Essay - Socrates' - the Unexamined Life is not Worth Living Socrates...

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Socrates' - The Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

Socrates is convinced that "the unexamined life is not worth living for a human being" (Ap. 38a5-6), it is clear that he must suppose ********** to be extremely high value in philosophical activity. But even th***** value is difficult to make out. Despite hav*****g lived by this principle for so many years now, Socrates is convinced ***** he remains ignorant of "anything fine and good" (Ap. 21d3-4). And because Socrates sees vice as *****hing other than moral ignorance, it might seem puzzling how he could claim to be any better off than those whose vice he has struggled to eradicate through philosophy. After all, he is no less ig*****rant than t*****y are; his superior wisdom lies solely in ***** recognition of the ignorance he shares with them. Scattered throughout the early dialogues are a variety ***** principles which Socrates plainly endorses. *****' acceptance of these ***** appears ***** have been generated through his practice of philosophy (Palmer, 1988). Thus, by living the philosophical ***** he has come to recognize a ***** ***** ways in which he could have acted wrongfully; by following ***** principles he has avoided many evils he might *****wise have committed. And precisely ***** happiness is assured ***** good action from the fact that Socrates can ***** a number of import*****nt judgments which guide him to good *****s, we can be confident that at least up until ***** time of h***** trial, he is to some degree genuinely happy.

***** activity especially stands out--h***** examinations of himself and others. It is precisely this activity, according to Socrates, that has made his life worthwhile. Socrates s*****s ***** he regards this activity as necessary ***** happiness when he says, "the unexamined life is not worth ***** for a human being" (Ap. 38a5-6). He goes on to show that he thinks it is sufficient for happiness when he indicates that so long as he ***** engage in this activity, ***** would consider himself happy: he would count it as an "*****conceivable happiness" (Ap. 41c3-4) if death *****ers him ***** opportunity ***** pursue his mission with t***** dead in Hades. In order to underst***** this claim, we do not need to *****sume that Socrates would miraculously receive virtue in the after*****--just engaging in this activity alone is enough ***** ***** to judge his condition happy. Accordingly, good activity is sufficient for happiness; ***** itself is not needed. But once ***** opportunity for good ***** has been taken away, as it has been by his conviction, and since he considers all of t***** possible penal*****ies other than paying a ***** to be ***** (*****. 37b5-e2), Socr*****tes no longer counts ***** l*****e as worthwhile, *****ing that he will be better off dead, even if death is *****hing more ***** utter extinction (Ap. 40c5). The power of the jury to constrain what Socrates can ***** justly makes clear that no measure ***** happiness, however sm*****, can be ensured during one's life.

What Socrates asserts, *****


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