CONCLUSION: The Ongoing Quest

The quest for truth must be carried out by each person individually. It is like breathing, something which no one else can do for us. – Seyyed Hossein Nasr

To turn away from the great questions and dilemmas of life is a tragedy, for the quest for meaning and truth makes life worth living. – Charles Colson

If the road is easy, you’re likely going the wrong way. – Terry Goodkind

When Socrates’ dedicated student Chaerephon returned from Delphi and told his master what the oracle had said—that Socrates was indeed the wisest man in Athens—Socrates did not agree.

Pablo Picasso: Don Quixote (1955)

A hallmark of the philosopher’s quest is to always retain an open-minded humility in the face of life’s big questions.  Recognizing that certainty is a rare and elusive quarry, the philosopher nevertheless perseveres in the quest.  He hunts for better avenues of approach to the truth, for more clarity, for better questions. The goal is closer and closer proximity. Socrates knew that to claim to know more often than not meant that one did not yet know.  Settling for current or simple answers and calling that wisdom stifles seeking! He demonstrated this over and over again in his conversations with his fellow Athenians.

Now you, as a philosopher, inherit his mission.

Will you wear the philosophical mantle of deep reasoning with humility as you enter into encounters with friends and colleagues? Will you take on the quest as you move forward in your education and your career? Will you, from time to time, make the climb up to Delphi only to discover that what you think you know, you may not know? Will you risk much to enrich the intellectual lives of your companions? Or will you be like the Sophists of Athens, offering ready answers rather than insightful questions, rote speeches rather than a careful listening ear?


What Is a Good Life?: Crash Course Philosophy #46

Or watch the video here

You have now taken the first step on the ever-rewarding, ever-frustrating road to la vie intellectuelle.  You will not regret it. Friendships, careers, dreams, wealth, health — these things come and go.   But your philosophical mind will nurture you through all challenges and reward you with a far richer life than ever you had imagined.

Journey well!


Works Cited

CrashCourse, director. What Is a Good Life?: Crash Course Philosophy #46. YouTube, YouTube, 13 Feb. 2017, Accessed 12 Apr. 2022.

Picasso, Pablo. “Don Quixote Painting by Pablo Picasso.” Flickr, Flickr, 19 Aug. 2013. Accessed 12 Apr. 2022.


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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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