Also found in: Thesaurus, Wikipedia.


 (prē′sō-krăt′ĭk, -sə-)
Of or relating to the Greek philosophers or philosophical systems of thought before Socrates.
A pre-Socratic philosopher.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˌpri səˈkræt ɪk)

1. of or pertaining to the philosophers or philosophical systems of the period before the Socratic period.
2. any philosopher of this period.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.pre-Socratic - any philosopher who lived before Socrates
philosopher - a specialist in philosophy
Adj.1.pre-Socratic - before the time of Socrates
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
He has not yet experienced the influence of the Sophists like Glaucon and Adeimantus, nor is he sensible of the necessity of refuting them; he belongs to the pre-Socratic or pre-dialectical age.
According to the pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus 'Everything flows, nothing is left behind.' Forty years ago, the two-state solution was inconceivable, out of the question.
His views are reminiscent of the concept of 'real thought' developed by the pre-Socratic Greek philosophers, which consists of the 'explanation', the 'understanding' and the 'clarification'.
Heraclitus of Ephesus was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, while many digital natives might not have heard of him, I am sure the profound statement that he made in around 500BC is actually relevant in today's day and age.
Thomas More Academy, the independent Catholic school he launched in 2001; and the six campuses of the independent, secular Thales Academy (named after Thales of Miletus, the pre-Socratic philosopher and businessman) that he started in 2007.
The subjects are Edward Jenner: Medical Innovation and Methodology in the late 18th Century, Pre-Socratic Philosophy, Military Campaigns of the Yellow Turban Rebellion - 184-205CE, Martin Luther King Jr, and London in 1666: Society, Politics and the Urban Environment in the Year of the Great Fire.
(3) Developments about Glissant's kinship to other world advocates of Relation, including, perhaps, pre-Socratic philosophers, would have been welcome.
A brief look at the history of terms religio and scientia reveals the inconsistency of this dualistic paradigm: indeed, the cradle of Western philosophical thought in the extant fragments of the pre-Socratic philosophers points out an intimate alliance between close observation of natural phenomena, speculative thought, and spirituality.
Lear paraphrases Pre-Socratic philosophers, such as Parmenides, who wrote, "Nor shall I allow you to speak or think of [being] as springing from not-being;" and Melissus, "in no way could anything come into being out of nothing." (7) For most of the Pre-Socratics, the conviction that nothing comes from nothing derives from the logical impossibility of nothing existing, as Parmenides said, or of something emerging from nothing: hence they concluded that physical data was best accounted for by supposing matter to be eternal, uncreatable, and indestructible.
Scham highlights specific moments of change in concepts on play and games, from pre-Socratic expressions of power to the later separation of play from serious concerns, reviewing also admonitions and prohibitions against, as well as positive exhortations to play, from later moralists and theorists.
He also contests Bernard William's postmodern (and pre-Socratic) position that self-reflection results in self-alienation.
Anthony Ellis considered divine providence and ecological balance in the thought of Herodotus and the pre-Socratics. Foreshadowing early modern providentialism, pre-Socratic philosophy deduced divine sanction for human action in contemporary interspecies relations, as man's dominion over animals was considered natural and mutually sustainable between species and thus part of a divine scheme.