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Laches

Quotes

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained

Because you seem not to be aware that anyone who is close to Socrates and enters into conversation with him is liable to be drawn into an argument, and whatever subject he may start, he will be continually carried round and round by him, until at last he finds that he has to give an account both of his present and past life, and when he is once entangled, Socrates will not let him go until he has completely and thoroughly sifted him.

This quote from Nicias (187e-188a), is relevant because reactions such as these led to the death of Socrates in trial. In all of the dialogues, Socrates is famous for toying with and insulting his audiences in order to relieve them of their pretensions. Socrates's attitude is not pure meanness however. By continually embarrassing his audiences, he brings them closer to wisdom and to the truth that they too have no knowledge.