Greek Philosophers

Ancient Greek philosophy was very important.

It was a time when people would come together and discuss different things such as science, religion, logic, math and more.


Ancient Greek Philosophers were considered to be people that had a lot of wisdom.

Philosophers believed that everything that happened had a real reason and they wanted to see everything from a logical standpoint.

Most of the Greek philosophers were scientists and they would study subjects such as physics, writing, mathematics, science and more.

Many of the Greek philosophers were teachers and would open their own schools.

Famous Greek Philosophers

Socrates (died 399 BC)
Plato (died 348/347 BC)
Aristotle (died 322 BC)
Epicurus (died 270 BC)
Pythagoras (died 495 BC)
Zeno (died 425 BC)

There are many famous Ancient Greek Philosophers and many of them are known for creating different learning tools and methods that we use today.

Socrates (died 399 BC)

One of the first known Greek philosophers was Socrates.

Socrates is known for making the Socratic Method.  The Socratic Method is a way of answering questions by asking questions.

People that use the Socratic Method will explore each question and then will find a technique to answer the question.

Socrates was not only a philosopher, but he was also a huge part of politics.

Socrates thought that people should think differently than the world and that they should figure out why they believed in things like gods and goddesses, morals, evil and other things.

Socrates believed that people should think why they should do good and why they should have morals and not just because someone told them to.

Socrates believed that society should look at themselves as a whole and not depend on the gods for all of their situations.

Socrates was the teacher of Plato and was known for what he believed but he did not write a lot of things down that archeologist were able to read.


Plato (died 348/347 BC)

Another very important Ancient Greek philosopher is Plato.

Plate is known for his writings and he would use the words of Socrates in his work and that is how we know what he believed.

Plato wrote a book called the “Republic” and in it, he talked about how Socrates believed that justice should be served and that the cities should be governed a certain way.

Plato wrote often about how he thought that a society should be ran and how he thought the perfect society would look.

Plato is known for his different ideas and his theories on life.

Plato believed that no one should be allowed to be rich and that they should not be allowed to have more than someone else.

Plato believed that a King that was a philosopher should rule the society and that everyone should have a specific job to do.

Plato had his own school and it was called the Academy.  Plato was the teacher of Aristotle, another great philosopher.


Aristotle (died 322 BC)

Aristotle was known as the student of Plato and is known because even though he was the student, he didn’t agree with all of Plato’s ideas.

Aristotle focused what he believed on science and he thought that people should use reason.

Aristotle believed that reason was the only way that a person could really be good.

Aristotle made his own school and it was called the Lyceum.  Aristotle taught his students to have self-control.


Epicurus (died 270 BC)

Epicurus was another philosopher who believed that the gods were not interested in what the humans did.

He believed that everyone should do whatever they wanted to as long as they were happy.


Pythagoras (died 495 BC)

Pythagoras believed that music was important and math.

He studied math and shapes and learned that he could use measuring to find the length of a right triangle.  Pythagoras invented the Pythagoras Theorem which was finding the size of a right triangle.


Zeno (died 425 BC)

Zeno believed in Stoicism, which was party of philosophy.  He felt that everyone should be happy regardless of what happens to them even if it is bad.

He believed that being happy was based more on what a person did instead of what they said.


Facts About Ancient Greek Philosophers:

  • Many philosophers died for their beliefs, such as Socrates who died because of what he believed to be truth.
  • Philosophy is not really based on religion; it is more based on what life means.
  • Many Ancient Greek philosophers opened their own schools so they could teach people about logic.
  • Students in Ancient Greek philosophy did not always believe what their instructors taught them.
  • Even though Socrates did not write much, many of his speeches and thoughts were recorded through other philosophers.

What Did You Learn?

  1. Was philosophy based mostly on religion?    Philosophy was based more on what life means than it was on religion.
  2. What was interesting about what Socrates believed? Socrates believed that people should live moral lives and should look inside of themselves as to why they live a certain way.
  3. Who was the famous philosopher student of Socrates? Plato was the famous philosophical student of Socrates.
  4. What did Epicurus believe that was very different than what the Greeks had been taught? Epicurus believed that the gods had nothing to do with the humans and didn’t care what the people did.
  5. Why did some philosophers die? Some Ancient Greek philosophers died because they believed differently than the people and they died for what they believed.