Friday, June 27, 2014

Socrates and more

“There was a young man favorably endowed as an Alcibiades. He lost his way in the world. In his need he looked about for a Socrates but found none among his contemporaries. Then he requested the gods to change him into one. But now--he who had been so proud of being an Alcibiades was so humiliated and humbled by the gods' favor that, just when he received what he could be proud of, he felt inferior to all.”
― Søren Kierkegaard

Despite their opposing religious views, the old revivalist on his deathbed asked Bob to read to him from the black book clutched to his chest. Bob relented, took the book, and was surprised to discover that it wasn't the Bible. It was Plato describing the noble death of the pagan Socrates: a moving gesture of reconciliation between father and son in parting. The second event was Bob’s painful realization that his outspoken agnosticism not only invalidated his own political career but ended his brother Ebon’s career in Congress, as well. Third was the exquisite anguish of seeing his supportive wife Eva and his young daughters made to suffer for his right to speak his own mind. And fourth was the dramatic tension of having to walk out alone on public stages, in a glaring spotlight, time after time with death threats jammed in his tuxedo pocket informing him that some armed bigot in that night’s audience would see to it that he didn't leave the stage alive.”
― Richard F. Stockton

“His way was like other people's; he mounted no high horse; he was just
a man and a citizen. He indulged in no Socratic irony. But his
discourse was full of Attic grace; those who heard it went away neither
disgusted by servility, nor repelled by ill-tempered censure, but on
the contrary lifted out of themselves by charity, and encouraged to
more orderly, contented, hopeful lives.”
― Arthur Quiller-Couch

“Aristotle drew a distinction between essential and accidental properties. The way he put it is that essential properties are those without which a thing wouldn’t be what it is, and accidental properties are those that determine how a thing is, but not what it is. For example, Aristotle thought that rationality was essential to being a human being and, since Socrates was a human being, Socrates’s rationality was essential to his being Socrates. Without the property of rationality, Socrates simply wouldn’t be Socrates. He wouldn’t even be a human being, so how could he be Socrates? On the other hand, Aristotle thought that Socrates’s property of being snub-nosed was merely accidental; snub-nosed was part of how Socrates was, but it wasn’t essential to what or who he was. To put it another way, take away Socrates’s rationality, and he’s no longer Socrates, but give him plastic surgery, and he’s Socrates with a nose job.”
― Thomas Cathcart, Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes

Carl Bernstein
“At heart, Sussman was a theoretician. In another age, he might have been a Talmudic scholar. He had cultivated a Socratic method, zinging question after question at the reporters: Who moved over from Commerce to CRP with Stans? What about Mitchell's secretary? Why won't anybody say when Liddy went to the White House or who worked with him there? Mitchell and Stans both ran the budget committee, right? What does that tell you? Then Sussman would puff on his pipe, a satisfied grin on his face.”
― Carl Bernstein, All the President's Men

“It's really easy for us to miss each other in this big, big world... People I've met after a long time of looking; my important people.”
― Kyōichi Katayama, Socrates In Love

“He seemed to be absorbed by what he’d just said. Then he turned to me and asked, “What do you think beauty really is?"
"Pass," I said curtly.
"There are things that come true in life, and things that don’t," he said. “The things that actually happen, people forget about them right away. But the things that never come true stay in our hearts forever. Dreams and… longings. I think it’s our feelings for these that sustain the beauty of life. All the things that didn’t happen ~have~ come true, as beauty.”
― Kyōichi Katayama, Socrates In Love

“Do not shy away from the sensations I create, Cherry Blossom. Take pride in them, as I do.”
― Red Phoenix, Socrates Inspires Cherry to Blossom

“Plato is widely believed to have been a student of Socrates and to have been deeply influenced by his teacher's unjust death. Plato's brilliance as a writer and thinker can be witnessed by reading his Socratic dialogues. Some of the dialogues, letters, and other works that are ascribed to him are considered spurious”
― Plato, The Republic

“Self-realization. I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, 'I drank what?'...”
― Neal Israel - Chris Knight from Real Genius

“And now we go, you to your lives, and I to death, and which of us goes to the better only God knows”
― Socrates

“I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.”
― Socrates

“I shall never cease from the practice and teaching of philosophy, exhorting anyone whom I meet after my manner, and convincing him, saying: O my friend, why do you who are a citizen of the great and mighty and wise city of Athens, care so much about laying up the greatest amount of money and honor and reputation, and so little about wisdom and truth and the greatest improvement of the soul, which you never regard or heed at all? Are you not ashamed of this?”
― Socrates

“Maybe even more important than the D.B.P. [Divine Brotherhood of Pythagoras], ∞-wise is the protomystic Parmenides of Elea (c.515-? BCE), not only because of his distinction between the 'Way of Truth' and 'Way of Seeing' framed the terms of Greek metaphysics and (again) influenced Plato, but because Parmenides' #1 student and defender was the aforementioned Zeno, the most fiendishly clever and upsetting philosopher ever (who can be seen actually kicking Socrates' ass, argumentatively speaking, in Plato's Parmenides).”
― David Foster Wallace, Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity

