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What is a good thesis statement for wanting to prove Socrates' disavowel of knowledge?

Working on a philosophy research paper, and I’m basically trying to prove Socrates’ idea that “All I know is that I know nothing”. How would I write an introduction and thesis statement on this idea?


  1. I don’t think you need anyone’s help on that one. You wrote an excellent response to my question, so I think you’ll be fine.

  2. Sorry, but you forgot the last part of the saying, the unwritten one. 😉
    <"All I know is that I know nothing" compared to what is to be known !>
    That is the correct idea. 🙂
    There is so much to be known in the world (or in the Universe, if you prefer), that all we know at an instant of time is nothing compared to the rest of it.
    To prove/feel/see that, just try to answer the first (any) ten Yahoo! questions. 🙂
    P.S. Just one word for panty_rider (I hope you won’t mind, Mad Scientist) :
    There is an absolute purpose to life : to live !
    Life tries to live.
    And the best way to live longer is to die hard :), or to be hardly destroyable.
    Or complex.
    More complex you are, harder to be destroyed you are.
    That’s why life should be complex, that’s why we are living for and why our life is important : to give more and more complexity to the life.

  3. You will have to write your own paper. I too see this space,however seeing is not experiencing or fully imbibing it. one simply can not Know any thing with the mind,you must develop a certain wisdom & let the mind desolve into the heart to experience what is beyond knowledge. Study Vedanta and shivism,balanced. All things created by God are but a very,very sophisticated holographic expression of Gods vision of himself. ILLUSION. To experience absolute truth one must experience the unspeakable name of God.

  4. I’m not entirely clear on what you’re asking, but I’ll make some suggestions. I happen to be a philosophy teacher, so hopefully it will be helpful.
    A thesis statement is the point that you are trying to argue. It sounds like you already know that you are arguing for Socrates’ claim, so then you already have your thesis. Are you concerned about the specific wording? I wouldn’t worry about that. Just make sure a general reader would understand what you are arguing for. (Question: are you arguing that Socrates’ claim is true of everybody or just of Socrates? That is, are you arguing that Socrates knows nothing, or that everybody knows nothing? Just get clear on what you want to argue.)
    Maybe you’re just not sure how to write an intro around your thesis. Here are some thoughts. Don’t start out with something overly broad or trite, like “From the beginning of time…” or “Webster’s defines ‘knowledge’ as …” Students sometimes like to use these, but they are silly. Just start out with the subject. “In the Apology [or whatever Platonic dialog] Socrates claims that…” Then you might have a few sentences about how this claim might be controversial. At the end of the paragraph, you might say something to the effect of: However, Socrates’ assertion is insightful and reflects the condition of all those who claim to have knowledge.
    Another recommendation. Sometimes I see students actually give their arguments in the introduction. The introduction should not be argumentative. Save the arguments for the body of the paper. Also, don’t make the intro too long. A half page double-spaced will do. The bulk of the paper should be the arguments that follow.
    Lastly, try asking your instructor about your thesis. She or he will probably be happy to help. (Maybe you can email it for feedback before you have to finish the paper.)
    I hope that helps. Good luck!!


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