clearer it becomes that the questioner must give the answer himself! Yes, one can say: when and where the beginning of philosophy is seen gives less information about philosophy than about the way in which a later time sees itself. This pendulum relation, this non-dissolvable tension or mirror relationship between the present and the past belongs to the human being as a historical being who seeks orientation about himself in his history.

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