The maxim he is known for is 'the unexamined life is not worth living'.
- With this maxim, Socrates was actually extolling the virtues of a life that is lived with full direction and with a purpose. The goal of this was to have both his students and the public at large reflect on the choices they have made in the past, that have brought them to the place they are now. He wanted these people to decide if they were fulfilled and moving forward, and wanted them to consider the kinds of mistakes and bad choices that they may have made in the past.
- Socrates also wanted to help people realize how they can correct their missteps and unproductive periods within their lives. He wanted them to be able to take action against all this, in order to be more productive and have more purpose in their life. He wanted people to be able to, and want to, pursue a completely different direction if necessary.
- Socrates wasn't discussing sitting and thinking about life. Instead, he wanted to encourage active pursuit of a desire and different direction in life if that was necessary. He taught, also, that experiences in life are incredibly important. This is because everything that happens to a person in their life allows a person to react - and the way that this person reacts is indicative of the character of that individual. Everything is able to teach us something, according to Socrates.
- His philosophy was generally considered to be on opposition to the notion of 'fate', and the influence that it has on an individual's life. Socrates really did believe that humans have been responsible for their own destiny since they started making decision, and that they will do in the future.