"The only thing I know for certain is that I know nothing" -- Socrates, Yes, I'm mindful of the Socrates quote, and it is a shortened and paraphrased one from the original in Greek. Right? ... ἔοικα γοῦν τούτου γε σμικρῷ τινι αὐτῷ τούτῳ σοφώτερος εἶναι, ὅτι ἃ μὴ οἶδα οὐδὲ οἴομαι εἰδέναι. ... I seem, then, in just this little thing to be wiser than this man at any rate, that what I do not know I do not think I know either. [from the Henry Cary literal translation of 1897] Moreover, I've often harbored the suspicion that Socrates did not exist, and that Plato invented him because he was such a humble man that he did not want to take credit. Here's my evidence: Imagine you are, with ancient writing tools, a quill and papyri, writing down every word your colleague utters? Imagine doing that. Can you do it? If you think you can, the next time someone gives a speech, without the benefit of knowing shorthand, try doing it with a fountain pen, let alone a quill and ink well. It's well nigh impossible because normal speech is at about 200 words per minute. No one can write that fast without knowing some kind of shorthand. However, IF the words are YOURS, then you have all the time in the world to put down your own thoughts. What evidence do we have of Socrates, beyond what Plato tells us? How was he able to transcribe Socrates's every word? Now, it's entirely possible Socrates was a real person, but Plato merely projected HIMSELF into Socrates, out of humility. Is not a truly wise, enlightened man, a humble man? And, why wouldn't Socrates write anything down for posterity? If he were so wise, one would think, at the very minimum, he would have thought of that? Surely he would have been mindful that Plato was doing it for him, that Plato was doing this might have given him the idea to do it himself, but, alas, no such record exists by the hand of Socrates. Surely Socrates was educated and could read and write, yes? No, I believe what Plato wrote of Socrates IS Plato, or at least the majority of his words. Not only that, I believe Plato kept the fact he was doing it from Socrates, for not the benefit of Socrates, but for the benefit of posterity, because there is where the wisdom lies, for the benefit of posterity. I believe Socrates may have existed, and did, indeed, rant in the marketplace to the annoyance of many, and perhaps his annoyance led to his death sentence, but the profound words he supposedly uttered, most of it, anyway, were Plato's words, and that is my opinion. But, admittedly, it is not an opinion arrived at via any great study of Plato's writings, and no, I haven't done a thorough amount of research would call 'due diligence', let alone 'research' ( to a scholarly level). But, that quote may have very well been that of Socrates, as he spoke it often. Socrates would have been at least wise enough to think of something like that, and his words were a supreme annoyance to the ruling class, because, well, you know the old adage' 'truth to power'. And truth to power in an age before there was due process, could easily lead to a death sentence. The more I think about it, is that the more likely truth is that Plato's Socrates is an amalgam of both Plato and Socrates, rolled into one. And the reason I think that is that Socrates may have had some notable lines, which he repeated often, and those would have been easy to recall and thus transcribe. But, the more contemporaneous writings by Plato of Socrate's spoken words, are not Plato's contemporaneous writings at all, they are Plato's thoughts disguised as Socrates. That, to me, makes a lot more sense. However, not having done due diligence, reading all the Socrates allegedly spoke by Plato's hand, scrutinized all the detail of the dialogues, etc., I'm still open on the matter, but I am suspicious. Anyone want to chime in? Hopefully from someone who has a degree in philosophy?