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The Apology of Socrates - Essay Example

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The Apology of Socrates

That means an examined life is a life where one has to hold ones own values and beliefs up for examination. Thus, when one is open for examination, the quest for truth continues and one comes to realize the shortcomings in ones own ideals. This makes one reach better insight and knowledge. Now, if the other side of the issue is taken; that is, if one leads ‘an unexamined’ life, one will not be able to open oneself to criticism. As Socrates points out, this leads to the false feeling that one knows everything while, in fact, one knows nothing. This situation is not conducive for achieving wisdom. At this point, it becomes evident that an examined life as envisioned by Socrates is, in reality, the philosophical way of life. To illustrate, according to Socrates, a philosopher’s mission is ‘to search into myself and other men’. That means, the philosophical way of life is a continuous look back into ones own ideals and beliefs by being open to examination. Also, one is supposed to look into the ideals possessed by others like ‘a fair judge’. Thus, an ‘examined life’ leads to identifying ones own lack of wisdom and accepting the real truth. At this point, it becomes necessary to look into the meaning of the phrase ‘worth living’. By saying ‘not worth living’, Socrates indicates a life that is ‘not a worthy life’ for a man. Now, if one looks into what is meant by a ‘worthy life’ according to classical philosophers, one can see that a worthy life is a life that upholds values like justice, honor

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and nobility. If Socrates relates examined life to worthy life, one can infer that examined life is linked to justice, honor and nobility. Thus, it becomes evident that an examined life is one life that holds both reflection and judgment. Another important point Socrates wants to convey is that the life led by Athens under the corrupt leaders and judges is not worth living. They are leading a ‘blind’ life under the self-imposed scholars and learners, who, in fact, know nothing. As Athens lack both judgment and reflection, they never get access to truth and wisdom. As a result, it is not possible for them to seek qualities like justice, honor and nobility. Thus, the leaders and the citizens continue unchanged with their own unexamined ideals and beliefs. At this point, it seems possible to go one step ahead in the interpretation. As already noted, ‘to examine’ means ‘to look for’ or ‘to search’. If that is the case, one can say that Socrates also wants to say that one should always look for knowledge and truth. That means an examined life is not only the one that is open to scrutiny but also the one that continuously searches for truth. Evidently, this was the kind of life Socrates adopted. He looked not only into himself but also into others and criticized the wrong and accepted the right. That again means that an examined life is a life that yearns for ideals like justice, honor and nobility. When one yeans for such ideals, one initiates such actions that lead to achieving such results. Admittedly, one who wants to achieve justice tries to do justice, and one who wants to achieve nobility does noble things. That means, when all people lead an examined life, the just society becomes a reality. Here,

Summary

“The Apology of Socrates” Plato, in The Apology of Socrates, shows Socrates as saying ‘an unexamined life is not worth living’. What I can infer from the declaration is that a life without reason is not worth living. Thus, I would like to argue that according to Socrates, a life that is worth living is a life that is being examined; and this examination involves both reflection and judgment…
Author : jaydestrosin
The Apology of Socrates essay example
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