Philosophers of Ancient Greece

Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle were some of the most famous Greek philosophers. Their philosophy has been so influential that it continues to be studied today, although they lived so long ago, their intellectual contributions to the humanities are enduring because they laid the foundation of critical thought. Rather than accepting life as it came, they believed in questioning life. They also inspired debates about how to see the world. These debates are still relevant and studied today.

Socrates is given credit for laying down the fundamentals of modern Western philosophy. He created the Socratic Method, which is still used today. The Socratic Method was a way of thinking about the world which involved asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking. Socrates was also Plato’s mentor.

Plato was Socrates' student and also the mentor of Aristotle. Plato is an important philosopher because he blended ethics, political philosophy, epistemology, metaphysics, and moral psychology together to form his philosophy. He is famous for his dialogues, which can still be read today.

Aristotle, Plato’s student, is considered the father of the field of logic and a formalized system for reasoning. Aristotle’s philosophy is unique in that he believed that the ultimate purpose of human life was happiness.

A major feature of classical Greek philosophy was engaging others in discussion and debate. As is evident in the relationships of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, coming together in intellectual exchange was very important for the development of Greek philosophy.