Can Socrates be the Marie Kondo of your ethical life? This article from Philosophy Now (UK) says yes.
"Let me present to you the ultimate life-coaching team: Marie Kondo and Socrates. Marie Kondo, the modern Japanese consultant devoted to uncluttering our households; Socrates, the ancient Greek philosopher devoted to uncluttering our minds. ... Kondo’s ‘KonMari’ method ... and Socrates’ ‘Elenchus’ method, presented in Plato’s dialogues starring him, work in similar ways, although Kondo is much more popular with her clients. (Eventually, the Athenians got so sick of Socrates’ attempts at tidying up their minds that they executed him.) ... Focus on one category; for example, clothes: get all your clothes together and take stock. ... But which items should [you] get rid of? Marie Kondo’s advice: pick something you feel strongly about – something you definitely do (or do not) want to keep, and move on from there. Go through each item one by one and ask yourself: does this item make me happy? If not, get rid of it. Only keep things that ‘spark joy’. When you’re done, store your clothes in such a way that you can remember where they are and access them more easily in the future (fold them nicely and store them in designated boxes). Now let’s tidy up ... according to Socrates’ Elenchus method. Focus on one question; for example, ‘What is morality?’ Next, get all your beliefs about morality out into the open. Once [you have] taken stock of [your] beliefs, [you realize] that some of them are incompatible. ... So [you have] to get rid of some beliefs. But which ones? Socrates’ advice: pick a belief you feel very strongly about – one you can defend best – and hold on to that. Then go through each belief one by one and ask yourself: why do I hold this belief? Only hold on to beliefs you can defend. When you’re done, store your beliefs in such a way that you can access them more easily in the future. You can do this by, for example, connecting each belief with an explanation or reason for why you hold it, and so build a network of beliefs. ...
"Kondo’s KonMari method and the Socratic Elenchus both inspire self-reflection. During the process of uncluttering, you are encouraged to envision your future self. Which items/beliefs do you want to bring into your future life? Who do you want to be? Their methods help us to become a better version of ourselves and to build a home – physical or intellectual – that makes us and the people around us happy."
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