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[8] For some of us appear to me to be over zealously bent on war, as though having heard, not from haphazard counsellors, but from the gods, that we are destined to succeed in all our campaigns and to prevail easily over our foes.

But people of intelligence, when dealing with matters about which they have knowledge, ought not to take counsel—for this is superfluous—but to act as men who are already resolved what to do, whereas, in dealing with matters about which they take counsel, they ought not to think that they have exact knowledge of what the result will be, but to be minded towards these contingencies as men who indeed exercise their best judgement, but are not sure what the future may hold in store.1

1 This some what wordy passsage in which the orator becomes the philosopher reflects a fundamental idea of his pedagogy: There can be no exact science or knowledge of what to do in all contingencies and relations of life; the best that we can do is to develop sound, not infalliable, judgement in dealing with them. See General Introd. p. xxvii, Isocrates, Vol. I., L.C.L., and Isoc. 15.184, note.

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    • Isocrates, Antidosis, 184
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