Socratic Contradiction Resolved(ish)

If Plato can do it then so can I…

Me: Hey, Socrates, did you say “I am a citizen of the world”?

Socrates: No, that was attributed to me.

M: Really?

S: Naaah! Just joshing, I did actually say it. There’s a lot of things I really said and then there’s things that I “said” if you get my meaning. I’m half history, half fiction.

M: Okay, so you did say that. But then when you were faced with exile from Athens you opted for death instead. Couldn’t you have made your home elsewhere?

S: Have you seen the world outside of Athens?

M: Well, to tell you the truth I’ve never been in Athens.

S: Oh dear, poor you. Well, as you know, everywhere outside Athens is lawless and full of barbarians.

M: Yeah, I guess so…

S: And you know the saying, it is better to be dead than be a barbarian (or a Spartan!).

M: So you live by sayings? I thought you were more questioning than that, that’s what the Socratic method is about: questioning unquestioned assumptions.

S: Don’t believe everything you read about me.

M: So you really are part fiction?

S: What’s with all the questions?

M: Well, it’s your method…

S: Is it? Oh, well then…

The Socratic Contradiction

I’m really interested in the Socratic method and consider Socrates a bit of a hero for it, and philosophy would not get very far without it to be honest, but…

… there’s one thing that I don’t get, and that is how can a man say “I am a citizen of the world” yet when given the choice between drinking the hemlock and being exiled from Athens he chooses to kill himself? Was there no “world” beyond Athens or Greece? (which could well have been true to a “civilised” man). That’s a conundrum I’d like to ask Socrates about (with his own method, lol).

But the contradiction of the contradiction is this: if he was still around to be asked this then there’d be no need to ask this question, would there? Not only that, we’d probably have a very different question for him like: how have you managed to live for 2480 years?