Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Socratic Foolishness


The Greek idea that true wisdom may be hidden under the guise of stupidity was embodied in Socrates. Plato says:

"He spends all his life in teasing mankind, and hiding his true intent... His discourses...are ridiculous when you first hear them, they are enveloped in words and phrases...for his talk is of pack-asses and smiths and cabbies and couriers, and he is always repeating the same thing in the same words, so that any stupid or inexperienced person might feel disposed to laugh at him...But...they are the only words which have a meaning in them."

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