A more commonly used translation puts it, "although I do not suppose that either of us knows anything really beautiful and good, I am better off than he is — for he knows nothing, and thinks that he knows. I neither know nor think that I know" [from the Benjamin Jowett translation].
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Whichever translation we use, the context in which this passage occurs should be considered; Socrates having gone to a "wise" man, and having discussed with him, withdraws and thinks the above to himself. Socrates, since he denied any kind of knowledge, then tried to find someone wiser than himself among politicians, poets, and craftsmen. It appeared that politicians claimed wisdom without knowledge; poets could touch people with their words, but did not know their meaning; and craftsmen could claim knowledge only in specific and narrow fields.
The interpretation of the Oracle's answer might be Socrates' awareness of his own ignorance. Socrates also deals with this phrase in Plato's dialogue Meno when he says: . Here, Socrates aims at the change of Meno's opinion, who was a firm believer in his own opinion and whose claim to knowledge Socrates had disproved. It is essentially the question that begins " post-Socratic " Western philosophy.
Socrates begins all wisdom with wondering, thus one must begin with admitting one's ignorance.
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After all, Socrates' dialectic method of teaching was based on that he as a teacher knew nothing, so he would derive knowledge from his students by dialogue. Again, closer to the quote, there is a passage in Plato's Apology , where Socrates says that after discussing with someone he started thinking that: . I am wiser than this man, for neither of us appears to know anything great and good; but he fancies he knows something, although he knows nothing; whereas I, as I do not know anything, so I do not fancy I do.
In this trifling particular, then, I appear to be wiser than he, because I do not fancy I know what I do not know. It is also a curiosity that there is more than one passage in the narratives in which Socrates claims to have knowledge on some topic, for instance on love: . New International Version I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Instead, I do what I hate. English Standard Version For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Berean Study Bible I do not understand what I do.
For what I want to do, I do not do.
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But what I hate, I do. For what I want, this I do not do; but what I hate, this I do. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. I don't do what I know is right.
I do the things I hate. International Standard Version I don't understand what I am doing. Getting into her character felt like a quiet immersion into someone who was practically a relative.
I never had formal dance or voice training—it was hours of makeup, singing, dancing. But there are certain things in life that you should never wait to be invited to try. At this stage, why count yourself out? The Judy Garland biopic, Judy , premieres on September You are leaving AARP.
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