Classical Greek : Philosophy and Philosophers

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Classical Greek Philosophy

Feelosofi – Classical Greek philosophy, which spans a rich period from the 5th to 4th centuries BC, radiates rays of significance and wisdom that have built a solid foundation in the course of human thought. At its peak, Socratic philosophy, known for its characteristic dialectical method, leads philosophical views into the deep recesses of ethics and wisdom. Plato, as one of Socrates’ leading students, planted the foundations of metaphysics through his concept of form in the ‘Republic’, while Aristotle continued his exploration of political philosophy and ethics through his monumental works, ‘Politika’ and ‘Nicomakos’ Ethics’.

Classical Greek philosophy is not just an intellectual discourse but rather a landscape of thought that encapsulates fundamental questions about the nature of reality and human existence. This thought opens the horizon for discussions about morality, justice, and ideal forms of government. In addition, classical Greek philosophy underscores the central role of education as an important intermediary in the achievement of wisdom and the formation of quality character.

In its essence, the legacy of classical Greek philosophy is not only a chronicle of intellectual thought but also the basis for human understanding of the essence of life, morality, and values. These foundations, firmly laid by the classical thinkers of Greece, remain an important cornerstone that shapes and guides philosophical reflection throughout the world today.

History of Classical Greek Philosophical Thought

This period was an arena for the birth of monumental thoughts that formed the foundation of Western philosophy. Socrates, through his distinctive dialectical method, focused on ethical and moral questions, encouraging a deep exchange of ideas. Plato, one of his students, established the foundations of metaphysics by introducing his concept of forms in his magnificent work, ‘The Republic. Aristotle, in turn, through his ‘Politics’ and ‘Nikomakos’ Ethics‘, detailed political and ethical thought, providing a framework that encompasses the history of political philosophy.

Not only did this period explore philosophical dimensions, but it also recorded the first steps in the development of science. Presocratic philosophers such as Thales and Anaximander formed the basis for cosmology and scientific thought. More than just conceptual debates, classical Greek thought reflected the atmosphere of life and social developments of its time. In addition, this thinking highlights the importance of education as a means of achieving wisdom and quality moral character.

As a historical milestone, the era of classical Greek philosophy continues to make an important contribution to the form and direction of human thought. The foundations laid by classical Greek thinkers have inspired subsequent generations and continue to play a central role in global intellectual discourse today.

Classical Greek Philosophers

Diogenes of Sinope


From Socrates’ challenging dialectical method to Plato’s paradigm-shifting concept of form in metaphysics, and Aristotle’s exploration of politics and ethics, classical Greek thought built a conceptual structure that encompassed all aspects of life and wisdom. This thinking not only gives rise to philosophical questions, but also opens the door to scientific exploration and stimulates ethical reflection.

This period also highlights the importance of education as the key to achieving wisdom and superior moral character. Greek classical thought not only reflects intellectuality but also examines the dynamics of life and social developments of that era. Thus, the conclusions of Classical Greek philosophy transcend chronological boundaries, remaining a source of inspiration for various disciplines, stretching from ethics and politics to science. This legacy continues to make a significant contribution to humanity’s journey in the search for knowledge and self-understanding.


What makes Classical Greek Philosophy so important in the history of human thought?

Classical Greek philosophy is considered important because it was an early milestone in the development of human thought. Socratic thought, Plato, and Aristotle form the basis of Western philosophy, covering aspects such as ethics, metaphysics, politics, and science. This foundation continues to influence various scientific disciplines and thinking to this day.

What is the role of the dialectical method in Classical Greek Philosophy?

The dialectical method, primarily used by Socrates, is a discussion technique that involves questions and answers to achieve better understanding. By challenging beliefs and stimulating thought, this method not only facilitates the exchange of ideas, but also encourages self-reflection and the exploration of philosophical concepts.

How was education considered in Classical Greek Philosophy?

Education is considered an important foundation in Classical Greek Philosophy. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle agreed that education is not only about imparting knowledge, but also the formation of character and the attainment of wisdom. This concept reflects the belief that through education, humans can achieve a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them.


  • The Symposium (Simposium) – Plato (circa 385–370 SM)
  • Metaphysics (Metafisika) – Aristotle (circa 350 SM)
  • The Dialogues of Plato (Dialog-Dialog Plato) – Plato (circa 399–347 SM)
  • The Complete Works of Aristotle (Karya Lengkap Aristoteles) – Aristotle (circa 384–322 SM)
  • The Presocratics (Prasokratik) – Philip Wheelwright (1966)
  • Socrates: A Man for Our Times (Socrates: Seorang Manusia untuk Zaman Kita) – Paul Johnson (2011)

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Raymond Kelvin Nando, "Classical Greek : Philosophy and Philosophers," Feelosofi, 11 November 2023,
Raymond Kelvin Nando
Writer, Researcher, & Philosophy Enthusiast