Plato and Socrates are renowned philosophers whose ideologies and philosophies are still used to this day. These philosophers existed in different eras but made their mark before they died.
Socrates, an ancient Greek philosopher had most of his teachings and philosophies were written and recorded by writers after his death which included his students Plato and Xenophon.
While Plato was a Greek philosopher from the classical period and the founder of the Platonic school of thought. He is an important figure in Greek history and western philosophy, attributed to have founded western spirituality as well as western political philosophy.
Both philosophers are still highly respected and followed, mentioned in the tiniest conversations about life, however, they had quite different thoughts which we want to investigate. What were their thoughts and how different were they?
Here are 5 differences between these two schools of thought that have since ruled humans.
- All man must strive to discover the truth, therein lies happiness and virtue, Socrates says. Plato argues that the truth is only for the selected few, the intellectually higher class. He states that every other person must then know their lower place and accept the judgment of the intellectually higher class.
- Plato was not keen on individual freedom as he proposed and sought quite a restrictive society where a class of individuals is held in high esteem. He wanted a society where everyone had a specific function and task. On the other hand, Socrates was a huge fan of freedom, he vied for the freedom of people from their false beliefs and self-deceit. He valued freedom and ensured he spoke concisely and precisely about it.
- Socrates has his teachings centered primarily around epistemology and ethics while Plato was quite concerned with literature, education, society, love, friendship, rhetoric, arts, etc. Socrates disagreed with the concept of overreaching; he describes it as a foolish way to live.
- One primary difference between these two philosophers is that while Socrates rarely spoke about the soul of the human being, Plato gave a lot of importance to the soul of the human being than its body. Socrates also had a keen interest in knowledge and value theories.
- Socrates believed in being just, he states that everything has a role to play, and must play it well enough. He also believed that everything is characterized by a virtue that has a direct relationship with the performance of its function. While Plato, argues that injustice cannot be better than justice, he argues that each function is dependent on the community one finds himself. That is, a person's function and his ability to carry it out effectively is highly dependent on the community in which one lives.
Socrates might have had a large impact on Plato, however, their philosophies differed, showing they had different perspectives and they were different men.
Plato also had a large hand on how we perceived Socrates as one of his students who wrote about him, nonetheless, one can see there are great gaps and differences between their teachings and thoughts.
Before you leave…
Leave a comment below and let us know what you think...are you more of a Plato or Socrates fan?