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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Discuss the major contributions of Socrates in the field of ethics and morality.

    06 Jul, 2021 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions


    • Start the answer by briefly giving an introduction about Socrates.
    • Discuss the major contributions of Socrates in the field of Ethics and Morality.
    • Conclude Suitably.


    Socrates was an ancient greek philosopher, who was considered as the father of ethics and inquiry. According to his beliefs, one develops ethics through maturity, wisdom and love.

    He introduced the concept of teaching ethics and acceptable standards of conduct in 400 B.C. and has had a profound and lasting impact on the course of Western philosophy and history ever since.


    Major Contributions of Socrates in the Field of Ethics and Morality:

    • Righteousness: Socrates believed that people should strive for goodness rather than material interests such as wealth.
    • Better to Suffer an Injustice than to Commit One: Socrates goes on to say that if you do commit a crime against another, it is better to seek punishment than evade it because punishment will cleanse or purify the spirit.
    • Socratic Debate and Basic Reasoning: The craft of Socratic debate is associated with basic reasoning because the ability to debate a subject requires considered thought and reasoning.
      • His method of debate was based on long conversations, which were called “dialectic”.
    • Socratic Ethics: Socrates’ emphasis on morality had a definite aim. He expected philosophy to prompt a change in the state of mind and critical activities of individuals, which would have a wider impact on the world
    • Virtue: Socrates equated knowledge with virtue, which ultimately leads to ethical conduct.


    Socrates observed that “the unexamined life is not worth living,”. This quote condensed the essence of socrates’ teachings and its impact over the realm of political philosophy.

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