Was Socrates a Teacher? In The Apology, Socrates is accused of being a teacher. He argues that he is not a teacher, but instead just a man attempting to find wisdom and show his fellow Athenians that they lack true wisdom. But, in showing fellow citizens that they lack true wisdom is Socrates contradicting his statement about not being a teacher? Analyzing Socrates' core beliefs will show us that he is not.
Teaching, in the Athenian view, is understood to be when someone provides knowledge to others in exchange for money. In order to teacher, one must have wisdom of what it is that they teach. The goal of teaching is to instruct people into believing a particular set of ideas.
Socrates believes that the god is wise and human wisdom is worthless. Therefore, in order for a human to be wise, one must understand that he lacks real knowledge.
Socrates searches for people who he thinks are wise, but if he finds that they are not he proceeds to show them their ignorance. In doing this, Socrates is thought by some to be a teacher. However, Socrates' actions do not fit the definition of what it is to be a teacher.
The most obvious example of this is the fact that Socrates never charged people for what he was doing. But, this in itself does not prove that he was not a teacher. Another reason Socrates was not a teacher is the fact that he never presented his listeners with a certain set of ideas. When talking to others, he never tries to persuade them to accept a particular idea or hold the same views he holds. Instead, his only purpose was to encourage and stimulate his listeners to think for themselves.
Although the two examples given...