Socrates and his Method with his Dog
I was laying outside in the shade of an amphora and awaiting for the wisest man in Athens to come home. Objectively, it had been a very long day (this was before we knew that time was relative). I was a bit tired due to having spent large portions of the afternoon dealing with the cat, who was a Cynic, which as you can imagine is very exhausting. I tried to be Stoic about it.
I had spent the rest of the day examining my life in the manner that Socrates encouraged. He was very big on that and I knew it pleased him that I spent so much of my time so engaged. After deep interior reflection, I had come to the conclusion that I was hungry. I was thinking about my hunger and the various ways I might kill it when I caught his scent and then heard his sandals scraping in the dirt on the front step.
I bolted up, thinking “He’s home!” and “I’m SO hungry.” It was a sort of thesis that might well solve its own antithetical. It had happened before.
I greeted him in the customary fashion, by barking and bounding up excitedly, paws upon his chest, undeterred by my relentless hunger pangs. Then the interrogation began. It was his method.
“Who’s a good boy?” Socrates asked.
I tilted my head sideways and cocked an ear. Besides self-examination, he was very into questions. So many questions. It was hard to believe that a guy with so many questions could be considered the wisest man in Athens, but knowledge was a new thing then and to tell the truth, people just weren’t that bright yet. I wondered, was he asking me this merely to uncover my ignorance or was it some attempt to enlighten himself by means of dialectic? Was there even a right answer to this question? Have rhetorical questions even been invented yet? His question only brought up more questions.
“Who’s a good boy?” he repeated.
It must have been a tough day at the Agora because this vexing issue seemed to dog his mind when he returned of an evening. Every. Single. Evening. I don’t know how they treated him at the Agora, but to me it seemed injudicious to…