Socrates life is mirrored in the works of Plato and Xenophon. Socrates did not have much publication on his journey of transforming the mind of humans. Plato, alongside with others, as a student under Socrates learnt from him, and was able to publish volumes on Socrates life and his mission. Socrates who was born around 470 B.C. and with his demise in 399 B.C. had a mission to uphold tradition morality. This he did by giving therapeutic soundness to the human mind through intellectual teachings. This soundness is based on finding truth to phenomenon. No wonder he was seen as the world wisest man during his epoch.
Socrates stood different from his Sophist’s inclination, by giving intellectual teachings for free and refusing tradition and rhetorical language. Socrates taught his follows, especially young men, to uncover meaning attached to tradition through insightful language display. He lived a humble life in order to serve the societal shakers and makers, and pass his massage with humility and authoritatively.
Though, Socrates was not outwardly religious, he possessed an inward faith in executing his mission of educating the human mind and making his followers embrace sound knowledge that is beneficial for human existence.
Thus, the source of Socrates mission is based on the existing traditions and morality to what is good, and the need to reflect truth in all circumstances.
In executing this mission of educating the human mind, Socrates engaged in serious discussions in finding truth about identified issues pertaining and associated with human existence. Thus, formal logic was a method utilized by Socrates in pursuing his mission. This is conducted in critical reasoning and epistemological adumbration. This adopted method of his brought to the birth of contemporary philosophy.
At the end Socrates mission was misconstrued as corrupting the mind of youths with different beliefs and other gods from those of his immediate environment. This led to his incarceration for years where he was sentenced to death. Xenophon called this death a noble euthanasia.
In my view, Socrates mission was misconstrued due to the non-conformity of his ideology and style of executing it to the existing Greek’s tradition. The is also an irony to his mission, in which case he was bent to upholding the tradition of the people in ensuring morality reigns, but was condemned that he is polluting and corrupting the tradition and minds of youths. The level of reasoning of Socrates was higher than the level of existing Greek’s authorities. In my view, he should have built up his ideology gradually from the level of mind frame and understanding of the people around him, especially the Greek’s authorities. When they have imbibe his teachings and able to understand him he should have increase it to higher level of which he intend propounding.
Socrates interrogation of one of his accuser Meletus, goes to buttress the fact that those who are accusing him are of lower intellectual levels compared to Socrates’. Meletus, his accuser did not have consistent understanding about what the gods says about corrupting the youths. Socrates thus, knowing that his accuser are not even sure of what they are accusing him of, and could not give explicit definition to their accusation. In my argument here, suppose Socrates have in the early part of his teaching carry along those in authoritative position on his intellectual doctrines, they would have being position to differentiate clearly what corruption to the youths mind is from what his was propagating.
Brickhouse, T.C. & Smith, N.D. (1996) Plato’s Socrates US: Oxford University Press. P25
Tuplin, C. & Azoulay, V. (2004), “Xenophon and His World” Papers from a conference held in Liverpool July 1999.