Monday, December 20, 2010

Socrates on "wisdom"....................

"My hearers always imagine," Socrates declares, "that I myself possess the wisdom which I find wanting in others; but the truth is, O men of Athens, that God only is wise; and by his answer he intends to show that the wisdom of men is worth little or nothing; he is not speaking of Socrates, he is only using my name by way of illustration, as if he said, He, O men , is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."  Again in the Phaedrus, Socrates refuses to call any man wise, "for that is a great name which belongs to God alone."  For men, "lovers of wisdom or philosophers is the modest and befitting title."

-excerpted from  Great Ideas: A Lexicon of Western Thought
by Mortimer J. Adler

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