Laughter is the Best Medicine

Who Was Socrates? – 8-Bit Philosophy

Who was Socrates? Though known as one of the most influential
thinkers of all time, Socrates never wrote down a single word. So, in reality, all we know about him is what
others tell us. Most famously, Socrates is a figure in Plato’s
dialogues, where, among other things, he is depicted as short, fat, and ugly; wears dirty
togas; doesn’t have a job to support his wife and kids; doesn’t participate in Athens’s
political life; and doesn’t care about his social status. But it’s also said of him that
he could stay up all night without feeling tired the next day, could drink anyone under
the table without getting drunk, and he is seemingly impervious to heat and cold. A total dreamboat, indeed. Yes, according
to Plato, Socrates is seemingly superhuman individual who cares only about asking questions
about moral knowledge. It all started when the Oracle at Delphi declared
that no one was wiser than Socrates. Puzzled by this claim, Socrates set about testing
the riddle by seeking out knowledge from people who claimed to have it. But while the people thought they had good
answers, Socrates’s cross-examination showed them they were wrong. This, of course, made
them look like fools, which made a lot of people in Athens hate him. In the end, Socrates
decided that he was wise – at least he knew that he didn’t know. You would think Socrates would have backed
off at that point. But he didn’t. Even in the face of a death sentence, he refused
to stop philosophizing, for Socrates thought fearing unknown things, like death, was just
another way in which we pretend to know when, in fact, we don’t. Socrates believed that he had a responsibility
to his fellow Athenians to root out arrogance and ignorance wherever he found it. After all, false beliefs are bad for your
health. Think about it like this: if you have a belief that you can safely cross the street,
but don’t know that an 18-wheeler is bearing down on you, and if you also happen to have
an outsized hubris, you’re not going to listen to someone who tries to tell you to get out
of the street. Instead, you’ll just walk right into the path of that massive truck, and,
well, SPLAT. False beliefs influence our actions, and degrade
our character. And this is what Socrates wanted to prevent. So, the next time you think you know something,
consider the wisdom of not thinking you know something that you don’t. Then again, everything we “know” about Socrates
is based on other people’s words. So, dear viewer, is it, then, unwise for us to strongly
believe that he actually existed?

100 thoughts on “Who Was Socrates? – 8-Bit Philosophy

  1. I don't like how this paints Socrates as being a consequentialist. Instead of saying false beliefs would lead to bad consequences like the truck, Plato's Socrates would be more likely to say some narrative about how false beliefs fail to correspond to the Form of the Good or the True or somesuch.

  2. SOCRATES – "Writing! that's for nerds!"
    PUPIL – "Hey man! It's cool! Let me take some notes!

    I know that the Pupil could be Plato or Xenophon.
    But the word "nerd" is perfect to describe what Plato was.

  3. Great video, however there is one inaccuracy in that Socrates did write down a single work called "to whom do I call educated". 

  4. Hello. Could you allow me to translate your videos to Portuguese and publish them on my channel? I will describe the source and copyright reserved.

  5. That's the beauty of it.  It doesn't even matter if Socrates or even Plato even existed so long as the ideas in the dialogue can accurately explain our present reality.  Why do you think Plato never appeared in his own dialogues?

  6. I can't imagine a philosopher of introspection of that caliber didn't believe in writing things down. then again, i suppose he could have been illiterate. My middle class ass takes for granted the ability to read and write, but shit didn't was not always so available

  7. Will this channel ever cover the philosophy of Eastern philosophers? Like say, Confucius or Xun Kuang? Or like Averroes or Alhazen?

  8. I don't think it even matters if he existed or not. Isn't an idea the only thing that can truly exist forever. I wish Philosophy was more respected.

  9. Funny that I never hear Christians say "of course everything we know about Jesus is based on other people's words. So should be believe that he actually existed? Or are his ideas that all that it matter."

  10. Socrates the superhobo?
    Also how much did the weather swing in ancient greece?  I mean some people are very good at handling the cold & hot (due to "roughing it") or are very good at concealing there weaknesses.  (not getting caught or seen, being asleep or being sick, doesn't  mean you cant be)  heck alchoholism increases your tolerance to alcohol… so maybe Socrates was a Philosophizing drunk.

  11. Socrates almost sounds like a character from a greek myth, as well as a sort of comic book character. Which makes me wonder if the stories that we interpret as religious were really just the ancient greek version of comic books.

  12. Love this I hope you guys never stop creating these very important and inspiring philosophical videos, not only are they interesting but filled with humour also which adds enjoyment to the fact.

    Thanks to the editors and creative team behind all these insightful videos!

  13. By saying he didn't matter but his ideas did is a contradiction, because what are we if not our own beliefs, actions, and ideas

  14. I admire his inquisitiveness; It's important to remain inquisitive. To always ask questions and seek knowledge.

  15. I home-school my son and today's lesson was on Philosophers from Ancient Greece. This was a GREAT supplement to our lesson today! Thank you for this!

  16. I'm picking up a big "Jesus" parallel from that last question. Then again, I could just be projecting, lol.

  17. The next time you think you know something, consider the wisdom of not thinking you know something you don't

  18. The most important thing people need to know about Socrates is that his philosophies and hypothesis can't define how I be droppin' these mockeries.

