Discussion of articles that appear in the magazine.
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Smugness is like chocolate chip cookies. If your aim is to experience a delightful treat you can’t beat these cookies. However if you want to diet you must avoid them. What can be worse than a smug philosopher and his attitude of superiority which counters the goal of philosophy?Adeimantus points out the problem with these smug philosophers after Socrates had explained the pontential benefits of philosophy. From book six of the Republic
Philosophy is the love of wisdom beginning on the foundation “I know nothing.” Smugness is an attitude expressing superiority making the love of wisdom impossible and turning people into the opposite of a philosopher. Of course it sells books at the expense of wisdom. So if your goal is wisdom be wary of your tendency to become smug. If your goal is to sell books and be considered an expert, become smug.Here Adeimantus interposed and said: To these statements, Socrates, no one can offer a reply; but when you talk in this way, a strange feeling passes over the minds of your hearers: They fancy that they are led astray a little at each step in the argument, owing to their own want of skill in asking and answering questions; these littles accumulate, and at the end of the discussion they are found to have sustained a mighty overthrow and all their former notions appear to be turned upside down. And as unskilful players of draughts are at last shut up by their more skilful adversaries and have no piece to move, so they too find themselves shut up at last;for they have nothing to say in this new game of which words are the counters; and yet all the time they are in the right. The observation is suggested to me by what is now occurring. For any one of us might say, that although in words he is not able to meet you at each step of the argument, he sees as a fact that the votaries of philosophy, when they carry on the study, not only in youth as a part of education, but as the pursuit of their maturer years, most of them become strange monsters, not to say utter rogues, and that those who may be considered the best of them are made useless to the world by the very study which you extol.
Last night I was watching an episode of the Seinfeld show. After a dispute with a former boyfriend, Elaine got into a cab driven by a Pakistani man. She said: "he was so smug. I hate smugness." To which the cab driver said simply: "Smugness is not a good quality. "https://www.youtube.com/results?search_ ... d+smugness
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