We Are All Philosophers Now
Freedom and Fear, Part 4
I had intended my series on “Freedom and Fear” to be finished in three parts, in which I said all the new things I wanted to say. But it struck me that I’m going to need a fourth part.
Here is how I left off Part 3, describing the Dilemma of Choice.
Two and a half thousand years ago, Socrates declared that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Now we are approaching the point at which we all have the leisure, the education, the freedom, and the necessity of examining our lives. As Socrates intended, we will no longer be able to answer the big questions of life by referring to unexamined assumptions handed down to us.
I suppose it is natural that we should find ourselves unprepared for this prospect. Never before in all of human history have so many people had the luxury of pausing to think, on the cusp of adulthood: What do I really want out of life?
What I think requires a follow-up is this: If the problem is a sense of being lost among too many choices, what is the answer? How do people learn to find guidance in world without established roles that are handed down to them?