1.7 Conclusions: Being Socrates

What will you leave to posterity?  What wisdom can you pass along to future generations?

Socrates believed that wisdom resides in each of us and that it’s a shame to not share it. He is admired yet today because he dedicated his life to the pursuit of knowledge and truth. He felt the unexamined life is not worth living. He transformed philosophy from a relativistic, subjective, and sophistical enterprise interested only in persuasion and rhetoric to one of logic, rational inquiry, and argument about human wellbeing. He felt that any person could come to realize the truth, and instead of trying to convince others of a particular truth, he would pose questions as part of his “method” that would lead them to it by the confirmation or refutation of their own logic. Socrates claimed that he really knew nothing, which modeled what it meant to be wise. Often the beginning of wisdom is recognizing that one does not really know what one claims to know. Like Jesus of Nazareth, Socrates did not write anything about himself, what we know of the man comes from the writings of his followers. Yet again like Jesus, his legacy has informed all of western history for over two thousand years.


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PPSC PHI 1011: The Philosopher's Quest by Daniel G. Shaw, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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