The Great 20th Century Socratic Revival

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For years now, I’ve been fascinated by the relationship that Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle all shared with each other. Along with this, I find it interesting to look at our relationship to them, as well. This can be revealed through an assessment of their being mentioned throughout history. If you couple this with an analysis of their individual philosophies, we appear to be understanding how far we have deviated from the source of our truth.

For whatever reasons, Plato moved away from the lessons of Socrates, then Aristotle drifted from the teachings of Plato. After many generations had passed, the legacy of Aristotle experienced a century-long revival from around 1540 to 1640. However, people eventually returned to the teachings of Plato in 1605, up until 1705. Surprisingly, these were both very sharply pronounced periods of time, lasting only a hundred years each.

In contrast to this, humanity has more-or-less gradually, and consistently, found our way back to Socrates. Since the abrupt end of the Platonic revival in the early 1700's, Socrates has been the main focus of our attention. However, a close look does reveal that there was sort of a secondary revival of Plato again, from around 1800 all the way up to 1900.

Regardless, for more than a century now, we have been increasingly discussing Socrates in our books. Although, one could argue that he did kind of have a solid century of success from 1900 to 2000, Socrates bounced right back up again in 2001, having only fallen out of our graces for a few months time. The point is that in 1910, Socrates eventually won the hearts and minds of people, once and for all. Since that time his name has been synonymous with wisdom, making Socrates our archetypal philosopher.

May his legacy endure forever!!!

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