Socrates, a Greek philosopher is perhaps one of the most sought after philosophers during his time as well as one of the most famous today in history. He is also credited for laying down the foundation for Western philosophy. However, even with all of this glory, Socrates was still just a man. But unlike just any man, he made the most of his human existence through his thoughts, words, and actions. These thoughts, words, and actions are shown through his philosophical view of life itself and his relevant and unequivocal statement of how he feels why the un-examined life is not worth living.
Before analyzing this statement by Socrates, we must look into the history of the great philosopher as well as his character. First of all, Socrates wrote nothing when it comes to his teachings and his thoughts. History has to look at other writers for knowledge about the mysterious man. This alone is quite unnatural since many philosophers around the time of Socrates extensively put their thoughts into words and onto paper for others to analyze. The main source for information about him is from Plato, who was a devoted friend of Socrates. The great philosopher was born in 470 or 469 B.C. (historians are not positive of his birth year). He was born into a successful family with his father being a stonemason or sculptor. In addition to the fact that he was white, male, and he could read and write, his future of having a successful role in society was determined as soon as he was born. This helped lay out the framework to become a reputable philosopher later in his life. Socrates served in the army and married to Xanthippe. He also had three sons later in life (Philosophical Conversations).
[...] By doing this we can reach an examined life that is “worth living” (Hankamer). Socrates' statement is very bold stating that if one doesn't examine their life, then it's not even worth living. He doesn't say this without reason though. Socrates believed that the goal of human life is a form of self-actualization and both personal and spiritual growth. We must “take the time to examine and reflect upon our life” or we risk the inability to grow and develop a greater understanding of ourselves. [...]
[...] Socrates grew up as a white male which set his life up to be a successful philosopher in Athens. He lived his life to the fullest and followed in a different footpath that the sophists of his time. All of Socrates teachings and beliefs have credited him for laying down the foundation for Western philosophy. Socrates' teachings, beliefs, and thoughts are very controversial thanks to the limited evidence we have of his writings. This has caused philosophers around the world to look at Socrates teachings in many different ways and analyzing what they believe Socrates is really saying in his meaning. [...]
[...] Almost everything is debatable because of this uncertainty. This uncertainty with missing information has caused a broad differing view of what philosophers today think Socrates actually believed. For example, Aristotle essentially says that for Socrates, “knowledge was the necessary and sufficient condition for virtue” (Wilson). Where some philosophers would argue that this is true where others would argue that this is not true because of the fact that Socrates only wanted one to examine their own life and soul. They may argue that knowledge is not necessary for examining a life and therefore being virtuous. [...]
[...] Conscious Earth. Web Mar Hankamer, Ernest W. Is the Unexamined Life Not Worth Living?” Teaching Philosophy 29.1 (2006): 37-39. PhilPapers: Online Research in Philosophy. Web Mar Kaag, John. Making of a Philosophy Professor.” The Chronicle of Higher Education 59.14 (2012). Academic OneFile. Web Mar Melchert, Norman. Philosophical Conversations. New York: Oxford University Press Print. Wilson, Emily. [...]
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