“Anyhow, the criterion of common sense was never applicable to the history of the human race. Averroës, Kant, Socrates, Newton, Voltaire, could any of them have believed it possible that in the twentieth century the scourge of cities, the poisoner of lungs, the mass murderer and idol of millions would be a metal receptacle on wheels, and that people would actually prefer being crushed to death inside it during frantic weekends exoduses instead of staying, safe and sound, at home?”
― Stanisław Lem, The Futurological Congress: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy

“Socrates repeatedly emphasized the point that moral knowledge is not mere acquisition of information but personal change. To know the good is to do it, Socrates declared. That is, if you really know the right thing to do in a situation, then your behavior will prove it. To act immorally is to prove your ignorance.” 
― Steven B. Cowan, The Love of Wisdom: A Christian Introduction to Philosophy

“The debt we owe our parents can never be squared, and jolly good too, because doing so would threaten to nullify all relationship, all emotional commerce between the two generations. Being in debt, just like being in credit, means an active interest applies between the two parties and, once the debt is taken care of, the interest is bound to wane.” 
― Robert Rowland Smith, Breakfast with Socrates: An Extraordinary (Philosophical) Journey Through

“The journey home was made short by Ronan’s tales of research on love. He confessed to Katie he was not good at expressing his inner feelings. He adopted the Socratic Method and asked all his friends and family for advice. They proved no help so he enlisted the help of Lovely Lucy Looney, the local librarian. He went and researched love, sex and flirting. He spoke of Lucy’s shock on his many visits to the library and his mortification but Katie’s love was worth all embarrassment. She was touched by his Herculean efforts and knew he was her soul mate” 
― Annette J. Dunlea

“[Roland] Barthes turned the table on the author, saying no only the a book needs a reader to wake it into life, but that in so doing the reader becomes nothing less that the author, who reveals in the book's hermeneutic possibilities, releases them and so becomes its own creator.” 
― Robert Rowland Smith, Breakfast with Socrates: An Extraordinary (Philosophical) Journey Through Your Ordinary Day

“Socrates and Phaedrus, like Odysseus, must sail by the Sirens without being enchanted: instead of listening to their voices, they will outdo them with their own logos. . . . Plato's Odysseus does not even let the song of the Sirens enter him but deafens it with his own rational discourse. Philosophy is itself a Sirens' song, the antidote against the dispersion and drowning of the soul into the body, that is, against the ultimate wandering.” 
― Silvia Montiglio, Wandering in Ancient Greek Culture

“The psyche will do anything to avoid pain, and when faced with something traumatic, like having to pay, its instinct is to put it off - what Freud called 'Nachträglichkeit' or delayed effect. Credit card and psyche conspire to soften the blow of paying by staggering it over time.” 
― Robert Rowland Smith, Breakfast with Socrates: An Extraordinary (Philosophical) Journey Through Your Ordinary Day
“But Socrates cannot but have been meditating upon something?... Can he ever remain solitary with himself -- and silent to his very soul!” 
― Paul Valéry, Dialogues

“This classmate told me that Plato drove this idea home in his dialogue Euthydemus, in which Socrates puts down the Sophists, claiming that a man learns more by "playing" with ideas in his leisure time that by sitting in a classroom. And Plato's successor, that world champion of pleasure, Epicurus, believed in a simple yet elegant connection between learning and happiness: the entire purpose of education was to attune the mind and sense to the pleasures of life.” 
― Daniel Klein, Travels with Epicurus: A Journey to a Greek Island in Search of a Fulfilled Life

“The Apology (of Socrates) is Plato's version of the speech given by Socrates as he defends himself against the charges of being a man "who corrupted the young, did not believe in the gods, and created new deities". "Apology" here has its earlier meaning (now usually expressed by the word "apologia") of speaking in defense of a cause or of one's beliefs or actions (from the Greek απολογία).” 
― Voltaire, Candide

“The ruinous abdication by philosophy of its rightful domain is the consequence of the oblivion of philosophers to a great insight first beheld clearly by Socrates and re-affirmed by Kant as by no other philosopher. Science, concerned solely and exclusively with objective existents, cannot give answers to questions about meanings and values. Only ideas engendered by the mind and to be found nowhere but in the mind (Socrates), only the pure transcendental forms supplied by reason (Kant), can secure the ideals and values and put us in touch with the realities that constitute our moral and spiritual life. Twenty-four centuries after Socrates, two centuries after Kant, we badly need to re-learn the lesson.” 
― D.R. Khashaba
tags: meaning, philosophy, science, value

