As a bonus to this week’s issue, here’s another newly discovered Socratic Dialogue that we didn’t have space to print…
Socrates: Meno, my friend! Please take a moment and speak with me. I am trying to understand the importance of justice.
Meno: Socrates, I really haven’t the time, I must report to my military training…
S: Ah, the wars of men! And is war a virtuous endeavor? I think with some time we could find the answer.
M: Really Socrates, I cannot.
S: Is time so valuable?
M: Maybe not to yourself, but I have many obligations today…
S: Is value different to each man? Is my time less valuable than yours? Do our endeavors somehow lend value to our time, to our efforts?
M: Socrates, I don’t even know what you’re talking about. I’m going to be a politician and a military general. I have things to do. All you seem to do is hang out here and harass us.
S: I am simply attempting to find truth, for I know little.
M: No, Socrates, you say that, and then you stop us and lecture us for hours on end. I’m barely able to get a “Yes, Socrates” in edgewise.
S: Yes, but-
M: No Socrates, I’m talking now. You’re out of control. I heard you went to a party last night, didn’t even get drunk, bored everyone to sleep with one of your diatribes, and then tried to hook up with Agathon.
S: No, I was simply trying to find the meaning of love, I-
M: Do you think Agathon wanted to find love with you? Why do you think he sat on a different part of the couch?
S: It’s simple, really, it shows –
M: It shows you’re the creepiest old dude in Athens. Don’t you have any friends your own age?
S: The elders find themselves worn with the ways of thought, wrapped up in their politics and their preaching. The young mind is much more open to the ways of the truth.
M: And you make a living off of that? I mean, even the sophists charge for their hours of talking, talking, talking! You don’t have a job, Socrates. Do you have any money? How did you even get a house?
S: I, um..
M: How do you keep yourself in food and clothes?
S: I have but this simple cloth.
M: That’s freaking gross, man. This hobo life may be great for you, but the rest of the real world has jobs and things to do. We don’t have time to show everyone how brilliant we are.
S: Meno, if you will sit and let me stroke your hair for a moment –
M: No Socrates, you are not stroking my hair, not today, not ever again. I’m reporting you to Meletus.