Just a century after it had begun, philosophy entered its greatest age with the appearance of Socrates, who spent so much of his time talking about philosophy on the streets of Athens that he never got around to writing anything down. His method of aggressive questioning, called dialectic, was the forerunner of logic; he used it to cut through the twaddle of his adversaries and arrive at the truth. Rather than questioning the world, he believed, we would be better off questioning ourselves. Socrates placed philosophy on the sound basis of reason. He saw the world as not accessible to our senses, only to thought. Finally, charged with impiety and the corruption of youth, he was tried and sentenced to death, and ended his life by drinking the judicial hemlock.
In Socrates in 90 Minutes, Paul Strathern offers a concise, expert account of Socrates' life and ideas, and explains their influence on man's struggle to understand his existence in the world. The book also includes selections from Socrates' work, a brief list of suggested readings for those who wish to delve deeper, and chronologies that place Socrates within his own age and in the broader scheme of philosophy.
"Well-written, clear, and informed, they have a breezy wit about them. I find them hard to stop reading." (The New York Times)
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