“O Socrates, the universe cannot for one instant endure to be only what it is. It is strange to think that that which is All cannot be sufficient unto itself!” 
― Paul Valéry, Dialogues
tags: danse-and-the-soul

“...the one aim of those who practice philosophy in the proper manner is to practice for dying and death.” 
― Socrates trans. G.M.A. Grube
tags: afterlife, philosophy  

“St. Augustine hated the Stoics, Dostoevsky hated the Russian Liberals. At first sight this seems a quite inexplicable peculiarity. Both were convinced Christians, both spoke so much of love, and suddenly - such hate! And against whom? Against the Stoics, who preached self-abnegation, who esteemed virtue above all things in the world, and against the Liberals who also exalted virtue above all things! But the fact remains: Dostoevsky spoke in rage of Stassyulevitch and Gradovsky; Augustine could not be calm when he spoke the names of those pre-Stoic Stoics, Regulus and Mutius Scaevola, and even Socrates, the idol of the ancient world, appeared to him a bogey. Obviously Augustine and Dostoevsky were terrified and appalled by the mere thought of the possibility of such men as Scaevola and Gradovsky - men capable of loving virtue for its own sake, of seeing virtue as an end in itself. Dostoevsky says openly in the Diary of a Writer that the only idea capable of inspiring a man is that of the immortality of the soul.” 
― Lev Shestov, In Job's Balances: On the Sources of the Eternal Truths

“Human nature will not easily find a better helper than eros” 
― Socrates

“I'll say this, Arik: the old man's warning proved to be true - things are not always what they seem. She was no young lady -"
"If it's the demon you speak of," interjected Rith, as she stepped back into the ruin, Lyssa following after, "she was not even a toothless old hag.” 
― Dennis L. McKiernan, Caverns of Socrates
tags: appearances, cloak, deception 1 likes like

“If the colander is perforated, then the hole filled vessel is irrelevant".
― R. Alan Woods, The Journey Is The Destination: A Photo Journal
tags: colander, r-alan-woods, socrates, vessels

“Most persons are distressed, and many depressed, to learn that essentially the same objections commonly urged today against computers were urged by Plato in the Phaedrus and in the Seventh Letter against writing. Writing, Plato has Socrates say in the Phaedrus, is inhumane pretending to establish outside the mind what in reality can be only in the mind. It is a thing, a manufactured product.” 
― Walter Ong
“Single trees are extraordinary; trees in number more extraordinary still. To walk in a wood is to find fault with Socrates's declaration that 'Trees and open country cannot teach me anything, whereas men in town do.' Time is kept and curated and in different ways by trees, and so it is experienced in different ways when one is among them. This discretion of trees, and their patience, are both affecting. It is beyond our capacity to comprehend that the American hardwood forest waited seventy million years for people to come and live in it, though the effort of comprehension is itself worthwhile. It is valuable and disturbing to know that grand oak trees can take three hundred years to grow, three hundred years to live and three hundred years to die. Such knowledge, seriously considered, changes the grain of the mind.

"Thought, like memory, inhabits external things as much as the inner regions of the human brain. When the physical correspondents of thought disappear, then thought, or its possibility, is also lost. When woods and trees are destroyed -- incidentally, deliberately -- imagination and memory go with them. W.H. Auden knew this. 'A culture,' he wrote warningly in 1953, 'is no better than its woods.' ” 
― Robert Macfarlane, The Old Ways: A Journey On Foot

“This education startled even a man who had dabbled in fifty educations all over the world; for, if he were obliged to insist on a Universe, he seemed driven to the Church. Modern science guaranteed no unity. The student seemed to feel himself, like all his predecessors, caught, trapped, meshed in this eternal drag-net of religion. In practice the student escapes this dilemma in two ways: the first is that of ignoring it, as one escapes most dilemmas; the second is that the Church rejects pantheism as worse than atheism, and will have nothing to do with the pantheist at any price. In wandering through the forests of ignorance, one necessarily fell upon the famous old bear that scared children at play; but, even had the animal shown more logic than its victim, one had learned from Socrates to distrust, above all other traps, the trap of logic -- the mirror of the mind. Yet the search for a unit of force led into catacombs of thought where hundreds of thousands of educations had found their end. Generation after generation of painful and honest-minded scholars had been content to stay in these labyrinths forever, pursuing ignorance in silence, in company with the most famous teachers of all time. Not one of them had ever found a logical highroad of escape.” 
― Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams
tags: delusional

“Socrates had it wrong; it is not the unexamined but finally the uncommitted life that is not worth living.” 
― William Sloane Coffin
“The only thing I know is that I know nothing” 
― Socrates, Essential Thinkers - Socrates

“I "love" reading.
It makes me feel like I am swallowing up Christ, Homer, Confucius, Newton, Franklin, Socrates, Caesar, and the whole world into one gigantic invincible Sir Moffat. Mine is creative reading. I read building empires in mind. 
I pray I won't read and read and forget to marry.” 
― Moffat Machingura

