Evenings with the Skeptics, Or, Free Discussion on Free Thinkers Volume 1

Evenings with the Skeptics, Or, Free Discussion on Free Thinkers Volume 1

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1881 edition. Excerpt: ...close of the Sokratic mission. For about half of his long life (70 years), Sokrates had diligently pursued his ungrateful office of public censor and critic of hia fellow-citizens, urged on both by an impulse he counted divine and by an intense passion for what might be termed ' mental vivisection.' Day after day he reiterated his exhortations to self-examination, mental discipline, and spiritual candour. Day after day he placed his unfortunate victims on the rack of Ins elenchus and watched their impotent wriggles with something of the grim sympathy with which Isaac Walton contemplated the struggles of the worm he had impaled on his fish-hook 'in such a way as if he loved it.' Daily were the Sileuus visage, the snub nose, the goggle eyes and protrusive lips of the Athenian ' Inquisitor-general ' to be seen in the market, the gymnasia, and wherever else men were wont to congregate. With execrable iteration the Athenians heard him avow the ' Je ne sgais pas' which he proclaimed as the concentration of all human wisdom. Again and again they heard him demonstrate the futility of popular notions and commonly received definitions. No person, no institution, no opinion could be considered safe from his covert irony or open satire. From its very nature, the elenchus covered the whole ground of human thought and action. Just as an English Skeptic (Gibbon) ridiculed the essential absurdity of hereditary government, so Sokrates with all his patriotism could not keep the keen edge of his Dialectic from vivisecting the existing government of Athens, and exposing among other things the unwisdom of electing archons by the vote of the majority, i.e. the ignorant and unthinking. In this, as in other cases, his elenchus occasionally trespassed beyond the bounds...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 184 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 10mm | 340g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • Miami Fl, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236672224
  • 9781236672223