First Paper Assignment
Socrates, when facing a possible death sentence in The Apology, proved to be just as philosophically unwavering as before. In the course of his sentencing, he shared perhaps his most profound doctrine of all. “On the other hand, if I say that it is the greatest good for a man to discuss virtue every day and those other things about which you hear me conversing and testing myself and others, for the unexamined life is not worth living for men, you will believe me even less.” (38a). He doesn’t mince words. He doesn’t say that is the life is just less worthy, or more pathetic. He frankly states that it is not worth living at all, period. Is he justified in that statement? Is it true that the unexamined life not worth living? I believe that Socrates was right, but not the most extreme sense of his definition. But first we must explore the meaning of his statement.
Socrates’ declaration that the unexamined life is not worth living was the cornerstone of his philosophical life. In other words, you ought to dedicate your life to the pursuit of wisdom and truth in the world and in ourselves, otherwise it’ll lack any real meaning, substance, or value. Once again, Socrates suggests that philosophy is the highest and noblest pursuit of all. If we were to live our lives without self-reflection, we would become incapable of reason, and therefore devoid of any sense of virtue. Socrates might argue that without philosophy, humans are no longer distinguishable from animals. A good human life is one that is concerned with making ourselves and those around us better off, and the only way to fulfill that is to pursue wisdom and self-awareness. Socrates believed in this so much that he choose to live and even die by his words, as he accepted the fate of death as a result of his exceptionally philosophical lifestyle.
To live anything less than what you preach would make you a hypocrite, to which Socrates was no...