Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living Essay
Goal of the Course: The general end of this class is to see what philosophers call the Socratic committedness. Socrates. a Grecian philosopher. 470-399 B. C. . was placed on test in Athens because he questioned the political. moral. and spiritual patterns of Athens. He gave his ain defence which his student Plato recorded as The Apology ( The Defense ) . When he was convicted for impiousness to the Gods and for perverting the young person because he had taught the immature grownups to inquiry. he was given the chance to suggest his ain punishment. He refused to give up his mission as the one naming Athinais to the examined manner of life.
He refused to go forth Athens. if the status were to be that he had to give up learning. He summed up his defence in the undermentioned manner: If I say that I can non keep my peace ( by giving up my mission ) because that would be to disobey the God. you will believe that I am non in earnest and will non believe me. And if I tell you that no greater good can go on to a adult male than to discourse human excellence every twenty-four hours and the other affairs about which you have heard me reasoning and analyzing myself and others. and that an unexamined life is non deserving life. so you will believe me still less.
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But that is so. my friends. though it is non easy to carry you. ( Apology ) The general end of the class is to research the personal and societal significance of the statement. the unexamined life is non deserving life. The live in which I let other people tell me what the inquiries of life are. the life in which I let other people give me their replies without my thought through to my ain replies. is the unexamined life. Socrates is stating that the life in which I ask my ain inquiries and reply them for myself in a sensible mode is a more valuable life than the unexamined life.
The examined life is so much better than an unexamined life that Socrates is willing to decease for that value. I want to take a firm stand so much on your personal engagement in this class that I choose non to specify doctrine other than to state that philosophers have all agreed that the unexamined life is non deserving life and that we shall research how these philosophers have examined their lives so that you may be encouraged and assisted by them in analyzing your ain life.
The philosophers do non hold on what inquiries should be asked in life or in what order the inquiries should be asked. much less on the replies that they give to their inquiries. Philosophers do non hold on how to specify doctrine. Doctrine is non a scientific discipline in which we can all utilize the experimental method of concluding and conclude to the same theories. Doctrine is non mathematics in which we can all utilize a mathematical method of concluding and turn out our decisions. We will do the premise of-Socrates that the unexamined life is non deserving life in order to get down the class.
But every premise which we make should itself be examined in order that we can be honest with ourselves in populating an examined manner of life. INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY Goal of the Course Hoebel in his 3rd edition of his Anthropologv provinces that every civilization makes: ( 1 ) basic factual posits about the nature of the external universe and human being. and ( 2 ) basic normative posits about what acts or things are good and how the chase of these goods or values gives intending to human being.
In doctrine. I want us to ( 1 ) discover for ourselves our basic posits about the nature of human being. about moral values. about spiritual value ; ( 2 ) to come in into duologue with great philosophers about these affairs ; and ( 3 ) to stop the class by a restatement or alteration of our basic posits. with a responsible reply to the challenges. groundss. inquiries. and positions of the great philosophers. ( 1 ) The ability to province one’s basic posits about human being. moral values. and spiritual values may be really hard For our civilization does non show to us merely one set of posits on these affairs.
We live cognizant of many different positions ; some believe in God. others do non ; some affirm that worlds possess freedom. others do non ; some live by really rigorous moral codifications. others live by urge. This confusing mixture of posits which we encounter can be seen as a good. For doctrine can merely get down in human life when we are cognizant that there is more than one manner of looking at things than our ain manner. One of the grounds that Greece made the passage from mythology to doctrine was that the Greeks were a sea-going people who encountered the myths of many peoples.
This consciousness of different narratives of the universe and of different value systems was a stimulation which encouraged brooding rating of their ain values for the Greeks. ( 2 ) The really procedure of come ining into duologue with assorted philosophers about the nature of human being. moral values. and spiritual values will get down to alter our values. For the procedure of making doctrine. the really procedure of brooding rating on values. for illustration. introduces a new value into a person’s life.
