Socrates is an enigmatic, highly influential figure of Western philosophy. Although we see him through the eyes of his admiring student Plato, Socrates has been accredited for creating his own method, the elenchus.
The elenchus is a constant and rigorous questioning of values. In fact, it is so intense and rigorous, sharpened by the merciless stiletto of logic that his friends and fellow philosophers are left baffled and speechless on numerous accounts.
In Plato's Dialogues, there are several instances where his friends cry out that they do not understand or have great difficulty following this brilliant philosopher's speeding train of thought. Socrates is often asked to clarify what he means by this or that and how he jumps to certain conclusions – most of which are indeed not immediately self-evident.
In the end, however, almost anybody who comes into contact with this famously “ugly-looking” thinker will leave the conversation in a state of perplexity and utter confusion. Socrates, to their great dismay, has not only left their questions unanswered; he has led them through the shady paths and dark alleys of doubt and has added fuel to the fire by eliciting even more questions!
So, dear readers, a piece of advice or warning: Don't look for answers when dealing with Socrates. Be ready to sacrifice the little knowledge you thought you had. Because as Socrates states himself, he is wise only because he knows that he knows nothing.