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[475d] “You will then be giving the name to a numerous and strange band, for all the lovers of spectacles1 are what they are, I fancy, by virtue of their delight in learning something. And those who always want to hear some new thing2 are a very queer lot to be reckoned among philosophers. You couldn't induce them to attend a serious debate or any such entertainment,3 but as if they had farmed out their ears to listen to every chorus in the land, they run about to all the Dionysiac festivals,4 never missing one, either in the towns or in the country-villages. Are we to designate all these, then, and similar folk

1 Cf. the argument in the first sentence of Aristotle's Metaphysics that men's pleasure in sense-perception is a form of their love of knowledge.

2 φιλήκοοι: the word, like curiosity in Ruskin's interpretation, may have a higher and lower meaning. It is used half technically of intellectual interests generally. Cf. Euthydemus 304 B. The abstract φιληκοΐα became a virtual synonym of culture and reading.

3 Cf. on 498 A, and in Parmenides 126 E, Antiphon, who studied Eleatic dialectic in his youth, but now gives his time to horses. The word διατριβή has a long history in philosophy and literature, starting from such passages as Charmides 153 A and Lysis 204 A.

4 In addition to the presentation of new plays at the city Dionysia, there were performances at the Peiraeus and in the demes.

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