Asked • 04/10/19

Are the unexamined lives of others worth examining?

Socrates continually admonished his interlocutors to become more introspective, arguing passionately for self-examination: > The unexamined life is not worth living. But an examined life is painful, and necessitates an involvement with real problems. This is why it's worth living -- the unreflective are easily trapped into a living death of the mind by mythology, as the reflective sometimes are by ideology. In both cares we are deadened, sleepwalking through our lives blind and deaf, incapable of interacting with the world as it actually is much less imagining the world as it should be. Now, we know of course that Socrates did not refrain from commenting on the generally unreflective character of his fellow Athenians. This is really the heart of my question. Certain reactionary critics might suggest that it's all well and good to closely examine one's own beliefs and values, but why should you go about examining the beliefs and values of others?

1 Expert Answer


Frank T. answered • 04/10/19

4.8 (254)

Professor and Editor w/ 40 years of university and tutoring experience

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