Posted by EAH on September 13, 2003
In Reply to: Perchance posted by ESC on September 12, 2003
: : : : : : : Does anyone know where this quote came from and who said it?
: : : : : : Socrates (470-399 BC) said it.
: : : : : I beg to differ. According to "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations," seventeenth edition, by John Bartlett and Justin Kaplan, general editor (Little, Brown and Co., Boston, 2002):
: : : : : The life which is unexamined is not worth living. "Apology." Plato (c. 428 - 348 B.C.)
: : : : It is *quoted* in Plato's "Apology [of Socrates]."
: : : : From "The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, 5th Ed" :
: : : : Socrates 469-399 BC
: : : : The unexamined life is not worth living.
: : : : Plato [tr. Lane Cooper] _Apology_ 42a
: : : Dueling quote books!!
: : and what, perchance doth the ancient tongue intend to convey by said remark?
: It intends to convey annoyance that Bartlett's wasn't more explicit.
Socrates did not write down his thoughts. He preferred to question/examine/"vet"
(that lovely new buzz word)
fellow citizens endlessly about their beliefs in the Athenian marketplace.
(Were Socrates around today, I think he would have been considered to be a troll.)
Plato was a member of his coterie and wrote down his teacher's philosophy after Socrates was executed.
(Incidentally, Plato's star pupil was Aristotle, who tutored Alexander the Great.)
To keep a classic work such as The Apology
(which is NOT an apology as we use the term today)
from becoming dull mumbo-jumbo suitable for insominacs, it must be periodically refreshed. One of the best reinterpretations I've read was written by
Wayne Paquette (aka granpawayne), a philosophy instructor at
John Abbott College, a junior college
in Québec, Canada
His rephrasing of "An Unexamined Life is not worth living" makes it much more understandable for today's audience. If people are not permitted to question/examine/vet beliefs, then life is unbearable.