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The Syracusan, seeing that with such conversation going on the banqueters were paying no attention to his show, but were enjoying one another's company, said spitefully to Socrates, “Socrates, are you the one nick-named the ‘Thinker’?”

“Well, isn't that preferable,” he rejoined, “to being called the ‘Thoughtless’?”

“Yes, if it were not that you are supposed to be a thinker on celestial subjects.”1

1 The Syracusan uses the word applied by the Greeks first to astronomical and then to philosophical (especially ontological) inquiry, a word of reproach for radical thinkers that was used against Socrates in Aristophanes' burlesque, the Clouds, and later played a more serious part in Socrates' trial.

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