“All the dilemmas and questions of today were known in ethics more than 2,000 years ago. All the greatest teachers of mankind whether prophets such as Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad or non-prophets such as Confucius , Gautama, Buddha, Socrates, Kant, Tolstoy , and Martin Buber, covering a period from the sixth century BC up to the present ( Martin Buber died in 1965) have taught essentially the same morals. As distinguished from rules about social orders and ways of production , moral truths are constant. The reason for this lies in the fact that the riddle had been established at the moment of creation in the "prologue in heaven" in the act preceding the whole of human history. Intelligence, education, and experience do not in themselves help us approach or better understand all of that. Jesus pronounced his truth when he was a child and was slightly more than thirty when he was condemned. He needed neither knowledge nor experience for his great, capital truths about God and man because these truths could not be reached by knowledge or experience. Are they not "Hidden from the wise and the learned and revealed to the little ?” 
― Alija Izetbegović
tags: Islam

“Out of them all, Socrates is the hardest to deconstruct... Indeed, he may just be indeconstructible.” 
― Martin Cohen, Philosophical Tales

“If I am in love, many things about the world, not just the immediate object of my love, seem lovable. To say 'I love X' is somehow really to say 'X inspires love in me', and that love then attaches itself to objects other than X as well. The expansiveness of love is a natural means of ascent between levels.” 
― Robin A.H. Waterfield

“To be is to do’ — Socrates.
‘To do is to be’ — Jean-Paul Sartre.
‘Do be do be do’ — Frank Sinatra.” 
― Kurt Vonnegut, Deadeye Dick
This belief carried no more personal imputation than the belief of Socrates that he was under the care and admonition of a guardian demon. And how many of our wisest men still believe in the reality of these inspirations while perfectly sane on all other subjects (Works, Vol. iv, p. 327).” 
― Thomas Jefferson

“I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates when he said...I drank what?” 
― Val Kilmer in Real Genius
“My father was himself a college professor and a pedant to the bone. Every exchange contained a lesson, like the pit in a cherry. To this day, the Socratic method makes me want to bite someone.” 
― Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

“But now the giant heads of Plato and Socrates, each with an expression of penetrating wisdom carved on his white features, surveyed the river and the melon beds beyond.” 
― J.G. Farrell

“A real philosopher, Sophie, is completely different kettle of fish - the direct opposite, in fact. A philosopher knows that in reality he knows very little. That is why he constantly strives to achieve true insight. Socrates was one of these rare people. He knew that he knew nothing about life and about the world. And now comes the important part: it troubled him that he knew so little.” 
― Jostein Gaarder, Sophie's World

“I believe it was Gorgias who was first to posit the impossibility of ever prooving anything - in which case, it might as well have been me to first propose this idea, just now.” 
― Dan Garfat-Pratt, Citations: A Brief Anthology

“Thou should eat to live; not live to eat.” 
― Socrates


“From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, [...] and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attilla and a pack of other lovers with queer names [...] I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest...” 
― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

“Athenian men, I respect and love you,
but I shall obey the god rather than you...” 
― Socrates, The Apology
“True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.” 
― Socrates
“As the following pages deal with the practising life, they lead - in accordance with their topic - to an expedition into the little-explored universe of human vertical tensions. The Platonic Socrates had opened up the phenomenon for occidental culture when he stated expressis verbis that man is a being potentially 'superior to himself'. I translate this remark into the observation that all 'cultures', 'subcultures' or 'scenes' are based on central distinctions by which the field of human behavioural possibilities is subdivided into polarized classes. Thus the ascetic 'cultures' know the central distinction of complete versus incomplete, the religious 'cultures' that of sacred versus profane, the aristocratic 'cultures' that of noble versus common, the military 'cultures' that of brave versus cowardly, the political 'cultures' that of powerful versus powerless, the administrative 'cultures' that of superior versus subordinate, the athletic 'cultures' that of excellence versus mediocrity, the economic 'cultures' that of wealth versus lack, the cognitive 'cultures' that of knowledge versus ignorance, and the sapiental 'cultures' that of illumination versus blindness. What all these differentiations have in common is the espousal of the first value, which is considered the attractor in the respective field, while the second pole consistently functions as a factor of repulsion or object of avoidance.” 
― Peter Sloterdijk, Du mußt dein Leben ändern
tags: polarity, vertical-tensions

