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Name: Julia Bien D.

Florencio

Section: CIV151

Faculty: Prof. A. Layug

Subject: Philosophy & Logic

Why the Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living


I.

Analysis
A. Conceptual Analysis
A significant statement by Socrates, The unexamined life is not worth
living was uttered during his trial for heresy after chose death rather
than exile. But how can we analytically define the key terms to fully
scrutinize his claim? By conceptual analysis, we would minimize
linguistic confusion from vagueness and ambiguity of terms. One of the
key term unexamined means the act of being not investigated or
examined. Life means the period between the birth and death of a
living thing, especially of a human being. The term worth refers to
the value equivalent to that of someone or something under
consideration; the level at which someone or something deserves to be
valued or rated. There are no biased and unclear definition in the key
terms.
B. Epistemic Analysis.
Assumption/s:
- Socrates didnt mention that life that is unexamined is any less
worthy or meaningful. The statement plainly implies that
unexamined life isnt worthy at all.
Presupposition/s:
- In order one has to experience a worthy life, one must examine
-

it up to the full extent.


An individual has the choice whether to examine life or not.
There are no specific enumerations on how to rightfully examine
life in the claim.

Justifications:
- The appeal to the nature of the statement is good, right or just
in itself. Therefore, it is under deontological justification. Even
though the act is moral by itself, theres still also a need in
considering the beneficial consequences in order to maximize
the rationale. Citing the aversive consequences if the statement

is not implemented can also be utilized to strengthen the


argument.
II.

Argument
A. Reason 1: Platos invitation to formulate direction in ones life by
Allegory of Cave
1. Explanation: Plato, arguably one of worlds best known Greek
philosophers, introduced Platos Myth of the Cave as an allegory of
illusions treated as if it is knowledge based on reality. Socrates, the
myths narrator, describes the prisoners who have been chained
since their childhood inside a cave. Their heads are chained as well,
forcing them to look steadily at the wall in front of them. Behind
them is a tremendous fire, and between the fire and the prisoners is
a raised path, along which various beings pass through. The
prisoners falsely believe the shadows casted on the wall together
with the echoes from it.
Suppose a prisoner is freed and brought outside for the first time. At
first, he would be blinded by the sunlight coming from the caves
entrance and he would find the outside environment alienating. But
gradually, his eyes would adjust to be able to see the real objects.
The last object he would be able to see is the sun, whose light is the
ultimate source of everything he has seen.
Back to the most significant plot of the myth, is when the freed
prisoner would want to bring his fellow prisoners into the light. As
he returned, he would hardly distinguish the shadows, as how as he
was first exposed to the sun. Unfortunately, the other cave dwellers
told him that his journey outside the cave harmed him and they
shouldnt take similar journey. The prisoners couldve also killed the
freed prisoner if they were able to.
2. Justification:
- The myth is an analogy of the Prisoners as to the Humanity;
and Cave as to the Human Consciousness. Just like the
prisoners inside the cave, they are being easily manipulated to
believe that the reality are only shadows of images of
something real outside. We couldve just repetitively done our
mind-numbing routines like eating, bathing, and going to school

or work. But many of our beliefs that were established in our


childhood may have been outdated and irrelevant. At some time
of our existence, we may feel discomfort on being shoved up of
uncrystallized ideas. Take a stand against conformity and step
-

up to free thinking.
The first step to change is self-awareness. At first, we dont allow
ourselves to critically challenge our beliefs because we lack
courage. We may struggle reconsidering our assumptions for all
these years, or we may be scared because we feel that there
wont be any answer. Let us not hesitate to ask questions for
well only be a fool for a moment which is absolutely nothing
compared to being a fool for a lifetime. In time, the act of
philosophizing ideas that are handed down by our society will
gradually enhance our wisdom. In order to get out of the cave:
one must reflect, ponder, examine, discover, scrutinize and
philosophize. Welcome to the new generation, where reason and
evidence play a big role on the validity of an argument as how

would it survive as a subject of criticism.


At this point, peoples beliefs are strongly influenced by the
environment but we are still free whether to adapt to it or not.
We may be chained in a dark cave but we have a choice to free
ourselves or not. Napoleon Bonaparte once said that The world
suffers a lot. Not because the violence of bad people. But
because of the silence of the good people. Thats why its the
task of the enlightened not
only to see the radiance but is to be a blessing to those who
cannot grasp light.

3. Criticisms:
- The human race is incapable to know everything in world
because of our limited senses. Theres no point of pretending to
find out everything (including the real of unprovable matters)
within our little time frame of existence. By default, all people
who has already died has not lived a worthy life because from
time to time, there are new knowledges proven and they never
had chance to be informed about that. Yes, even Socrates.

