Bounded Rationality – Socratic Wisdom

Table of Content

1.Socratic wisdom

When Socrates was still a child, the oracle of Delfi told him that he was the wisest man in the whole Greek state. Even though the prophecy was flattering to him, Socrates, being such a wise man as he was, found such a statement absurd and rather hubristic, hence he was reluctant to believe it. Nonetheless, as their prophecies were considered the words of God in the ancient Greek society, he embarked on a life-long quest to disprove the prophecy as a way of showing his piety to Greek Gods. 

He visited every supposedly prominent intellectual he could find. Each time Socrates discoursed with a so-called wise man, however, he was left with dissatisfaction as Socrates was ensured that he was wiser. The reason being, as he gives an account in Plato’s Apology, was that Socrates was never reluctant to admit that he did not know anything about a subject in question, therefore he had never stopped questioning and investigating, whereas all the so-called wise men that he met were so confident of their knowledge that they never question even the slightest the depth of what they knew. In other words, Socrates was in possession of the ultimate wisdom of knowing that he does not know enough, that is to say, humility.  

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