Saturday, February 18, 2006

Callicles Got It Right

Lawrence Block once opined that shoplifting Sartre's "Being and Nothingness" is a crime that is at the same time its own punishment. Having tried to read it, I agree with him. On the other hand, I do not want to be too harsh on this young man. "I like philosophy in a young lad; it is thoroughly suitable and a mark of a liberal nature; a lad who neglects philosophy I regard as mean-spirited and never likely to entertain a fine or noble ambition. But when I see an older man still at philosophy and refusing to abandon it, that man seems to me, Socrates, to need a whipping." (Callicles in Plato's "Gorgias)

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