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Socrates and Locke, Essay Example

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Essay

Something both Socrates and Locke emphasized from what I gathered was the notion of truth. Socrates was a curious man, always wanting truthful answers, delving into questions like “Do I really know anything at all?” (Soloman 4) He was appointed by the Oracle at Delphi as the “wisest of them all,” (Plato’s Apology 12) and I think at the moment, that’s when the idea of knowledge, ethics and reality mattered to him. If he was indeed the wisest, it could be assumed that he felt this obligation to share his knowledge with the world. And as Plato had described his teacher, Socrates had taken these philosphical questions of life very seriously. And while he preached about his ways, essentially questioning the existence of demi-gods and Gods, it became threatening to those who did not share his knowledge (Plato’s Apology). For Socrates to put his life on the line and outright humiliate Meletus, Anytus, and Lycon for the sake of his teaching during his trial, it highlights the importance of the questions of knowledge, ethics, and reality to him. As for Locke, he focused more on the nature of truth and for those who essentially sought the importance would care for it more than those who did not. (Philosophy as the love of truth versus enthusiasm). So while it was important to Locke, Socrates it felt like, held it in higher regards than Locke.

For the right balance between a life lived wihout refelction and a life spent reflecting but never have lived, you have to find a medium. Live the life you want, but reflect back on it. Because a life isn’t lived if you don’t feel a sense of satisfaction. And you can’t feel that satisfaction unless you reflect back on it. So basically, if you go through life without much self-satsifaction, you’re living an empty life. Socrates had similar thoughts as mentioned in the Little Philosophy book, “Socrates discovered he had a soul” (Solomon 7). After much thought, he pondered on defining oneself, self fufilment, and staying true to what was important to him. After he was sentenced to death for “offending the gods,” “corrupting the youth” etc. he accepted his fate because he knew he lived a life of self fufillment and stayed true what he believed in.

Philosophy, per say, is not something most people necessarily think about unless given reason to. For example, when going through a difficult time in their life, late at night talks between one another, or simply in a philosophy class. If the idea of delving into the big questions like what is life? Why am I here? intrigues you, keeps you up at night or at least question what you know, then I would say you care a good amount, especially because Socrates was a big thinker on the bigger questions (Little Philosophy Book).

Platos Apology was really interesting to read because I thoroughly enjoyed reading Socrates belittle and contradict his prosecuters. And he made very clear and concise points that made me stop and think “Hmm…” Socrates was very stubborn, fighting his case and it was amusing to see when ruling guilty or not guilty, the votes were within range of each other and even Socrates pointed out how some of the voters were thinking a long the same lines as him. Shame they could not accept their arrogance and ignorance and let the man live.

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