Importance of Examined Life and Its Definition

Updated January 27, 2021

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Importance of Examined Life and Its Definition essay

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Is the examined life of greater worth? Living the examined life can mean different things to many people. It is a personal introspection for the most part because the actions made come from within and no one else can control the thoughts that a person is thinking. It can also bring value to anyone’s life regardless of their past. The examined life shows your true intentions as a person, for example, helping people that are less fortunate than you. This topic brings up a huge debate amongst many. Socrates and Cicero’s versions of examined life shows the way they viewed the world, Bertrand Russell’s conception of the examined life, people do heroic things for strangers everyday without any need for attention just from their heart and why some might think the examined life is of lesser worth.

In Marcus Cicero’s eyes the examined life is living an honest life and helping others while doing so. Many people agree with what Cicero was saying and they choose to fulfill their lives with purpose. Socrates on the other hand thought the examined life was intellectual humility and wisdom. Ultimately Socrates is referring to self-improvement and development which ties in with Cicero’s definition of “The examined life”. In order to help others, people should take care of themselves first, then worry about other’s needs. When people understand how to take care of themselves it becomes a lot easier. It is just like parenting, once a parent is confident in how they are, they can welcome a baby and take care of it. Socrates on the other hand had a higher reputation and was considered by many to be the wisest man in ancient Greece. During his trial, Socrates stated “that, “the unexamined life is not worth living”, people began to question his theory. Many people were left wondering, what events in his life caused him to feel that life is not worth living. To the people, life the end all be all, and the thought of giving up on life just did not make sense. They did not understand how someone they looked up to would choose not to live life just because he would be unable to examine it. As for Bertrand Russell’s statement, “If we allow ourselves to be only completely concerned with the correct answers, we often limit ourselves out of countless possibilities and personal growth”. This intellectual growth could be one of the few things that distinguish humans from animals. Animals concern themselves only with the physical world and definite answers such as whether a river is safe to drink from. As for Russell’s statements about the universal union, many agree about being philosophically active we will only make ourselves and mankind ready for universal answers, it will also make those universal answers possible.

Concept Meaning

Many people commit self-less acts of kindness everyday, expecting nothing in return. Whether it is feeding a couple of homeless people on the streets or giving a pair of gloves to someone in need during the winter time, it comes from their hearts. What this emigrant did was completely out of the ordinary. Mamadou Gassama came from Ghana and made a split-second decision to scale an apartment building to save a dangling baby from plunging high up above a busy intersection. In this attempt to save this child’s life, Mamadou thought quickly and selflessly and scaled 4 stories up the building in remarkable fashion. Secondly, on a lesser known scale an ordinary shopper at a grocery store had been checking out his groceries. The customer ahead had been $12 short of the total and a man behind him handed a twenty-dollar bill to help him out. Here shows a random act of kindness with the man selflessly supplying a total stranger with money in order to bring home food. Who knows what this customer looking for extra money could have been going through at the time. At that moment in time could have meant the world to this man. Lastly, a lady decided to offer her food to help someone less fortunate than her. This lady had been craving this bagel for quite sometime and she kindly offered it to the homeless person without hesitation. In each of these cases, the person that did the act of kindness was more fortunate than the person they were helping and did it without thinking about it

The examined life may seem a little extreme for many depending on their past. With seeing stories about ordinary people doing heroic things seems like the stars have to align for everything to go in their favour. Many do not want to help others progress in life because no one was there to help them when they needed somebody. That is a fair statement to some extent because others can not help people without experiencing that feeling in return. People come from all sorts of circumstances and their intentions may be different then what you expect of them. Many people do not know what it means to live an examined life. There is no clear definition as to what an “Examined Life” is, it is the way you go about life in a way and people want to make memories not be identical to everyone else.


In conclusion, the examined life is a life spent searching for the “good” and staying away from the bad. The examined life is preoccupied with “truth” and “goodness” of things. For in this way, a person can come to a reasonable conclusion as to what is good and what is evil and make a logical decision. Without proper instruction and self-control, man will always fall into the trap of persuasion and pleasure, which leads one away from what is the examined life. We must aim otherwise. Furthermore, the examined life is a life of action, meaning it is about the “way one should lead one’s life”. As Socrates and Cicero proved, the examined life is what makes life worthwhile, by being a human and showing emotion towards other people and helping them any way you can is really fulfilling.

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Importance of Examined Life and Its Definition. (2020, Nov 11). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/importance-of-examined-life-and-its-definition/


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