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


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Socrates' - The Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

***** is convinced that "the unexamined life is not worth living for a human being" (Ap. 38a5-6), it is clear that he must suppose there to be extremely high value in philosophical activity. But even this 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 nothing other than moral ignorance, it might seem puzzling how he could claim to be any better *****f than those whose vice he has struggled ***** eradicate through philosophy. After all, he ***** no less ignorant than they are; his superior wisdom lies solely in his recogn*****ion of the ignorance he shares with them. Scattered ********** the early dialogues are a variety ***** principles which Socrates plainly endorses. Socrates' acceptance of these principles appears to have been generated through his practice of philosophy (Palmer, 1988). Thus, by ***** the philosophical ***** he has come to recognize a variety ***** ways in which he ***** have acted wrongfully; by following his principles he has avoided ***** evils ***** might otherwise have committed. And precisely because happiness is assured by good action from the fact that Socrates can ***** a number of import*****nt judgments ***** guide him to good actions, we can be confident ***** at least up until the time of his trial, he is ***** some degree genuinely happy.

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

What ***** asserts, is

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