Why did Socrates leave no written work
Socrates' teaching method
The SOKRATES teaching method was new for the time and also interesting from today's point of view. He carried out his teaching in public places in Athens in the form of teaching dialogues. He wanted to lead his students to truth through his method of maieutics (Greek: midwifery). He was of the opinion that every human being, as a rational being, carries the truth within himself, but that this is hidden and must first be "born" through a targeted question and answer game. He is reported to have said that he practiced the art of his father, a sculptor, by trying to give form to people, and that he, like his mother, a midwife, let them give birth to knowledge.
That was why he was openly against that sophistry turned, according to whose dialectic knowledge is not in the foreground, but the ability to dazzle the respective interlocutor with persuasive skills.
At this point it should not be left unmentioned that SOCRATES himself is described as a sophist in the comedy "The Clouds" by ARISTOPHANES. PLATON ("Socratic Dialogues") describes SOCRATES as someone who flaunted his own ignorance and hid his true face behind it ("I know that I don't know"), who was so astute and clever that he was able to see through and subvert the arguments of his counterpart with ease.
The philosophical teaching of SOCRATES
The philosophical teaching of SOCRATES had a lasting influence on the whole of Greek philosophy.
SOCRATES was mainly concerned with ethical issues and based his teaching on the idea that hidden within every human being is the same rational understanding and definition of justice, love, virtue and self-knowledge. He believed that ignorance, not deliberate malice, was the cause of all vices. By knowledge he understood virtue in the sense of efficiency. According to this, those who know what is right should act correctly - i.e. virtuously. The basic idea was that everything virtuous is useful and everything vicious is harmful.
In addition to these ethical questions, Socrates particularly dealt with problems of the logic and in this context with the formulation of general definitions. References to this can be found in the writings of ARISTOTLE, a student of PLATON.
SOCRATES influenced thinkers like ANTISTHENES or ARISTIPUS, to whom the currents of the Cynic and the Cyrenaic from which EPIKUR later developed his teachings. SOCRATES was also a spiritual model for Stoics such as the Greek philosopher EPICTETE, the Roman thinker SENECA THE ELDERLY and the Roman emperor MARK AUREL.
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