From Xenophon's Memorabilia he learned when a boy the Socratic method of argument.
Plato extended the Socratic discovery to the whole of reality and while seeking to see the pre-Socratics with the eyes of Socrates sought " to see Socrates with the.
In his Socratic power of convincing his pupils of their ignorance he did more than perhaps any other man of his time to awaken in those who came under his sway the desire for knowledge and the process of independent thought.
It was the great work of Descartes to exclude rigorously from science all explanations which were not scientifically verifiable; and the prevalence of materialism at certain epochs, as in the enlightenment of the 18th century and in the German philosophy of the middle, 9th, were occasioned by special need to vindicate the scientific position, in the former case against the Church, in the latter case against the pseudo-science of the Hegelian dialectic. The chief definite periods of materialism are the pre-Socratic and the post-Aristotelian in Greece, the 18th century in France, and in Germany the, 9th century from about 1850 to 1880.
Filled with enthusiasm for the Socratic idea of virtue, he founded a school of his own in the Cynosarges, the hall of the bastards (P6001).