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Sample Essay

Words 1,780

This is an essay on the wisdom of Socrates. Socrates believes that only someone who is “truly wise” would know these important definitions and be able to provide such expert answers.

He is not showing false humility in denying his wisdom because in the Apology he admits that he is wise in a sense and he goes on to say that all of humanity should share in his wisdom. But he also makes clear both in that work and elsewhere that his claim of ignorance is genuine.  Socrates believes that only someone who is “truly wise” would know these important definitions and be able to provide such expert answers.

Socrates says, such knowledge of definitions belongs only to the gods. We mortals can only possess “human wisdom, which is of little or no worth” (Apology 23a).

This meager wisdom consists in sharing his appreciation that we have no knowledge of moral meanings and that we are consequently are unable to obtain other information from these definitions. That is, we do not have the knowledge that would make us truly wise.

Socrates sees an meaninglessness in the pride we sometimes show when we claim to Know that an action is brave or a doing is virtuous. Thus, the wisdom of Socrates contains a sort of rational humility that understands that human ideas about ethical properties fall short of knowledge and that human moral decision are never perfect.

In spite of this poor evaluation of human knowledge, Socrates does not discard philosophy. Even if humankind will never attain moral knowledge, philosophical study of moral beliefs is beneficial to us because it causes us to watchfully consider and even reform our beliefs — an action that is morally useful. Also, Socrates seems to consider the actual task of pursuing the “knowledge of the gods” to be mentally and spiritually invigorating, even if he never succeeds in attaining moral knowledge. therefore, he is always eager to examine

“How things stand” (Apology 23b)

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