“Quote Unquote”

January 5, 2018 § Leave a comment

“The core and the surface
Are essentially the same
Words making them seem different
Only to express appearance.
If name be needed, wonder names them both:
From wonder into wonder existence opens.”  —  Laozi

“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.”  —  Socrates

“Philosophy is the product of wonder.”  —  Alfred North Whitehead


More Adventures of Socrates

March 31, 2017 § Leave a comment


Explanation: In what is sort of the founding myth of Western Philosophy, the Oracle of Delphi told Socrates that he was the wisest man in Athens. Socrates couldn’t believe it, so he interrogated all the wise men of Athens on various subjects, such as the nature of virtue, piety, justice, etc. He found that none of them really knew what they were talking about, although they all believed that they did. He then concluded that he was indeed the wisest man in Athens, because although like them he didn’t know anything, he at least “knew that he knew not.”

More at Existential Comics

Socrates’s Test of Three

March 15, 2017 § 5 Comments

I can’t vouch for the accuracy of this, but a friend sent it, and it’s so full of wisdom that I could not resist sharing it …

In ancient Greece (469 – 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom. One day the great philosopher came upon an acquaintance, who ran up to him excitedly and said, “Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students?”

“Wait a moment,” Socrates replied. “Before you tell me, I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Test of Three.”

“Test of Three?”

“That’s correct,” Socrates continued.

“Before you talk to me about my student let’s take a moment to test what you’re going to say. The first test is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”

“No,” the man replied, “actually I just heard about it.”

“All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second test, the test of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?”

“No, on the contrary.”

“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him even though you’re not certain it’s true?” The man shrugged, a little embarrassed.

Socrates continued, “You may still pass though because there is a third test – the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me?”

“No, not really.”

“Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even Useful, why tell it to me at all?”

The man was defeated and ashamed and said no more.


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