I only know that I know nothing is a famous phrase attributed to the Greek philosopher Socrates which signifies an acknowledgment of the author ‘s own ignorance . I only know that i know nothing meaning
Some thinkers and philosophers dispute that Socrates said the phrase in this way, but there seems to be no doubt that the content is associated with the Greek philosopher.
There are, however, people who claim that Socrates did not utter this sentence, because it is not found in the works of Plato (his best-known student), which contain the teachings of Socrates.
This sentence is supposed to have been uttered in conversation with Athenians, who did not know much. In this dialogue with the inhabitants of Athens, Socrates claimed to know nothing noble and nothing good. On the other hand, the Athenians thought they were wise in several areas, while Socrates claimed that he had no knowledge in those areas, that is, Socrates knew he didn’t know.
There is some controversy because some say that this confession of ignorance conveys a sense of humility on the part of Socrates. Other authors indicate that the concept of humility only emerged with Christianity and was not approached with Socrates.
There is also a version which explains that the phrase “I only know that I know nothing” was uttered by Socrates when the oracle declared that he was the wisest man in Greece. I only know that i know nothing meaning
Explanation of the sentence I just know that I know nothing
We can say that there is a contraposition of two types of knowledge: knowledge through certainty and knowledge through justified belief. Socrates considers himself ignorant because he has no certainty , also asserting that absolute knowledge or certainty only existed in the gods.
So often this phrase means that it is not possible to know something with absolute certainty and it does not mean that Socrates knew absolutely nothing.
With this phrase, it is possible to learn and adopt a way of life. It’s better to assume that you don’t know about something than to speak without knowing it. Those who think they know a lot usually have little availability or willingness to learn more. In contrast, those who know they don’t know often want to change this situation, showing a desire to learn.
Several thinkers debate Socrates’ position with this phrase, indicating that he might have a didactic or ironic intent. Some claim that this statement by Socrates was a didactic strategy to teach and get the attention of his listeners. On the other hand, there is the position that indicates that Socrates was using irony.
Socrates used dialogue as a method of arriving at the truth, asking his interlocutors questions until they reached a valid conclusion. Often, the conclusion was that they didn’t know anything or knew little about a particular subject after all. I only know that i know nothing meaning
Some philosophers indicate that Socrates used two steps in his method: irony and maieutics. The first – irony – consisted in admitting one’s ignorance in order to deepen the truth and destroy illusory knowledge. The second step – maieutics – is associated with clarifying or “giving birth” to knowledge in a person’s mind.
The Socratic method also causes debate in the academic world, because while some defend that the method is maieutic, others indicate that the method used by Socrates is based on elenkhós, which means refutation.