“More about the selection theory: Jerne meant that the Socratic idea of learning was a fitting analogy for 'the logical basis of the selective theories of antibody formation': Can the truth (the capability to synthesize an antibody) be learned? If so, it must be assumed not to pre-exist; to be learned, it must be acquired. We are thus confronted with the difficulty to which Socrates calls attention in Meno [ ... ] namely, that it makes as little sense to search for what one does not know as to search for what one knows; what one knows, one cannot search for, since one knows it already, and what one does not know, one cannot search for, since one does not even know what to search for. Socrates resolves this difficulty by postulating that learning is nothing but recollection. The truth (the capability to synthesize an antibody) cannot be brought in, but was already inherent.” 
― Niels Kaj Jerne
“You can’t blame yourself for what Socrates did. Those birds came because he wanted them to come, at least a part of him did. The pissed off part. Let that roll around in your brain for a while.”
Jamie considered this. “No, Eddie. The hurt part, that’s what did it.”
The crow shrieked again. It seemed louder, and that meant it was closer. Or maybe it was another crow, maybe several. Jamie and Eddie looked toward the sky, listening to the screams. Jamie spoke first.
“We can’t let it happen again. We may be the only ones who know the truth about what Socrates can do.”
“That thought probably has occurred to Socrates too.” 
― Ken Goldman, Of A Feather

“Socrates is flying. No, he is soaring. The wings behind him beat in a calming rhythm while the cool air rushes past. His wings are all that matter, snapping at the rushing wind like the sails of some great sea vessel, the feathery appendages all he is and all he will ever want to be.
His back muscles flex with the effort that takes him high above the ground. He feels the effort, of course, but sweeping into the sky does not require much of one. The sensation is pleasurable, even exhilarating. With flight there is freedom beyond description, an ecstasy bordering on sexual.
He has only one destination, and that is to soar higher, to no longer be a prisoner of the earth. Here destinations seem irrelevant, the world below small. Flying exceeds every pleasure he knows. In the immense forever of blue sky, all that matters is flight and his ability to climb higher.
Up and up and up...” 
― Ken Goldman, Of A Feather
“How can you wonder your travels do you no good, when you carry yourself around with you?” 
― Socrates
“For certainly old age has a great sense of calm and freedom; when the passions relax their hold, then, as Sophocles says, we are freed from the grasp not of one mad master only, but of many. The truth is, Socrates, that these regrets, and also the complaints about relations, are to be attributed to the same cause, which is not old age, but men's characters and tempers; for he who is of a calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of an opposite disposition youth and age are equally a burden.” 
― Plato, The Republic

“Bigger questions, questions with more than one answer, questions without an answer are harder to cope with in silence. Once asked they do not evaporate and leave the mind to its serener musings. Once asked they gain dimension and texture, trip you on the stairs, wake you at night-time. A black hole sucks up its surroundings and even light never escapes. Better then to ask no questions? Better then to be a contented pig than an unhappy Socrates? Since factory farming is tougher on pigs than it is on philosophers I’ll take a chance.” 
― Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body
“With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — 'Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.' — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

“The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our ways - I to die, and you to live. Which is better only god knows.” 
― Socrates

“Zeitgeist is a German word that means “spirit of the age.”  The zeitgeist of Periclean Athens was self-knowledge (supremely embodied in the thought of Socrates), while that of the Middle Ages and Victorianism was hierarchy (Dante) and progress (Tennyson), respectively.  As for the darker zeitgeist of modernism, marked by relativism and subjectivism, though Lewis did not embody it, he understood it better than many of its most ardent supporters.” 
― Louis A. Markos, A to Z with C. S. Lewis

“Many people think that being Christian makes you sort of subhuman or, at least, less than fully human. Guys out there on the street (people think) are having a wonderful time enjoying human life to the fullest, and we in the church are sort of cramped and constricted. Well, things shouldn't be that way. Being a Christian is supposed to make you more truly human, more fully yourself. That means that you are supposed to become somebody who is reflecting the image of God.” 
― N.T. Wright

“The paradox seems to be, as Socrates demonstrated long ago, that the truly free individual is free only to the extent of his own self-mastery. While those who will not govern themselves are condemned to find masters to govern over them.” 
― Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

“misunderstood."—Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras [186] was misunderstood, and Socrates, [187] and Jesus, and Luther, [188] and Copernicus, [189] and Galileo, [190] and Newton, [191] and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson

“One cannot step twice into the same river,” 
― T.Z. Lavine, From Socrates to Sartre: The Philosophic Quest

“Consider the famous syllogism “All men are mortal; Socrates is a man; therefore Socrates is mortal.” So far, so good. But just because all men are mortal, it does not follow that all mortals are men, and it certainly does not follow that all men are Socrates.” 
― Carol Tavris, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts
“And what, Socrates, is the food of the soul? Surely, I said, knowledge is the food of the soul.” 
― Plato
“Human understanding is limited—and the things that metaphysics seeks to know, we can never know.” 
― T.Z. Lavine, From Socrates to Sartre: The Philosophic Quest

