The Overlooked Gift of Knowledge

823 Words Jun 17th, 2018 4 Pages
In 399 BCE, one of the wisest men in history was put to death. This man was not only extremely wise, but also highly influential. He was a leader of the highest caliber. This is Socrates, arguably one of the most prominent men in philosophical history. Socrates is a figure of evolution, when referring to the way people think. He was sentenced to death by the Athenians for corrupting the youth, not believing in the gods recognized by the state, and for introducing supernatural beings. The Athenians were unjust in in their conviction and condemnation to death of Socrates because he helped the youth rather than corrupt it, attempted to abolish ignorance, and provided sufficient evidence of his wisdom. Rather than corrupting, Socrates …show more content…
The first and most important thing that Socrates encouraged was to recognize your own ignorance. “The principal lesson of the oracle story, according to Socrates, is that he is the wisest of men because only he recognizes the extent of his own ignorance” (Brickhouse 100). Socrates constantly expressed the importance of recognizing your own ignorance, in order to abolish ignorance within yourself. In addition to this, Socrates tried to open peoples’ eyes to their own ignorance, and to think with a more open mind. In the seminar reading package it says: “He (Socrates) describes himself as the “gadfly” of the state seeking to sting men into mental activity by opening their eyes to their own ignorance and thereby promoting wisdom and truth and the greatest improvement of the soul” (Jowett 247). All Socrates wanted to do here is to have the people recognize their ignorance, so they could learn from it and become smarter and better human beings. The “promoting wisdom and truth and the greatest improvement of the soul” part of that quotation just proves the good intentions that Socrates had. Next, in Socrates’ Apology he comments on how people are ignorant of their own knowledge on philosophers. He states people will claim philosophers teach things up in the clouds or under the Earth, and that philosophers do not follow the gods. With this, Socrates concludes that evil people will persuade others about such claims, leading to more ignorance.

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