• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!
  • Welcome to our archives. No new posts are allowed here.

Socrates and Wisdom

Timequake

Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2005
Messages
84
Reaction score
0
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
I saw Philosophy and i pounced!

After recently reading the Platonic dialogues, ( most specifically the Apology)i have been thinking a lot about wisdom and how one can acknowledge themselves as truly wise and knowledgeable. In the Apology Socrates asserts himself as the "wisest" after consulting different people ( craftsmen, poets etc.) and then claims if he is wise, he is only wise in that he knows nothing.

What i am wondering is what does he really mean by this? Are we only intelligent if we accept that we know nothing? Or are we intelligent because we are humble enough to realize that we know nothing?

I understand the point he makes about people being unintelligent when they assume to know everything because they may excel at one particular thing, but how is Socrates really able to determine whether someone he talks to possesses knowledge or not?
 

talloulou

DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Messages
15,998
Reaction score
3,962
Location
Tiamat's better half
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Conservative
I think he means the more you learn the more you realize how much more there is to know. No one knows everything and it is only a very unwise fool who believes they have all the answers.

Also once you think you have all the answers your mind can close. Once your mind closes and refuses to consider new input you are no longer wise. Wisdom can only be gained if you continue to be openminded and always ready to ponder new information. Therefore, a wise man admits that nothing is certain.
 

-Demosthenes-

Internet Revolutionist
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Messages
919
Reaction score
7
Location
USA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
Those of us who realize we don't know everything are really the smartest of all.
 

Joakim

New member
Joined
Jan 17, 2006
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Location
Sweden
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Try thinking about nothing.
It’s a big part of Greek philosophy.

Too bad there are no texts left from Socrates, most of what we know about him comes from Plato. It would have been fun to read, because he was indeed the father of dialectics. Creating thesis and antithesis to eventually come up with a synthesis.
 

-Demosthenes-

Internet Revolutionist
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Messages
919
Reaction score
7
Location
USA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
Joakim said:
Too bad there are no texts left from Socrates, most of what we know about him comes from Plato.
There were never any texts, he never wrote. That was the problem.
 

EkBalam

New member
Joined
Apr 17, 2006
Messages
41
Reaction score
0
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Socrates is a good western philosopher. yes Indeed.
 

liberal1

Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Messages
158
Reaction score
0
Location
Michigan
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Socrates seem to contradict himself by assuming himself wise and others not so. Already by asserting that he knows the "true path" to wisdom, he disproves himself. How can one be wise who accepts he has no wisdom?
 

-Demosthenes-

Internet Revolutionist
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Messages
919
Reaction score
7
Location
USA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
liberal1 said:
Socrates seem to contradict himself by assuming himself wise and others not so. Already by asserting that he knows the "true path" to wisdom, he disproves himself. How can one be wise who accepts he has no wisdom?
He was "wise" because he knew of his own ignorance.
 

Comrade Brian

DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 18, 2005
Messages
1,239
Reaction score
0
Location
NE, Minnesota
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Joakim said:
It would have been fun to read, because he was indeed the father of dialectics. Creating thesis and antithesis to eventually come up with a synthesis.
Dialectical philosophy predates Socrates, dialectical theory can be found in the Hindu religion which predates Socrates. Also some other Greek philosophers such as Heraclitus, Pythagoreans, and the Atomists, and also some Chinese philosophers have dialectical theory well before Socrates.
Also the thesis-antithesis-synthesis model is misleading of dialectics. It was vulgarised by Heinrich Chalybäus, most dialecticians reject that model because it was noted to be more Fichtean than Hegelian, since Hegel is considered to be the founder of modern dialectical thought. So that thesis-antithesis-synthesis model is not as representative of dialectics as has been popularised. Dialectics is not something understood in three words.
 
Last edited:

liberal1

Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Messages
158
Reaction score
0
Location
Michigan
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Does not the dialectic process (presented by Hegel at least) contradict itself in the end, at least so in saying that there will be some form of "absolute?" Is he not just another philosopher trying to reassure himself that all the recurrent struggles that humanity is immersed in is for a higher purpose (take that as you will, whether you prefer left or right Hegelian thought), rather than the alternative, that while society may advance when the synthesis of these struggles commences, conflict and struggle will always remain core to human nature?
 

Comrade Brian

DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 18, 2005
Messages
1,239
Reaction score
0
Location
NE, Minnesota
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Does not the dialectic process (presented by Hegel at least) contradict itself in the end, at least so in saying that there will be some form of "absolute?"
Yes it does, and it was noted that Hegel was highly idealistic, which is the way you want the world to be-not what it is. But anyways Hegel's absolutism is rather contradictory to itself, and you could notice that about every famous philosophy contradicts itself in some fashio, but his philosophy was still a considerable contrabution to philosophic thoughts, as the understanding of many areas could be better brought out.
 

-Demosthenes-

Internet Revolutionist
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Messages
919
Reaction score
7
Location
USA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
CB said:
...and you could notice that about every famous philosophy contradicts itself in some fashio
Like the nonconsequentialists who want you to make choices without factoring in consequences using the premise that is we would live in a better world if everyone acted this way. Making the world a better place is, ironically, a consequence.
 
Top Bottom