Category Archives: Philosophy

Plato was walking along the road…

…when a friend stopped him and said “My friend, I must tell you something bad I heard about one of your students.”

Plato said, “First answer me the three tests of knowledge. One, have you personally checked if this thing is true?” “No” the friend answered. “Then two,” said Plato, “Will this knowledge make me happier?” “No”. came the reply. “Then there is one final test to determine if I need this knowledge my friend.” said the master. ” Is it to my students’ advantage that I know it?” “Alas no.” came the reply.

“Then pass on your way my friend and do not tell me this thing.” said Plato and walked off smiling. This is why he was the greatest Philosopher of all, and also why he never found out that Aristotle was shagging his wife.

Epictetus

 

Epictetus (50-120AD)
Epictetus (50-120AD)

“Difficulties are things that show people who they really are!”
A slave born in Hierapolis that was to become a saint-like figure for the Greeks and the Romans. Poor, homeless he struggled with super-human energy and dedication to ease the pain of the sufferings of humanity through his teachings. One of his gratest fans was Marcus Aurelius himself!

Centuries later, the US Navy Admiral James Stockdale was able to retain his sanity during capture in a Viet Cong POW camp by relying on the philosophy of Epictetus…

Diogenes: Politically incorrect

John William Waterhouse: Diogenes [1905]
John William Waterhouse: Diogenes [1905]
An anecdote that involves the cynic philosopher Diogenes of Sinope (404-323 B.C.):

” When some strangers (visiting Athens) expressed a wish to see Demosthenes, he (Diogenes the cynic) stretched out his middle finger and said, “There goes the demagogue of Athens.”

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers. Book VI. Chapter 2. [34] 

So, there you go… The first recorded use of the middle finger!