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Brown--Socrates - Daniel Zauderer Dissertation on Knowledge...

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Daniel Zauderer Philosophy 101 Dissertation on Knowledge “…so I am wiser than [others] only by this trifle, that what I do not know I don’t think I do” [Apology, 21E]. Socrates asserts that he knows nothing. He claims that he embodies wisdom because he knows nothing. Such a claim is a sure paradox, as it seems that a man can not be wise unless he has the knowledge necessary to obtain and share wisdom; it is illogical to believe that the “knowledge” of nothing is this necessary knowledge. In fact, ignorance is often defined as the knowledge of nothing. Ignorance is not wisdom. Additionally, if Socrates knows nothing he has the knowledge that he knows nothing. If Socrates has this knowledge, however small, he knows something. Socrates’ claim possibly becomes hypocritical when he displays knowledge other than the knowledge of nothing. In the Ion , for example, he recites segments of Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad from memory. It is not very plausible that Socrates, a revered philosopher, would so openly display hypocrisy; the question of what Socrates means when he refers to knowledge arises.
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