Later Greek philosophers started with questions somewhat different from those of their predecessors. Instead of asking about the nature of the universe, they first concerned themselves with the nature of man, how he can know, and what he should do. These questions ultimately led them back to the earlier ones, but now with a different perspective. This change in emphasis came as the life of the independent city-state was drawing to its unhappy close and as it seemed that men were being cast adrift on uncharted seas. Three great figures dominate this period of ~ Greek philosophy by virtue of their attempts to find new moorings for the human life: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. By common consent these names are foremost in the history of philosophy. [excerpt]
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Bloom, Robert L. et al. "4. Athens: Socrates. Pt. I: Athens, Rome, and Jerusalem: Background of Western Civilization." Ideas and Institutions of Western Man (Gettysburg College, 1958), 14-20.