Ancient Western Philosophy: The Hellenic Emergence by George F. McLean

By George F. McLean

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SOCRATES THEODORUS THEAETETUS SOCRATES. If I cared more about the people * in Cyrene, d Theodorus, I'd be asking you about its affairs and its people--whether any of the young men there are taking an interest in geometry or any other way of cultivating wisdom. But as things are, I'm less fond of them than I am of the 5 Athenians, and so I'm keener to know which of our young men are thought likely to turn out well. So I keep a look-out for that myself, as far as I can, and I ask other people about it too--anyone with whom I see that the young men like to associate.

All the same, although I do reasonably well with them in general, there's a small point that I have difficulty with, which you and our friends here must help me to look into. Tell me: learning is becoming wiser about what one's learning, isn't it? THEAETETUS. Of course. 10 SOCRATES. And it's by virtue of wisdom, I imagine, that wise people are wise. THEAETETUS. Yes. SOCRATES. Now, is that at all different from knowledge? e THEAETETUS. Is what? SOCRATES. Wisdom. Isn't it the case that people are wise in precisely those respects in which they're knowledgeable?

THEAETETUS. Yes, I think so. SOCRATES. Well, then, is Theodorus an expert in portraitdrawing? THEAETETUS. Not so far as I know. SOCRATES. What about geometry? Isn't he an expert in 5 that either? THEAETETUS. No, of course he is, Socrates. SOCRATES. And also in astronomy, calculation, music, and everything connected with education? THEAETETUS. Well, I certainly think he is. SOCRATES. So if he says we're alike in some part of our 10 bodies, whether praising us for it in some way or criticizing us, it isn't really worth paying attention to him.

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