The Unexamined Life
After reading Plato’s account of Socrates defense, the Apology, I was
completely blown away by the power of Socrates words and ideas. The reading
left me thinking about how I felt regarding what he had said about virtue,
truth and the quest for both. In class, we discussed Socrates search for
virtue and we touched on the topic of this paper: the reasons Socrates
believed that “the unexamined life is not worth living for man”. It is my
opinion that he is correct in that view and in this paper I intend to show you
Like many philosophers alive in his time, it was Socrates belief that
virtue could only be attained through examination. Only through exploration
can you really understand what virtue is, and begin to act virtuously.
Understanding, as well as sharing, this information was very important goal to
The significance of examining and understanding our lives is far greater
than one might think. Understanding and comprehending the behavior of friends,
as well as of ourselves, enables us to have empathy and compassion for them.
And, allows us not to stand in judgment, which, in turn, allows us to live the
moral, noble lives that Socrates spoke of.
Another belief of Socrates that supports his view is the idea that evil
derives from ignorance and the failure to investigate or explore peoples
actions. I believe this to be true, also. This idea also supports his beliefs
on death. Socrates was not well liked because he explored his ignorance, and
was eventually put to death because of it.
Marie Curie once said, “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be
understood.” That could sum up a great deal of Socrates position in the
Apology: why he was not shaken by death, why he spoke of his relationship with
the gods, and possibly even why he felt the unexamined life is not worth