Whispering with Three or Four Boys

It’s been a while since I’ve read Plato’s Gorgias, so I needed Ephilosopher’s article, “Leaving The Academy: Non-Academic Jobs for Philosophers?,” to remind me of this choice passage:

It is a good thing to engage in philosophy just so far as it is an aid to education, and it is not a disgrace for a youth to study it, but when a man who is now growing older still studies philosophy, the situation becomes ridiculous…such a man, even if exceptionally gifted, is doomed to prove less than a man, shunning the city center and market place…and living the rest of his life sunk in a corner whispering with three or four boys. (Callicles, heckling Socrates in Plato’s Gorgias 485a-d, trans. W.D. Woodhead).

Though my web site takes its name from Aristotle’s more idealistic passage to describe the desires and expectations of a philosophical life, in my darker, more realistic moments, Plato’s passage rings a little too true. Given the fact that I’m being accused of trademark infringement for using the name The Olive Press (and understanding the limited audience for the ramblings that appear here), perhaps I should just throw in the towel and change my name to “Sunk in a Corner, Whispering with Three or Four Boys.”

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