The life which is unexamined is not worth living

The unexamined life is not worth living meaning and reflection by Socrates


Socrates was a Greek philosopher of the classical period. And this classical period is also known as the Socratic period in his honor.

The pre-Socratic philosophers expressed their interest in asking questions like how does the world work? But Socrates was interested that how people should behave. He was the first philosopher of ethics.

He had an interest in the universe. But then he involved himself with politics about state matters and started to raise questions about ethical issues and the nature of justice.

The unexamined life is not worth living meaning

Socrates is talking about self-reflection and examined the person we are the choices we make, and the kind of life we want to live.

He said that “you should periodically look at your own life. Are you living the kind of life you really want to be living? Are you the kind of person you always wanted to be? If you aren’t, you should make some changes to correct that.”

“Man has to draw conclusions by observing and reasoning”. We do lots of things in our daily life and sometimes we made mistakes and for those mistakes, we have to go through suffering.

Here Socrates is telling us that in our everyday life we have to be very rational and reasonable. Because rationality makes our life more comfortable for us.

Socrates urged us that we should not get influenced by others‘ opinions and before taking any kind of decision we have to check the facts and logic behind all of these things. We have to examine every single aspect of those things which influence our life. You have to think critically rationally and practically.

The unexamined life is not worth living reflection

In reality, Socrates was the most infamous of all Sophists. And here is the question how? The answer is he tried to examine his life and other’s life by arguing and asking questions with his fellow Athenians.

He questioned them about the existence of God and Goddesses. We know that Greek Gods and Goddesses are famous for kidnapping, cheating, killing, injustice, raping, etc. Which goes against the social rules and regulations in human society.

These things are considered evil activities for which we punished bad people. This is why Socrates raised questions that if these things are bad in humans, then how could they be good in God?

This is why Socrates said that it will be better for us not to adore this God and Goddesses. Instead of it, we have to listen to the inner voice that tells us what is true and what is wrong. And if we do not know the answers then keep asking ourselves and others until we find the truth with proper logic and arguments.

Read: Contribution of Socrates and evaluation on his death


it is clear to us that we have to think critically in our life, we have to listen to our inner voice, and we have to find out the truth by investigating every single aspect.


Author:  Tonmoy Debnath

Department: English

Institution: Notre Dame University Bangladesh

Member of ‘Future Writers’