Socrates then asks himself, “Are you not ashamed, Socrates, to have followed the kind of occupation that has led to your being now in danger of death?” (28b). For much of his life Socrates has led a lifestyle that has run contrary to the average Athenian man. He openly questions the beliefs of men held in high esteem in Athens, and thus has made him a controversial figure. For this very reason, he was indicted. Socrates responds, claiming “You are wrong sir, if you should think that a man who is any good at all should take into account the risk of life or death…”. A good man does not consider his physical well being when taking action, rather he looks “whether what he does is right or wrong, whether he is acting like a good or bad man” (28c). Socrates distinctly uses the word “acting” instead of “being”. What he has essentially said is that good men only act like good men. Which is to say, that men only aim to be good. Additionally, a man’s life is not what matters, rather his honor, or the health of his soul is what matters. Actions guided by the idea of a “good man” dete...
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...g. Socrates, the man who dedicated his life to uncertainty, would make his final act embracing the most timeless uncertainty of them all: death.
At its core, Greek philosophy is about self discovery. The pivotal moment of Socrates’ life was discovering that he knew nothing. He lived and died according to that knowledge. Aristotle 's treatises on the division of the souls looks inward and dissects the soul to examine how one makes a decision, and using that knowledge to make good decisions. While most education seems to look outward and tries explain the world, philosophy looks inward to explain the self. The fascinating thing is how little any of us really understand our own nature. Life is riddled with uncertainty. Death may be the only uncertainty that gets revealed to us. Cruelly, once that question is answered, we are not alive to know what it’s like.
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