“In the world of togas, sandals, the Parthenon, temples, and little white homes perched on hillsides overlooking the sea, discipleship permeated Greek life-from aristocrats to peasants, from philosophers to tradesmen.
In the first century, the apostle Paul stood on Mars Hill and said, "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.... I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you" (Acts 17:22-23). Paul's speech demonstrates that the Greek philosophers were confused about God. But they were also astute in passing on their confusion as they lived out discipleship and even created some of its language and technique.
The Greek masters' use of mathetes, or disciple: As explored in chapter 1, mathetes is translated "disciple." We can find the concept of disciple-a person following a master-among the great masters of Greece. Plato, Socrates, and Herodotus all used disciple to mean "learner" or "one who is a diligent student." These and other Greek
philosophers generally understood that the disciple's life involved apprenticeship, a relationship of submission, and a life of demanding” 
― Bill Hull, The Complete Book of Discipleship: On Being and Making Followers of Christ

“only a fool obeys the law if it is against his own advantage.” 
― T.Z. Lavine, From Socrates to Sartre: The Philosophic Quest

“The Good Life is not the life of reason alone, but that of the dominance of reason over the spirited energies and the bodily appetites.” 
― T.Z. Lavine, From Socrates to Sartre: The Philosophic Quest

“Drawing towards and contemplating the vast sea of beauty, … at last the vision is revealed to him of a single science, which is the science of beauty everywhere.” 
― T.Z. Lavine, From Socrates to Sartre: The Philosophic Quest

“These three laws, by which our thinking is naturally impelled from one idea to another which resembles it, or which is next to it, or is its effect—these three laws characterize all our mental operations, including all our reasoning, and specifically they characterize our scientific ideas. Of the three laws of association of ideas, the association or connection of ideas by cause and effect, says Hume, is the most powerful connection between our ideas.” 
― T.Z. Lavine, From Socrates to Sartre: The Philosophic Quest
“All of us cherish our beliefs. They are, to a degree, self-defining. When someone comes along who challenges our belief system as insufficiently well-based – or who, like Socrates, merely asks embarrassing questions that we haven’t thought of, or demonstrates that we’ve swept key underlying assumptions under the rug – it becomes much more than a search for knowledge. It feels like a personal assault.” 
― Carl Sagan
“At my father's club, sitting before the fire, we had spoken of 'moments made eternity', meaning what are called timeless moments, moments precisely without the pressure of time--moments that might be called, indeed, timeful moments. And we had clearly understood that the pressure of time was our nearly inescapable awareness of an approaching terminus-the bell about to ring, the holiday about to end, the going down from Oxford foreseen...Life itself is pressured by death, the final terminus. Socrates refused to delay his own death for a few more hours: perhaps he knew that those few hours under the pressure of time would be worth little....Awareness of duration, of terminus, spoils Now.” 
― Sheldon Vanauken, A Severe Mercy

“Although there is some controversy about whether Plato or Socrates held the position that if a person knows what the good life is, he/she will not act immorally, in what follows we shall speak as if this is Plato’s own view. According to this position, evil is due to lack of knowledge. If people can discover what is right, Plato believes, they will never act wickedly. But the problem is to discover what is right, or as Plato calls it, “the good.” How can this be done when people differ so greatly in their opinions about the good life? Plato’s answer is that finding the nature of the good life is an intellectual task very similar to the discovery of mathematical truths. Just as the latter cannot be discovered by untrained people, so the former cannot be either.” 
― Anonymous
“We know so little about Socrates but somehow we still remember he existed; more amazing yet, is how the meaning of ethics has completely escaped us.” 
― Alejandro C. Estrada
“Death is the real inspiring genius or Musagetes of philosophy, and for this reason Socrates defined philosophy as thanatou mélétè (preparation for death; Plato, Phaedo, 81a). Indeed, without death there would hardly have been any philosophizing.” 
― Luce Irigaray, Between East and West: From Singularity to Community

“Nature and nature’s laws lay hid in night; God said, Let Newton be, and all was light.” 
― T.Z. Lavine, From Socrates to Sartre: The Philosophic Quest

“Did not Socrates, all the while he unflinchingly refused to concede one iota of loyalty to his daemon, obey with equal fidelity and equanimity the command of his earthly master, the State? His conscience he followed, alive; his country he served, dying. Alack the day when a state grows so powerful as to demand of its citizens the dictates of their consciences!” 
― Inazo Nitobe, Bushido: The Soul of Japan. A Classic Essay on Samurai Ethics

“According to Bertrand Russell, the virtuous stoic was one whose will was in agreement with the natural order. He described the basic idea like this: In the life of the individual man, virtue is the sole good; such things as health, happiness, possessions, are of no account. Since virtue resides in the will, everything really good or bad in a man’s life depends only upon himself. He may become poor, but what of it? He can still be virtuous. A tyrant may put him in prison, but he can still persevere in living in harmony with Nature. He may be sentenced to death, but he can die nobly, like Socrates. Therefore every man has perfect freedom, provided he emancipates himself from mundane desires.” 
― Piper Kerman, Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison

