The Delphian Know Thyself

David Arthur Walters

KNOW THYSELF

THE DELPHIAN KNOW THYSELF

BY

DAVID ARTHUR WALTERS

Wise men aver that man’s highest calling has not changed since the day it was inscribed as a maxim on the temple of Apollo at Delphi:

KNOW THYSELF

Socrates was duly informed by the oracle that he was the wisest man of all. He was skeptical about that, but having due regard for the prestigious oracle, he sought someone wiser than he. His search for a wiser man failed, for every argument he heard he defeated with another argument. That proved his consummate skill and his native intelligence, but it did not prove his wisdom. It was his discovery that he was the only one who knew he did not know himself that made him wise.

Indeed, it appears that Socrates’ primary mission was to rid men of their wisdom-conceit, for only the knowledge of one’s own ignorance is wisdom when the arguments of…

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