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Socrates: the examined

             As Socrates once stated "the unexamined life is not worth living." (Apology, internet quote site) If one agrees with Socrates then he or she would believe that living the examined life is something that is of the utmost importance. This being true, one would want to gain the knowledge that would allow them live the examined life. In looking for this knowledge one would come to agree with Plato in his belief that the ultimate goal of the soul is to grasp a true view of reality. (Phaedrus, Socrates 2nd speech) Upon delving further into this idea, he or she would begin to see that Thomas Gilovich was correct in his belief that humans have the natural tendency to fall into cognitive error. (Gilovich It is then obvious that becoming aware of these tendencies is a key step in grasping the true view of reality, thus making it an important step into living the examined life.
             If one is to take that most important step he or she must train themselves to recognize when they are falling into the natural tendency of making a cognitive error and therefore not seeing the true reality of the situation. In order to make these mental notes one must first fully understand when they are apt to make these errors. .
             Thomas Gilovich attempts to aid humans in their detection of these errors by revealing that humans tend to make three major misconceptions of reality. These misconceptions include making "something out of nothing", believing "too much from too little", and "seeing what we expect to see." (Gilovich, 9,28,49) Although, at first glance, it may not be easy to believe that these statements are true in everyday life, upon further inspection it will become blatantly obvious.
             The tendency to make "something out of nothing" is more common than expected. (Gilovich, 9) If one is to think back on the past two years (2001-2003), it is and was a common belief that the American economy is in a recession.

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