In his teachings

In his teachings, Socrates shows devotion to the truth. He willingly lives to defend and to die for the truth. He teaches the lawful use of true reason. Socrates teaches his students that if one lives an immoral and impure life, then one cannot secure the heights of wisdom and pure truth. Only the pure of heart who love truth for truth’s own sake can attain the rewards of purity. Socrates instructs that with justice and self-control, one can achieve an organized soul that results in pure happiness. Practicing the art of education, Socrates instructs his students on the two types of souls — pure and impure. Pure souls, ordered by the power of reason, control the appetites of the body. Impure souls are corrupted by the excesses of passion, impurity, and avarice. As Callicles observes, the Sophists insist that pleasure embodies the essence of happiness. They teach their students only about the pleasures of the mind and body. The teachings and tricks of the Sophists result in their students having darkened intellects, impure hearts, and little care for their morals. The Sophists, Socrates’ bitter enemies, teach that self-control is unnatural and reduces their students to little more than animals drunk off their own desires. Socrates asks the Sophists who does more good for the health of their students, the bakers who pander to the students’ pleasures and only serve sweets to their students rather than the real food of the mind or the doctors who prescribe bitter medicine to cure their students? Socrates teaches that pandering to one’s baser nature does not produce the happiness of a human with a rational, pure soul.


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