in Ancient Epistemology
AutorIn: Audrey Anton

There seems to be tension between portrayals of Socrates as both a committed philosopher and a pious man. For instance, one might doubt Socrates’ commitment to philosophy since he seems to irrationally defer to a daimonion. On the other hand, the fact that he challenges messages from Oracles (Apology 21–22) and the gods’ role concerning the origin of the pious (Euthyphro 10–15) draws into question Socrates’ piety. In this paper, I argue that Socratic piety and rationality are not only compatible, but they are also symbiotic. Socrates could not be rational without being pious, nor could he be pious without being rational because, for him, care and curiosity are intimately intertwined. In this regard, Socrates’ epistemology, when applied, resembles Karl Popper’s falsificationism. For Socrates, maintaining human wisdom amounts to regular purification of one’s belief-system. In addition, this maintenance is functionally identical to caring for one’s soul, which is morally imperative.

in History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis
in The Philosophy of Edmund Husserl