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 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 ********** 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 h***** struggled to eradicate through philosophy. After all, he is no less ignorant than t*****y are; his superior wisdom lies solely in his recogn*****ion of the ignorance he shares with them. Scattered throughout the early dialogues are a varie***** ***** principles which Socrates plainly endorses. Socrates' acceptance of these principles appears ***** have been generated through ***** practice of philosophy (Palmer, 1988). Thus, by ***** the philosophical life he has come to recognize a ********** ***** ways in which ***** could ***** acted wrongfully; by following his principles he has avoided ***** evils ***** might *****wise 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 **********, we ***** be confident that at least up until ***** time of ***** trial, he is to some degree genuinely happy.

***** ***** 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 s*****s ***** he regards this activity as necessary for happiness when he says, "the unexamined ***** is not worth living for a hum*****n *****" (Ap. 38a5-6). He goes on to show that he thinks it is sufficient for happiness when he indicates ***** so long as he ***** engage in th***** activity, ***** would consider himself happy: he would count it ***** an "inconceivable happiness" (Ap. 41c3-4) if death offers him ***** opportunity ***** pursue his mission with t***** dead in Hades. In order to understand this claim, we do ***** need to assume that Socrates would miraculously receive virtue in the afterlife--just engaging in this ***** alone is enough for ***** to judge his condition happy. Accordingly, good activity is sufficient for happiness; virtue itself is not *****ed. But once the opportunity for good activity has been taken away, as it has ***** ***** his conviction, and since he considers all of t***** possible penalties other than paying a fine to be evils (Ap. 37b5-e2), Socrates no longer counts ***** life as worthwhile, claiming that he will be better off dead, ***** if death is *****hing more ***** utter extinction (Ap. 40c5). The power of the jury to constrain what Socrates can do justly makes clear that no measure of happiness, however small, can be ensured during one's *****.

What ***** asserts, *****


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