- The Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living Essay
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The Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living Essay
It is Socrates who gives the film its title. By the way, what is piety? What distinguishes Socrates from most philosophers is that he claims to have no answers, only questions. Told that the Oracle at Delphi had deemed him the wisest man in Athens, Socrates took it to mean that he alone knew that he did not know: his wisdom lay in being open to questioning his assumptions. Although he did want to find answers, he considered discussion a good in itself. Was Socrates a popularizer, then?
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To popularize science is to take something which in itself has no necessary audience outside the research community and to simplify it for public consumption. Socrates was not a popularizer in this sense.
He had no results to simplify; in fact, he treated the desire for results as itself an evasion of philosophy. On top of that, his philosophy was intrinsically aimed at an audience.
The difference is that great art does not pander to the public; it challenges us to be worthy of it. Since Socrates refused to write—apparently on the grounds that writing encouraged the transmission of mere facts rather than the teaching of wisdom—what is to be popularized is reflection itself. Philosophy has changed since Socrates: for one thing, philosophers now write; for another, they dwell in universities.
Hacker noted in a sadistic but ultimately accurate review. And then, in the very next sentence:. The book makes no claim to comprehensiveness. For example, it does not engage in detail with critics of analytic philosophy who do not engage with it in detail. I preferred to follow a few lines of thought that I found more rewarding.
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I hope that philosophy as I have presented it seems worth doing and not impossibly difficult. At any rate, I enjoy it. But why assume there must be one feature that unites philosophy? Well, they were both written by Germans in the s.
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Bernard Williams was perhaps the most widely respected moral philosopher of the late twentieth century. Williams argued that science has two characteristics that ethical discourse does not. Theory looks characteristically for considerations that are very general and have as little distinctive content as possible, because it is trying to systematize and because it wants to represent as many reasons as possible as applications of other reasons.
But critical reflection should seek for as much shared understanding as it can find on any issue, and use any ethical material that, in the context of the reflective discussion, makes some sense and commands some loyalty. Of course that will take things for granted, but as serious reflection it must know it will do that.
The only serious enterprise is living, and we have to live after the reflection; moreover though the distinction of theory and practice encourages us to forget it , we have to live during it as well. If you wanted a Socrates T-shirt , button , or bumper sticker , this is the phrase that would go on it. He was found guilty, and the jury named the penalty as death Socrates suggested a different penalty: free meals for life.
PREVIEW-Episode Danto on Art by The Partially Examined Life Ph | Mixcloud
If I say that it is impossible for me to keep quiet because that means disobeying the god, you will not believe me and will think I am being ironical. On the other hand, if I say that it is the greatest good for a man to discuss virtue every day and those other things about which you hear me conversing and testing myself and others, for the unexamined life is not worth living for men, you will believe me even less. What I say is true, gentlemen, but it is not easy to convince you. It probably has a military background, and suggests something like a drill instructor inspecting the ranks.
Because the unexamined life is not worth living for men, or the course of life that is not subjected to exacting scrutiny is not a humanly livable life.