A library, to modify the famous metaphor of Socrates,
should be the delivery room for the birth of ideas -
a place where history comes to life.
- Norman Cousins
... I tell you that no greater good can happen to a man than to discuss every day and the other matters about which you have heard me arguing and examining myself and others, and that an unexamined life is not worth living ... (ibid. 37e-38a, tr. Church, rev. Cumming)
The unexamined life is not worth living.- Socrates
... to let no day pass without discussing goodness and all the other subjects [cf. Xenophon, ] about which you hear me talking and examining both myself and others is really the very best thing that a man can do, and that life without this sort of examination is not worth living ... (tr. Tredennick)
Socrates | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Only Socrates knew, after a lifetime of unceasing labor,
that he was ignorant.
Now every high-school student knows that.
How did it become so easy?
- Allan Bloom
Socrates (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
The questions Socrates asked -- the topics he asked questions about -- were the very things that he himself had been thinking about for many years: the questions of ethics, of how a man should live his life (Plato, ). That was why he was able to direct the discussion using the technique of question and answer ["... the duty of leading the philosophical life, examining myself and others" (Plato, Apology 28e)]. When he was asked if he was preparing his defense before his trial (because in Athens a defendant had to present his own defense), Socrates replied: "Do you not think that I have been preparing for it all my life." (Xenophon, Memorabilia iv, 8, 4)
The Ethics of Socrates - Lander University
Here there is suggested another Socratic method -- i.e. not the method of question-and-answer as such -- but the method of Socratic ethics: Know thyself in order to know the excellence that is proper to man, and therefore what the good for man is, and therefore how man should live his life.
Philosophy 302: Ethics The Ethics of Socrates
Plato has Socrates say in : "it is not easy to disbelieve Simonides. For he is a wise and inspired man", but nonetheless we must put the poet's words to the test in discussion -- we must examine them to discover by which meaning they are true, by which false.
Abstract: The ethics of Socrates is briefly outlined
In favor of Aristophanes as a source is that Xenophon and Plato weresome forty-five years younger than Socrates, so their acquaintancecould only have been in Socrates’s later years. One may reasonablydoubt that the life and personality of Socrates was so consistent thatPlato’s characterization of a man in his fifties and sixties shouldutterly undo the lampooning account of the younger Socrates found inClouds and other comic poets. More to the point, the yearsbetween Clouds and Socrates’s trial were years of war andupheaval, so the Athenian intellectual freedom of which Periclesboasted at the beginning of the war (Thucydides 2.37–39) had beeneroded completely by the end (see §3). Thus, what had seemedcomical a quarter century earlier, Socrates hanging in a basketon-stage, talking nonsense, was ominous in memory by then.