“The only wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” 
― Socrates

“I don't know why I did it, I don't know why I enjoyed it, and I don't know why I'll do it again.” 
― Socrates
“Indeed, the very first acknowledgment (as far as I am aware) of the attraction of mutilated bodies occurs in a founding description of mental conflict. It is a passage in The Republic, Book IV, where Plato’s Socrates describes how our reason may be overwhelmed by an unworthy desire, which drives the self to become angry with a part of its nature.” 
― Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others
“Everything is plainer when spoken than when unspoken.” 
― Socrates

“None is absolutely true.” 
― T.Z. Lavine, From Socrates to Sartre: The Philosophic Quest

“[On Socrates] My decision to prove reincarnation to the sophomoric cavemen of Athens, quite possibly, was the best decision I made for both myself and humanity. Another dominant behavioral trait is displayed by my efforts to perform selfish acts selflessly, which is significantly unique because the majority of people perform selfless acts selfishly. In the former modus operandi the virtue is preserved through the honesty of being selfish, but in the latter the virtue is corrupted by the dishonesty since the intent is disguised to appear virtuous.

Therefore, people are the most evil when performing selfish acts selfishly, and would therefore be the most benevolent when performing selfless acts selflessly. To performs acts selfishly for the mere sake of acting, is irresponsible and destructive and to perform acts selflessly for the sake of acting, is reckless and self-destructive.

The interesting dynamic of this newest revelation is how Aristotle knew, innately, to seek out Plato upon his father's death. Once Socrates reunited with Plato, as Aristotle, they proved metaphysics; except the trial of Socrates was so traumatizing they made the decision not to make it known. Instead they channeled the knowledge constructively ("selfishly"- because self-preservation is ultimately selfish) which was done selflessly by cultivating it through education.

They were so successful, that the King of Macedonia (my father's previous employer) made a formal request ordering me to tutor his son, Alexander. That's interesting because I have memory of Alexander the Great. He was a passionate boy with incredible sex drive that was equal to that of a honey badger's virulence. He allowed his power to intoxicate him and I was the only one he trusted, and when I made the attempt to slow him down by reminding of of the all powerful mighty God, something happened that caused his death and some Athenian imbecile (probably out of guilt) tried to hang me up on a cross for being a traitor. I got the hell of out doge like a bat of hell the minute that fool said something about me not "honoring" the "gods" - I may have even said something to the effect of 'I am God.' Although, the quote that did survive was when I refused to allow Athens to commit the same crime twice prior to fleeing the city to seek sanctuary at a family's estate.” 
― Alejandro C. Estrada

“The reader of Plato joins Socrates in inquiry, as Sancho Panza joined Don Quixote, for adventures of the mind. And although there is a deep consent, like a fire kindled deep in the mind, there is always a tension between the squire and the knight-errant, the little man with proverbs for wisdom riding on a donkey and the knight with the piercing eye riding on a horse, those two parts of each human soul. The intellectual destiny that each of us has depends upon who gets the upper hand, knight or squire.” 
― Scott M. Buchanan, The Portable Plato
“I was attached to this city by the god—though it seems a ridiculous thing to say—as upon a great and noble horse which was somewhat sluggish because of its size and needed to be stirred up by a kind of gadfly. It is to fulfill some such function that I believe the god has placed me in the city. I never cease to rouse each and every one of you, to persuade and reproach you
all day long and everywhere I find myself in your company.” 
― Socrates, The Apology
tags: courage-to-be-oneself

“On the other hand, even if you’re as poor as a church mouse, isn’t it nice to be able to pay, to chuck some modest lump into the vast crater of debt to your parents that, as their child, you find yourself standing in?” 
― Robert Rowland Smith, Breakfast with Socrates: An Extraordinary (Philosophical) Journey Through Your Ordinary Day

“Socrates: “The corruption of the best things are the worst things.” Or, “The best, when corrupted, become the worst.” As one of your English poets has said, “Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.” 
― Peter Kreeft, Best Things in Life

“Athenaeum, or Jonathan Edwards at thirteen entering Yale College, and while yet of a tender age shining in the horizon of American literature; while the same age finds H. W. Longfellow writing for the Portland Gazette. At fourteen John Quincy Adams was private secretary to Francis H. Dana, American Minister to Russia; at fifteen Benjamin Franklin was writing for the New England Courant, and at an early age became a noted journalist. Benjamin West at sixteen had painted "The Death of Socrates," at seventeen George Bancroft had won a degree in history, Washington Irving had gained” 
― Charles Stewart Given, A Fleece of Gold: Five Lessons from the Fable of Jason and the Golden Fleece