A individual begins to value philosophical contemplation and duologue with others on these basic inquiries. However. this value is non new. I hopes for you. I assume that you have already said in some manner to yourself. “The unexamined life is non deserving life. ” I assume that you agree with Socrates that an indispensable portion of being human is the procedure of raising inquiries with others about the very nature of human being and values. I hope that you will see the philosophers we study as comrades helping you in the chase of your ain inquiries.
A error that can be made is that an single tends to measure these philosophers before they are truly understood or without truly giving them a opportunity to react. I ask that you non measure but that you attempt to understand them as you would endeavor to understand a friend and that you permit them a opportunity to react to your ratings. In a existent sense. you should try to play both parts of a duologue. between yourself and the philosopher. making a go oning conversation on the nature of human being and values.
For illustration. if you assume that you have freedom of pick and you tend to measure B. F. Skinner negatively because he is a behaviourist. one who believes that all human behaviour is governed by conditioning of stimulations and response. first strive to understand Skinner. Then. when you evaluate Skinner. effort to let him to react to your inquiries and expostulations. You may happen that your expostulations are non unanswerable and that a sensible statement of your ain place requires more enquiry and probe.
The consciousness that Socrates did non cognize what he thought he knew was a stimulation which Socrates responded to by perpetrating himself to the examined manner of life. and by naming others to that same value. ( 3 ) I see the procedure of making doctrine. hence. as taking to the creative activity of a human community which respects the right of every person to self-knowledge and which works together in a bond of love enriching each one in self-knowledge and autonomy. The psychologist Carl Rogers affirms that originative human relationships involve people in common apprehension and credence of themselves and each other.
When a healer understands and accepts a client as the client expresses his experience. this relationship permits the client to understand and accept facets of his experience which he has repressed. Deriving self-understanding and self-acceptance. the client learns to understand and accept others and to go originative in the chase of his ends. I hope that we can set up a relationship in category between instructor and pupils and between ourselves and the philosophers we study that encourages us to cognize and accept ourselves and the philosophers we study.
I hope that this relationship will enable us to go originative in our doctrines and of the human community exemplified in the life of Socrates. In the 2nd to last essay of the text. “The Value of Philosophy. ” written by Bertrand Russell. I find a quotation mark which states what Carl Rogers has stated about human relationships. but in a philosopher’s manner: The nonpartisanship which. in contemplation. is the unalloyed desire for truth. is the really same quality of head which in action is justness and in emotion is that cosmopolitan love which can be given to all.
The nonpartisanship and objectiveness needed in the chase of truth is similar to both the equity required in merely actions and the catholicity in sensible love. I believe that the really procedure of making doctrine. the really quest of self-understanding of one’s ultimate posits about human nature and values. in fact leads one to a committedness to a human community of justness and love. If my construct of doctrine is mistaken. the really procedure of making doctrine will go a self-correcting subject through responsible duologue with other philosophers.
Of class. to confirm as a basic value a human community founded on justness and love is non by itself the entirety of truth in doctrine. nor is it a point from which all other philosophical truths can be deduced in some mathematical mode. But such a community is a cardinal value that may be able to be related to their truths and values to be discovered in the chase of doctrine. Such new truths and values may so allow me to understand even better the very nature of the Socratic committedness and the human community of justness and love.
Any claim as to conclusiveness of penetration is disqualifying. for I have learned that I can maintain on larning. Questions for Reading 1: The Apology ( in The Continuinq Quest ) 1. What are the old charges against Socrates? The present charges? 2. How did Socrates at first construe the statement of the prophet? How did he subsequently construe it? 3. What does Socrates believe about wisdom and God? wisdom and humanity? 4. Socrates makes a comparing between his response to the generals at Potidaea ( and two other topographic points ) and his response to God. What is that comparing? 5.
How does Socrates see his response to God’s message through the prophet and one of the present charges brought against him? 6. What is Socrates’ wise position of decease? 7. What are two moral rules that Socrates does claim to cognize? 8. Why will Socrates non discontinue from learning doctrine? 9. What has Socrates spent his whole life in traveling about and trying to carry his fellow Athenians to accept? 10. Does Socrates view decease as an immorality or as a good? Why? 11. What does this statement mean for Socrates: no immorality can go on to a good homo being? 12. What is his petition for his boies?