The first two parts of the paper focus on the Socratic attitude as articulated by J. Patocka. On this background Socrates' character itself is depicted. Patockas's project of the 'negative Platonism' tries to overcome the rigidity of metaphysics by revitalizing the original character of Socratism. Later on Patocka has conceived the latter as the situation in which the roots of the European history are to be found. Patocka's challenge is thus to be understood as one of preserving this original situation of 'being shaken', even today, in our post-European times. The last part of the paper deals with the structure of 'metanoesis', i.e. a conversion initiated by the Socratic attitude.