In conversation with my dad yesterday he mentioned that he didn’t know where the phrase “The Unexamined Life,” came from but he was sure it was deep. Come to that, I didn’t know where it came from, so I decided to make sure I had cribbed it from someplace cool.
And I did! Here it is, in Apology, Plato’s account of the trial of Socrates.
“Someone will say: Yes, Socrates, but cannot you hold your tongue, and then you may go into a foreign city, and no one will interfere with you? Now I have great difficulty in making you understand my answer to this. For if I tell you that this would be a disobedience to a divine command, and therefore that I cannot hold my tongue, you will not believe that I am serious; and if I say that the greatest good of a man is daily to converse about virtue, and all that concerning which you hear me examining myself and others, and that the life which is unexamined is not worth living — that you are still less likely to believe.”
It’s shocking to me that I managed to snatch this one right out of the air, because I would have told you I spent my sophomore year in Philosophy class doing a crossword puzzle and seething about being surrounded by moonbats. Evidently somewhere along the line I did the reading.
So here’s an odd list.
Things about which Socrates and I agree:
- Being a smartass is a divine command.
Things about which Socrates and I disagree:
- That you need to examine every aspect of your life in order to make it worth living.
And in the great spirit of philosophy classes everywhere, I leave you with the following essay question:
What would Socrates – advocate of the examined life- have thought of wearable technology?