Philosophy / &Quot;The Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living&Quot;

&Quot;The Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living&Quot;

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Autor:  anton  06 November 2010
Tags:  Unexamined,  Living
Words: 755   |   Pages: 4
Views: 463

The trial and execution of Socrates was the climax of his career and the central event of the dialogues of Plato.

Socrates tells Crito that he is one of those people who must be guided by reason.

Socrates says that the only person whose opinion is of value is the one who understands justice.

Socrates then invites Crito to consider the definition of justice, and whether it is ever right to do wrong intentionally.

the many's ignorance does not allow them to have true choice, and therefore their opinions are of no value to the one who strives after the truth and the good.

Men, especially one so old as Socrates, should not fear death

"There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance."

First because to keep his silence would be a disobedience to a direct command from God. Of course he knew they could not believe he was serious about this God thing so he puts it a different way, he explained to them that he felt it was his responsibility, "... to let no day pass without discussing goodness and all the other subjects about which you hear me talking and examining both myself and others," he felt that this activity, "is really the very best thing that a man (or women) can do, and that life without this sort of examination is not worth living ..."(1)

Socrates was silenced but his work of teaching the younger generation the way of the examined life, or independent, critical thinking was to be carried on by his disciple Plato (428-348 BCE).

By defining the examination, the worth and the life, we can give evidence to this statement

Worth is defined by dictionary.com as "The quality that renders something desirable, useful, or valuable." A person can not decide whether something has worth without examining it and making that decision.

Thus, his willingness to call everything into question and his determination to accept nothing less than an adequate account of the nature of things make him the first clear exponent of critical philosophy.

an open awareness of his own ignorance.

The goal of Socratic interrogation, then, is to help individuals to achieve genuine self-knowledge,

Refusing to accept exile from Athens or a commitment to silence as his penalty, he maintains that public discussion of the great issues of life and virtue is a necessary part of any valuable human life. "The unexamined life is not worth living." (Apology 38a) Socrates would rather die than give up philosophy, and the jury seems happy to grant him that wish.

Socrates displays the same spirit of calm reflection about serious matters that had characterized his life in freedom.

В• One ought never to do wrong (even in response to the evil committed by another).

В• But it is always wrong to disobey the state.

В• Hence, one ought never to disobey the state.

And since avoiding the sentence of death handed down by the Athenian jury would be an action in disobedience the state, it follows Socrates ought not to escape.

The argument is a valid one, so we are committed to accepting its conclusion if we believe that its premises are true. The general commitment to act rightly is fundamental to a moral life, and it does seem clear that Socrates's escape would be a case of disobedience. But what about the second premise, the claim that it is always wrong for an individual to disobey the state? Surely that deserves further examination.

The most crucial distinction among deductive arguments and the inferences upon which they rely.

In a valid argument, if the premises are true, then the conclusion must also be true. Alternatively: it is impossible for the premises of a valid argument to be true while its conclusion is false.

Socrates believed that the purpose of human life was personal and spiritual growth. We are unable to grow toward greater understanding of our true nature unless we take time to examine and reflect upon our life. As another philosopher, Santayana, observed, "He who does not remember the past is condemned to repeat it."

Examining our life reveals patterns of behavior. Deeper contemplation yields understanding of the subconscious programming, the powerful mental software that runs our life. Unless we become aware of these patterns, much of our life is unconscious repetition.

That's why Socrates' method of self-examination included an essential element that became known as "Socratic" dialogue

Our society discourages self-awareness with a weekly cycle of working and consuming that keeps us too busy to slow down for self-reflection. Consumer capitalism's game plan prefers an unaware and vaguely dissatisfied populace that tries to fill the emptiness inside with shiny new products.



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