Topics: Plato, Knowledge, Thought Pages: 3 (997 words) Published: November 25, 2013

Wisdom and Ignorance Are They Synonyms?
In The Apology, by Plato, Socrates explains who he is and what kind of life he lived; he also identified himself with being wise and having a gift of wisdom. The title though is a bit misleading; it is not to be confused with "apologizing" or "being sorry" for one's actions. It is, Socrates attempt to defend himself and his conduct--certainly not to apologize for it. Socrates used different images or ways to describe wisdom, and that came off as being ignorant. It made the people of Athens not like him because he came off as knowing more than they did. His ignorance is what caused the trial and then he would later go on to court, and eventually be put to death. But before all the tragedy there were some views of wisdom that stuck out to me: wisdom as enlightenment, wisdom as caring for the soul, and wisdom as not knowing (Dr. Tilley).

The first image of wisdom is it as enlightenment. Scholars define enlightenment as “the state of having knowledge or understanding” (Webster’s Dictionary). This portrays wisdom as getting out of a close-minded way of thinking and seeing things as “they really are.” That’s what Socrates did; he saw ordinary things in a new truer way. This image of wisdom exemplified what it looks like to have “understanding.” An example of Socrates viewing things differently would be when he was explaining that he considered it his duty to question the supposed "wise" men and to expose their false wisdom as ignorance. Socrates traveled all around Athens, to prove to the people that he was not ignorant, and that there were people wiser than him. He interviewed the poets, politicians and artisans. Although the poets could write these brilliant literary works, they did not understand the meaning of them, which made Socrates was wiser than them. The politicians acted like they knew more, but that was proven to be false because in the end Socrates was wiser than them as well. The artisans, who were skilled in...

Cited: The Apology; Plato
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Dr. Rich, Judith (April 18 2012, 10:28 am)
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