Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Meno 70a-c

In response to Meno's opening question, Socrates says,

Meno, before now the Thessalians were famous among the Greeks and honored for horsemanship and for wealth, but now, it seems to me, [they are to be honored] also for wisdom (sophia) and not least [of them] the fellow citizens, Larissians, of your companion, Aristippus. The cause of this [happening] to you all is Gorgias. For after coming into the city, he took from the Aleudai lovers both of the foremost kind, [lovers] of wisdom -- among them your lover Aristippus -- and other Thessalians. And in particular, this is the habit to which he has accustomed you all: to answer fearlessly and magnificently whatever anyone would ask, as is fitting of those who know, just as also he offers himself to whoever of the Greeks wishes to ask whatever anyone would wish -- and there is no one he does not answer.

Socrates is not done, but we'll pause here to note the importance of Gorgias. Is Gorgias's influence a good one? Perhaps not, though his reputation as one who answers any question posed to him is demonstrated in Plato's dialogue, Gorgias.

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