1) Socrates thinks that the person who thinks he knows nothing when he doesn’t know anything is wiser than the person who thinks he knows something when he doesn’t. But if neither person knows anything, how can on be wiser than the other? What kind of wisdom could Socrates be referring to here?
Socrates believed that the person who thinks he knows nothing when he doesn‟t know anything is wiser than the person who thinks he knows something when he doesn‟t. If neither person knows anything, then Socrates believes that the one who understands and accepts his ignorance is all the wiser for it. At least he is not fooling himself into thinking that he knows what he does not. On the supposedly wise man he found after the proclamation by the Pythia, he states,
“…although the man was thought wise by many other people, and especially by himself, yet in reality he was not. So I then tried to show him that he thought himself wise without being so. I thereby earned his dislike, and that of many people present; but still, as I went away, I thought to myself: „I am wiser than that fellow, anyhow. Because neither of us, I dare say, knows anything of great value; but he thinks he knows a thing when he doesn‟t; whereas I neither know it in fact, nor think that I do. At any rate, it appears that I am wiser than he in just this one small respect: if I do not know something, I do not think that I do‟” (Perry, Bratman, Fischer, pg 24).
Socrates believed that wisdom and humility were one and the same. Although he was declared the wisest by the Pythia, Socrates does not consider himself to be wise or 2 knowledgeable at all. He believed that if you claimed to have knowledge beyond your scope, such as the politicians, poets, and craftsmen, then you were in fact not wise, and displayed no humility; only the wise knew their boundaries. Ultimately, wisdom meant humility and accuracy in knowledge to Socrates.
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