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 there to be extremely high value in philosophical activity. But even th***** value is difficult to make out. Despite having lived by this principle for so many years now, Socrates is ***** ***** he remains ignorant of "anything fine and good" (Ap. 21d3-4). And *****cause Socrates sees vice as nothing other than moral ignorance, it might seem puzzling how he could claim to be any better off than those whose vice he h***** struggled to eradicate through philosophy. After all, he is no less ignorant than they are; his superior wisdom lies solely in ***** recogn*****ion of the ignorance he shares with them. Scattered throughout 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 of ways in which ***** ***** have acted wrongfully; by following ***** principles he has avoided many evils he might otherwise have committed. And precisely because happiness is assured ***** ***** action from the fact that Socrates can ***** a number of import*****nt judgments which guide him to good actions, we can be confident ***** at least up until ***** time ***** h***** trial, he is to some degree genuinely happy.

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

What Socrates asserts, *****


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