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Socrates

Socrates (469-399 BC) is the founding father of Western philosophy. His specialty was ethics. None of this works survive, largely because he practiced philosophy orally, but we know a lot about him from his disciples, Plato and Aristotle. Socrtes' greatest tangible legacy is the Socratic Method, wherein a philosophical problem gets prodded with a series of questions that either lead to contradiction or clarification of prior beliefs. This back-and-forth often takes of the form of a dialogue that continues until, through a process of elimination, the essence of the problem is revealed.