Just right after our birth, were eventually destined to live our
lives depending on things weve never approved ofour name,
sex, family, community, economic status, and nationality. At
young age, we cant pick with what kind beliefs and ideas will
surround our environment. Eventually, it will contribute to our
individuality, despite how uncritical and dangerous they are. Our
innocence and ignorance portrays our perspectives that are
simply embedded at young age. Morality, religion, culture,
ethnicity, gender, political views and social stratification of the
environment we belong will determine our views without merely
questioning it. None is really free, for people are enslaved by
ignorance, thus restraining them for acting according to their
will. It would be very unfair for people who were born with no
chance of being educated and enlightened just because of their

social strata.
However, the passage is an analogy of what is it like to be
enlightened, trying to educate the public when most people are
contented to their ignorance and even hostile to the people who
criticizes them. Close minded people can be egocentric and
sociocentric. There are instances where people are more than
willing to harm each other if they have contradicting beliefsor
even worse, to kill each other.
Besides, nobody has the responsibility

over

someones

ignorance. You have no power to dictate how someone should


live his life. Respect each others beliefs. Live and let live.
4. Stance:
Its clearly an invitation or call to formulate the direction in ones
life. Life is worth living if an individual prevails to seek wisdom and
knowledge on how to achieve enlightenment. We only have limited
time to liveif we waste a minute of foolishness, we lose 60
seconds of a good life. On the other hand, the reason why our
various fallacious ideas have survived is because of unnecessary
demand for respect. Theres nothing worse than people who dont
accept criticisms. Dont be one of them because being unreceptive

to new ideas and unwillingness to learn are one of the most toxic
things in the world. One should start evaluating if hes giving
sensible worth to his existence. Are you just living to die
or are you living the examined life?

B. Reason 2: Will Durants The Story of Philosophy


1. Explanation:
Conceptual Analysis: Will Durant defined significant key terms such
as:
-

Science is analytical description; it wishes to resolve the whole


into parts, the organism into organs, and the obscure into the

known.
Philosophy is synthetic interpretation; it wishes to ascertain its
relation to experience in general, and thereby to get at its

meaning and its worth.


- Logic is the study of ideal method in thought and research.
- Esthetics is the study of ideal form, or beauty.
- Ethics is the study of ideal conduct.
- Politics is the study of ideal social organization.
- Metaphysics is the study of the ultimate reality of all things.
There are no vague and ambiguous intension of the key terms.
Epistemic Analysis:
- Assumption/s: Philosophy is study of life whose focus is the
purpose of life or of the way that life should be lived. Therefore,
it is necessary on how to rightfully examine a life to make it
-

worth living.
Presupposition/s: For one to fully examine life, one must have
concerns and judgements on five fields of study and discourse in

Philosophy.
If one failed to be aware of five fields of study in Philosophy,
then it would be impossible for him to rightfully examine life,
thus would never live a worthy life.

2. Justifications:
- Durant quoted Life has meaning to find its meaning is my
meat and drink. The art of philosophizing ideas doesnt just
bring satisfaction, but rather, fulfillment as how meat and drink
plays as food for the body. Theres an ultimate great feeling

when we have already found out answers on questions that


-

puzzled us most.
Logic is the language of rightfully examining life. Majority of the
parents and educators tend to teach morality and values to
children, but fails to help them mold their critical thinking and
deductive reasoning. As a result, were raising children who
passively reacts to knowledge. Were raising minimum wage
workers who can sit on front of a computer desks and finish a
couple of paper works. Were raising a generation of slaves and
plebeians instead of leaders and thinkers. Our society stifles

assertiveness and encourages submissiveness.


There is more to life than what we can only grasp by our limited
senses. We would understand the depth of life more by
expressing ourselves in terms of art. Esthetics would relate itself
by explaining the dazzling need of mankind to produce art by

seeing things in different perspectives.


3. Criticisms:
- We cant be sure whether the answers weve found about our
most puzzling questions weve had are true. If its not true, then
we would die falsely believing that weve lived the most out of
-

life.
No matter how hard educators teach of critical thinking, it would
be hardly possible because when they talk about it, they often
mean students must conform, or here are the set of rules on

how to critically think.


Different forms of art can be appealing to some but not to
others. Just like how others wouldnt crave for knowledge and

wisdom.
4. Stance:
- Wisdom is knowledge applied. Study science and youll acquire
knowledge. But concern about the five discourse and fields of
Philosophy can get you both knowledge and wisdom.

Thats

what our existence is all about we wander not to get lost.


Because when were lost, the less chances that we could figure
out the very purpose of life. We couldnt actually tell if we have

really lived if we havent known what life really is at the first


place.
C. Russell Bertrards Problems of Philosophy
1. Explanation: