Socrates had an early interest in the scientific theories of Anaxagoras, who taught that there are an infinite number of different kinds of elementary particles (atoms) and it is the action of Mind upon these that produces the objects that we see. Socrates believed that the senses of the body created difficulty for the thinking of the mind and came to regard the physical world as deceptive.
He believed that his work, which he sought to understand through critical questioning and dialogue, was given to him as a divine mission and, hence, was his duty. His total lack of interest in material possessions was evident by his always being barefoot and wearing an old cloak the whole year round. His habit of going barefoot even in winter showed his powers of endurance too. To him, the aspiration for virtue was the highest aim anyone could have.
Socrates? philosophy was a matter of how to live one?s life. In subsequent centuries the love of wisdom became a great deal more academic, something that could be as remote from people?s practical concerns as a game of chess. ?There are nowadays professors of philosophy, but not philosophers?, Thoreau writes in Walden. And he adds, ?To be a philosopher is to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, it is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically.?
(from Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam?s Foreword)
Arun K Tiwari