  19. my professor had this in the syllabus, required to watch…he's so far one of the coolest profs I've had…even if he is a diehard republican

  20. anybody who has been on an excellent adventure before knows that youre pronouncing the name wrong. it is pronounced so-crates

  21. How about William Paley, not the CBS CIA shill, the guy that instigated Thoreau to write "On the Duty of Resistance to Civil Government"….. in response to the popularity of Paley's book published in 1783…..

  22. Temet Nosse

    "When the Matrix was first built, there was a man born inside who had the ability to change whatever he wanted, to remake the Matrix as he saw fit. It was he who freed the first of us, taught us the truth."
    -Morpheus, The Matrix

  23. Socrates was a man who was talkative, and he'd talk to young men. For the things he said to those young men is was sentenced to death for corrupting the youth.

  24. This is interesting. So imagine someone
    Taking up every challenge. Little or small
    A godlike status may be bestowed.

  25. "You know what? I could eat a thousand chocolate chip cookies right now".

    If you know where this line is from (hint: it's about Socrates), you're my instant best friend

  26. For the most part these videos (unlike many philosophy animations you can find) get things pretty much right. But the way in which this one ends gives the total wrong impression. No one seriously debates whether or not Socrates existed. (And, FWIW, among actual historians, the view that Jesus never existed at all is squarely in the lunatic-fringe category.)

  27. so all philosophy is based around a guy who we dont know it ever existed and rumble about everything?…. this world man…

  28. I always interpret Socrate's reaction to the Oracle based on Aristotle's knowledge paradox or "The more you know, the more you know you don't know." Therefore if he said he knows nothing he'd be suggesting he knows it all.

  29. I heard from other sources that he knew real truth. That source was from a book called the sealed portion. Written by a man named Christopher Nemelka. In my understanding Christopher was just like Socrates good or great at explaining things. According to Christopher both he and Socrares are known as true messengers warning of people of things to come.

  30. Very disappointed that only 1 person in the comments mentioned the soccer tees animation at the beginning of the video. VERY CLEVER. GREAT VIDEO.

  31. Interested in philosophy? Do you know what you don't know? Want to know what you don't know? Check out Hyperianism.

  32. Socrates undoubtedly existed, to claim otherwise would fly in the face of tons of historical and philosophical texts which refer to him. The thing which is in doubt is if all of Plato's Socratic dialogues were actual conversations that Socrates had. The Apology is almost undoubtedly an account of the trial (written after the fact), as we also know that Xenophon wrote his own account of this event. Some of the later dialogues could quite possibly simply use Socrates as a "character", based on Plato's understanding of Socrates' beliefs and philosophy.

  33. On the Existence of Socrates

    It is strange that some people said that Socrates did not exist. For there is in truth an immensity of testimonies about Socrates not only of his contemporaries but also of thinkers and scholars who lived thereafter. Among the contemporaries we have his disciples who wrote several works. Disciples such as Plato, Xenophon, Phaedo, Antisthenes, Euclid, Cármides, Cebes, Simias and many others, in short, there were a large number of followers and friends. Already on the preserved works of these disciples we have mainly the dialogues of Plato and the work Ditos and Made Memorable of Socrates written by Xenophon. Among the non-disciples contemporaneous with Socrates there is the testimony of comedy authors who had the habit of ridiculing public or famous figures in their plays. Some fragments of the old Greek comedy have been preserved, as well as an entire work of the comediógrafo Aristophanes called The Clouds where the main personage is the same Socrates satirizado by the author. Aristotle, on the other hand, also speaks about Socrates in his works. Also the biographer Plutarch, author of Parallel Lives, speaking of Greek and Roman personalities, quotes in his books Socrates and among the Romans we have Cicero to write the following about the philosopher: "Socrates was the first to invite Philosophy to descend from heaven and installed it even in the homes and imposed the study of life, customs, good things and more. " Therefore, it is strange that they did not believe in the existence of Socrates.

    Still others say that Socrates did not exist because we have no written works of his own. Now, I ask: does the person only exist if he writes a book? Does anyone who has ever stepped on this earth leave here a written work to prove that he lived? These are simple questions, I know; but are consistent with the doubt of those who do not believe in the existence of Socrates in view of the simplicity of the argument they express.

    Finally, some say that Socrates was simply a character of Plato. In part it is possible to agree with these words, for Plato, in his works, having Socrates as main character, used the philosopher's name to express some of his own ideas. It is natural, with the development of his own studies, that Plato has come up with his own ideas. Therefore, sometimes in late works and maturity, we see Socrates quoting Platonic ideas. However, this, IN any way, amounts to saying that Socrates did not exist. In the same way no one will believe or defend the inexistence of Julio Cesar, Antônio or Cleopatra because they were used as characters in Shakespeare's plays.

  34. The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. -Socrates
    Hmmm… 🤔
    It's nonsense! Knowing that you do not know anything?
    I know though, I really want to know something!
    How can I know that all over the world if I don't know anything?
    Knowing Nothing about everything or anything about nothing …,
    if I don't know anything about what I know … 🥺 🤠!

  35. Haha… I want to learn something about Socrates from the video but I just can't stop laughing, nor can I concentrate…Hahaha….

  36. I think Socrates was a Narcissist who loved attention, and loved to be glorified by his…."Students". Plato was an empath with co-dependent tendencies. Lol.

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