Philosophy Test Essay

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By eckema30
Words 588
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Test Essay Questions
Question #1
Chaerephon asked the omniscient oracle if there was anyone wiser than Socrates, and the Oracle replied there was not. Socrates becomes very perplexed by the answer for he knew the Oracle could not tell a lie & he knew he had no certain wisdom or knowledge.
In order to test the claim of the Oracle, Socrates began to question Athenian men whose knowledge was highly respected such as the politicians, the poets, and craftsmen. He found that the politicians who thought they were very wise, in fact knew nothing at all. The poets were incapable of explaining their works; Socrates concluded that their genius came not from wisdom but from some sort of instinct or inspiration which was in no way connected to their intellect. Furthermore, these poets seemed to think they could speak intelligently about all sorts of matters concerning which they were quite ignorant. In the craftsmen, Socrates found men who truly did have great wisdom in their craft, but invariably, they seemed to think that their expertise in one field allowed them to speak authoritatively in many other fields, about which they knew nothing. In each case, Socrates affirmed that he would rather be as he is, knowing that he knows nothing, than to be inflated by a false sense of his own wisdom. Thus, he concludes, he truly is wiser than other men because he does not think he knows what he does not know.
Though many people take Socrates to be an expert in the fields of which he questions others, he denies an expertise and interprets the Oracle as saying that the wisest of men are men who humbly accept that their wisdom is deficient. Since the oracle has proclaimed him to be the wisest of men, he feels it his duty to show others that human wisdom does not come from any specialized knowledge, as the politicians or poets or craftsmen would like to claim, but rather from a…...

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