At the height of Socrates’ wisdom, he arrived at a revelation that people could argue was not wisdom at all – and devoid of philosophical value. Despite all of Socrates’ sharp reasoning and brilliant original thought, he contended that the only certainty he could obtain is that he could not be certain of anything.
How is this useful thinking? Some may contest that the idea finds no application in our world today. They may suggest that this apparent lack of knowledge is no wisdom at all.
The Greek roots of the word “philosophy” summarize it in its entirety. It translates to “love of wisdom.” This leads us to explore the wisdom itself. Wisdom might be summarized as the optimization of knowledge. If Socrates were so wise, so aware, then why resort to such humility?
Life should be a very humbling journey. Just as wisdom, it is not a destination. Socrates dedicated his life to the vigorous pursuit in obtaining a deeper realization of the world around him and himself. He developed many ideas and synthesized bytes of information into industrious tunes of understanding. Yet, he remained humble in his findings. Certainty, or, truth, is the holy grail of the philosopher. I would compare absolute certainty to knowing the mind and form of “god” in its entirety. Omniscience…
This humbling conclusion is the very reason people continue to seek answers, knowledge, and truth today. Everything is not known, and this fact compromises everything that can be known.