苏格拉底 | 名人小故事

苏格拉底 | 名人小故事

Socrates is talking to Hippias of Elis, a travelling “sophist” who sets up as a professional “wise man”,taking money for lessons in private and public rhetoric, and managing public business himself. How, Socrates asks, does Hippias explain the fact that wise men in the old days were not rich public figures?

苏格拉底正在和埃里斯的希比阿聊天。希比阿是云游四方的“智术大师”,将自己称为职业的“智者”,主讲修辞术,收费授课,还亲自负责公众事务。苏格拉底问希比阿:为何历史上的智者都不富有呢?

Hippias: What do you think it could be, Socrates, other than that they were incompetent and not capable of using their wisdom to achieve in both areas, public and private?

希比阿:你怎么想呢,苏格拉底?还不是因为他们无能,不会把智慧运用于个人和国家,并在这两方面有所作为。

Socrates: Well, other skills have certainly improved, and by comparison with modern craftsmen the older ones are worthless. Are we to say that your skill — sophistry — has improved in the same way, and that the ancients who practiced wisdom were worthless compared to you?

苏格拉底:对呀,其他的技艺都有进步,例如与现代工匠相比,古代工匠简直一钱不值。我们是否可以说:你这门技艺——诡辩术,也同样进步了?与你相比,那些以智慧为业的古人也同样一文不值呢?

Hippias: Yes, you’re completely right!

希比阿:是的,你说得没错!

Socrates: None of those early thinkers thought it right to demand money as payment, or to make displays of their own wisdom before all sorts of people. That’s how simple-minded they were; they didn’t notice how valuable money is. But each of the modem people you mention has made more money from his wisdom than any other craftsman from any skill. And Protagoras did it even before they did.

苏格拉底:早先的思想家以为,在各种各样的人面前公开展露自己的智慧是不对的,收费更是错的。他们的头脑真简单,居然不知道钱是多么重要。但你提到的现代人,每个人靠自己的智慧挣了大钱,超过任何一个工匠。在他们之前,还有普罗泰弋拉,早就这样做了。

Hippias: Socrates, you have no idea just how fine this is. If you knew how much money I've made, you'd be amazed! I'm pretty sure that I’ve made more money than any two sophists you like put together!

希比阿:苏格拉底,你根本不知道这样做有多棒。如果你知道我挣了多少钱,你肯定要吓坏了!我敢肯定,你随便举两个智术师,我一个人挣的钱绝对超过他们的总和!

Socrates: What a fine thing to say, Hippias! It’s very indicative of your own wisdom, and of what a difference there is between people nowadays and the ancients.

苏格拉底:希比阿,你说得真好!这恰恰体现了你的智慧,也显示出今人和古人的确不一样啊。

Hippias thinks Socrates is complimenting him. The reader, however, sees clearly that Socrates despises the use of intellect to make money, rather than to search for the truth, and hence has complete contempt for Hippias. This is the “Socratic irony”.

希比阿以为苏格拉底在夸奖他。然而,读者却能清楚地看出苏格拉底认为智术应当求真理,他蔑视以智术牟利的做法,因此他对希比阿嗤之以鼻。这就是所谓的“苏格拉底的伪装”。