The Wit of Socrates

I forgot how entertaining Plato’s dialogues are. Take, for instance, this short quote from Cratylus 399A.

Socrates (to Hermogenes): And you are right in having it; for just at this very moment I think I have had a clever thought, and if I am not careful, before the day is over I am likely to be wiser than I ought to be.

-Plato, Plato IV: Cratylus, Parmenides, Greater Hippias, Lesser Hippias, tr. by Harold North Fowler, LCL 167 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1939), 59.

I don’t know if the Loeb translation is the best (I got it mainly for the Greek), but I enjoyed the line nonetheless. Why can’t modern philosophers be this funny? 🙂


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