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Paul Stevens
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Joined: May 17, 2001
Posts: 2823
Socrates on Rumors
Keep this in mind the next time you either hear or
are about to repeat a rumor! In ancient Greece
(469 - 399 BC), Socrates was well known for his
wisdom. One day the great philosopher came upon an
acquaintance who said excitedly, "Socrates, do you
know what I just heard about one of your students?"
Wait a moment," Socrates replied. "Before telling me
anything I'd like you to pass a little test. It's
called the Triple Filter Test.
"Triple filter?"
"That's right," Socrates continued "Before you talk
to me about my student, it might be a good idea to
take a moment and filter what you're going to say..
The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely
sure that what you are about to tell me is true?"
No," the man said, "actually I just heard about it
and ..."
"All right," said Socrates. "So you don't really
know if it's true or not. Now let's try the second
filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are
about to tell me about my student something good?"
"No, on the contrary ...."
"So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me
something bad about him, but you're not certain it's
true. You may still pass the test though, because
there's one filter left: the filter of Usefulness.
Is what you want to tell me about my student going
to be useful to me?"
"No, not really."
"Well," concluded Socrates, "if what you want to
tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful,
why tell it to me at all?" .
This is the reason Socrates was a great philosopher
and held in such high esteem.
It also explains why he never found out that Plato
was having an affair with his wife.
HS Thomas
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me?
Presumably Socrates worked closely with Plato. Good thing the student didn't go further with this rumour. Plato turned out to be crucial in recording Socrates ideas and improving on them.
[ January 05, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Meadowlark Bradsher
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Joined: Jan 23, 2001
Posts: 109
Umm...I had heard that even student and teacher had relations in that culture....
Is this a rumor?
R K Singh
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Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5382
It must be someone else
Plato cant go to Socrate's wife because Bradsher is right

"Thanks to Indian media who has over the period of time swiped out intellectual taste from mass Indian population." - Chetan Parekh
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Meadowlark Bradsher:
Umm...I had heard that even student and teacher had relations in that culture....
Is this a rumor?

quite likely.
homosexual relations were far more open and accepted than they are now (or at least were until the 1980s).
Many people were happily married and had one or more same-sex relations at the side.

Damien Howard
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Joined: Apr 01, 2003
Posts: 456
Students paid for their education by giving themselves to their teachers. It was common practice at the time. I'm glad it has changed because I've never had an attractive teacher. (male or female)
I believe that socrates or plato even discussed the practice in one of their writings. I learned of it in an introduction to political science class.
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Rumors
It's not a secret anymore!