The following essay on Plato’s Theages is based on a transcript of a taped lecture, which I revised based on notes for two later lectures on the same dialogue that offered a more complete interpretation. I want to thank V.S. for the original transcript.
The Theages is a short Platonic dialogue that can be read as a response to Aristophanes’ Clouds. In both texts, Socrates is approached by a country gentleman to educate his son. In the Clouds, the father is insistent, the son reluctant. (more…)
To explain what philosophy is, we always have to go back to the beginning. Pythagoras (ca. 570-495 BC) is said to have been confronted by Leon, the tyrant of Philius, who demanded to know if he was wise. He responded that he was not a wise man, but merely a φιλόσοφος (philosophos), a “lover of wisdom”; a practitioner of φιλοσοφία (philosophia). Φίλος (philos) means “love,” and σοφῐ́ᾱ (sophia) means “wisdom.” (more…)