Apparently, Socrates claimed the following:

the unexamined life is not worth living

What is "unexamined life" supposed to mean in this context, could you please elaborate?


This answer isn't actually mine, it's from an article on NewPhilosopher. I will paraphrase the article but all credit should go to the author of said article.

We should start by recognising the obvious, that the claim is addressed to those who satisfy the quality of "being human". For Socrates, a human being should have the ability to eclipse basic desire in order to make conscious, ethical choices. However, this is not denying that basic desire, instinct etc.. have the ability to shape our behaviour.

For instance, you may think it highly unlikely that a lion would spare its prey out of concern for its nearby children. For humans, we don't always need a visible "accusing hand" in order to stop us doing something. Oftentimes, we hold a simple belief that something is "wrong" because we just feel that it is wrong.

Now, let's get onto the "unexamined life" part which we will take to mean:

Those who do not examine their lives (make conscious ethical decisions) fail to live a life that allows them to experience being fully human.

Under the previous definition of "being human", those who fall prey to the allure of answers which allow them to follow custom and set aside contemplation- are possibly living an unexamined life.

An unexamined life of the above sort would be quite pleasant, where one can live a "conventional" rather than ethically examined, life.

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