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What were Socrates’ credentials?


“There are no experts. There’s only the integrity of doing and having done.” -Terence McKenna

I have a degree in Philosophy. Socrates didn’t.

I have no questions as to who was the greater Philosopher.

I’d place my money on Socrates over T.K. Coleman on any day of the week.

But this is no moot point.

If you agree with me that Socrates is a philosopher whose status is greater than mine, then you’re logically committed to the implication that the quality of a philosopher isn’t determined by his academic credentials.

Well, what is the factor that determines the quality of a philosopher?

It’s the same ingredient that determines the quality of anything else: it’s the integrity of doing and having done.

We are made by our work.

Such terms as “writer”, “artist”, “scientist”, “filmmaker”, entrepreneur”, etc., are not references to people’s ontological state; they’re descriptions of what people actually do.

Writers write. Artists make art. Scientists do research. Filmmakers produce films. Entrepreneurs organize and operate businesses.

Titles don’t prescribe power; they describe productivity.

Without contributions, credentials are a waste.

Without praxis, pedigree is just a shiny status symbol.

The legacy of Socrates was shaped by what he did, not by what he claimed to be nor by the label he wore.

His diligent dedication to his craft, combined with the influence his passion allowed him to have on others, are what constituted his curriculum vitae.

His life was a demonstration of the fact that true and lasting credentials are not the cause, but the effect of greatness.

A million degrees still don’t add up to a single Socrates.

This Post Has 6 Comments
  1. It’s in the doing more than the knowing, for doing makes things happen. Socrates was brilliant, but he has drank his last and your doing has just begun. What conversations you two would have.

  2. it’s a shame we too often allow ourselves to be defined by our job titles and others’ labels. I am and have always been a sociologist, even though never employed as one. thanks for the insight.

  3. “A million degrees still don’t add up to a single Socrates” You are right! Degrees really don’t mean that much. On the other hand don’t sell yourself short.

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