previous next
[8] Their using the language of knowledge1 is no proof that they possess it. Persons in the states mentioned2 repeat propositions of geometry and verses of Empedocles; students who have just begun a subject reel off its formulae, though they do not yet know their meaning, for knowledge has to become part of the tissue of the mind, and this takes time. Hence we must conceive that men who fail in self-restraint talk in the same way as actors speaking a part.

1 The reference is to persons of weak will uttering sound moral maxims almost at the very moment of yielding to temptation.

2 Viz., asleep or drunk. It may have been some Falstaff of Attic comedy that quoted the moral maxims of Empedocles in his cups.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: