The Examined Life

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Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living, and he was a man of his word: he chose death over a life without philosophical inquiry. Socrates was famouly, or infamously ugly, a shabby, unkempt gadfly who went about 5th century B.C. Athens asking difficult questions for his supper.

He barely possessed the clothes on his back and entirely failed to provide for his wife and children, but he was a courageous soldier, a true friend, and a good citizen. To Plato he was the greatest teacher of all time, the man who practically invented the method of philosophical inquiry and gave it meaning. What he taught above all is that the search for truth is part of living the good life, and the two have been joined at the heart of philosophy ever since.

Knowing what we live and living what we know – a consideration of the examined life.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)


Martha Nussbaum, Professor of Law, Philosophy, and Classics at the University of Chicago