“KANT: The traditional religious foundation for morality may be ontologically stronger, but I say it is not logically or epistemologically stronger. It cannot be proved by speculative, theoretical reason. It cannot be known with certainty. I wanted to construct an absolute and certain ethics; that’s why I confined myself to the parameters of reason alone—and of practical reason alone, for I believe that practical reason can do much more than theoretical reason. I cut down the bushes and weeds of theoretical reason to make room for the garden of practical faith. SOCRATES: So both your structure and your strategy depend on your epistemology of theoretical reason. Your ethics depends on your epistemology. KANT: Yes. We have already established that. SOCRATES: Then I fear it is a beautiful building with a questionable foundation. KANT: That is your final judgment on my work? SOCRATES: Alas, it is. KANT: I have two questions I would like to ask you in conclusion, if they are allowed. SOCRATES: We do not forbid questions here. KANT: You have told me what you think of my philosophy. Can you assure me that God agrees with your judgment on my philosophy? And can you tell me His judgment on me? On how I am known to God? Can you tell me my Heavenly identity? SOCRATES: Can I do these two things? I can answer both of those questions with the same answer. KANT: And the answer is . . . ? SOCRATES: I. Kant.” 
― Peter Kreeft, Socrates Meets Kant: The Father of Philosophy Meets His Most Influential Modern Child

“Before Socrates, philosophers were primarily interested in explaining the world around them and the phenomena of that world—in doing what we would now call science. Although Socrates studied science as a young man, he abandoned it to focus his attention on the human condition.” 
― William B. Irvine, A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

“One unlikely Luddite was also one of the first long-term beneficiaries. Plato (channeling the nonwriter Socrates) warned that this technology meant impoverishment: For this invention will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practice their memory. Their trust in writing, produced by external characters which are no part of themselves, will discourage the use of their own memory within them. You have invented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding; and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom.” 
― James Gleick, The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood

“If a government is built on the principle of benevolence similar to that of a father towards his children, that is, a paternal government . . . , in which subjects are treated like children who have not yet come of age and who cannot distinguish what is truly beneficial from what is harmful for them . . . this is the greatest despotism imaginable. . . . Not a paternal but a patriotic government . . . is the only government conceivable for human beings who are capable of rights. (OCS)” 
― Peter Kreeft, Socrates Meets Kant: The Father of Philosophy Meets His Most Influential Modern Child

“Aren't you ashamed to be concerned so much about making all the money you can and advancing your reputation and prestige, while for truth and wisdom and the improvement of your souls you have no thought or car?” 
― Socrates

“He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.
― Carolyn Spear

“wisdom begins in wonder”
― Socrate

“In Plato’s Apology, Socrates defines his life’s mission as awakening the Athenians to the supreme importance of attending to their souls. His timeless plea that we connect to ourselves remains the only way for any of us to truly thrive.”
― Anonymous

“Pre-Socratic philosophy begins ... with the discovery of Nature; Socratic philosophy begins with the discovery of man's soul."3”
― William B. Irvine, A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

“By all means marry. If you get a good spouse you'll become happy, while if you get a bad one you'll become a philosopher.
-- Socrates

“Suppose I am God," said the voice, "and suppose I made the world in idleness. Suppose the stars, that you think eternal, are only the idiot fireworks of an everlasting schoolboy. Suppose the sun and the moon, to which you sing alternately, are only the two eyes of one vast and sneering giant, opened alternately in a never-ending wink. Suppose the trees, in my eyes, are as foolish as enormous toad-stools. Suppose Socrates and Charlemagne are to me only beasts, made funnier by walking on their hind legs. Suppose I am God, and having made things, laugh at them."

"And suppose I am man," answered the other. "And suppose that I give the answer that shatters even a laugh. Suppose I do not laugh back at you, do not blaspheme you, do not curse you. But suppose, standing up straight under the sky, with every power of my being, I thank you for the fools' paradise you have made. Suppose I praise you, with a literal pain of ecstasy, for the jest that has brought me so terrible a joy. If we have taken the child's games, and given them the seriousness of a Crusade, if we have drenched your grotesque Dutch garden with the blood of martyrs, we have turned a nursery into a temple. I ask you, in the name of Heaven, who wins?”
― G.K. Chesterton

“Who guards the guardians?”
― T.Z. Lavine, From Socrates to Sartre: The Philosophic Quest

“As the philosopher John Stuart Mill wrote, "It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, are a different opinion, it is because they know only their own side of the question.”
― Daniel Gilbert, Stumbling on Happiness
tags: disagree-with-them, happiness, psychology

“Man represses the irrational passions of destructiveness, hate, envy, revenge; he worships power, money, the sovereign state, the nation; while he pays lip service to the teachings of the great spiritual leaders of the human race, those of Buddha, the prophets, Socrates, Jesus, Mohammed—he has transformed these teachings into a jungle of superstition and idol-worship. How can mankind save itself from destroying itself by this discrepancy between intellectual-technical overmaturity and emotional backwardness?”
― Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom

“wisdom begins in wonder”
― Socrates

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