AN UNEXAMIND LIFE IS NOT WORTH LIVING
Socrates: An unexamined life is not worth living - Philosophy
The vector illustration "An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living" from is available on Fotolia under a royalty-free license (Credit from However his teachings were interpreted, it seems clear that Socrates' main focus was on how to live a good and virtuous life. The claim atrributed to him by Plato that "an unexamined life is not worth living" (Apology, 38b) seems historically accurate, in that it is clear he inspired his followers to think for themselves instead of following the dictates of society and the accepted superstitions concerning the gods and how one should behave. While there are differences between Plato's and Xenophon's depictions of Socrates, both present a man who cared nothing for class distinctions or `proper behavior' and who spoke as easily with women, servants, and slaves as with those of the higher classes. In ancient Athens, individual behavior was maintained by a concept known as `Eusebia' which is often translated into English as `piety' but more closely resembles `duty' or `loyalty to a course'. In refusing to conform to the social propieties proscribed by Eusebia, Socrates angered many of the more important men of the who could, rightly, accuse him of breaking the law by violating these customs..74).
An Unexamined life is not worth living - essay
According to Socrates, an unexamined life is not worth living. This view is controversial. Is the unexamined life worth living or not? Most philosophers disagree about the answer. While some argue for the worthlessness of an unexamined life, others support the superfluity of self critical examination. In his recent article, Jamison pooh-poohed the claim that an unexamined life is not worth living. According to Jamison, not only is an unexamined life worth living; the rigorous examination of life should not be encouraged due to its possible negative effects on the participants and the entire society. In Jamison's view, a consistent and unregulated examination of human life produces a feeling of ecstasy (a specie of spiritual feeling) in those who engage in it. The feeling, if allowed, could endanger both the thinker and the entire society. For Jamison, “once you get a taste of this kind of thing, you do not want to give it up”. Someone who engages in self-critical examination eventually becomes entangled with it. Socrates became entangled in dialectics, became unpopular, was accused of corrupting the youth and eventually sentenced to death.
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Why should we examine our lives? Why should we not just simply go with the flow, live life and not worry? "Ignorance is bliss" they say. How does examination of the self lead to actualization, and thereby to existence? These, of course, are those timeless questions that so many have continued to ask throughout history and so many have answered and not been listened to by more than a few. Wherein lies the significance of the phrases "know thyself" and "an unexamined life is not worth living?" What is the connection to the spiritual self, or soul? Why should these invectives be followed by me or anyone else??