Deleuze and Guattari: Enough of Socrates!


From What is Philosophy? (p. 29)

Philosophy [as we understand it] has a horror of discussions.  It always has something else to do.  Debate is unbearable to it, but not because it is too sure of itself.  On the contrary, it is its uncertainties that take it down other, more solitary paths.  But in Socrates wasn’t philosophy a free discussion among friends?  Is it not, as the conversation of free men, the summit of Greek sociability?  In fact, Socrates constantly made all discussion impossible, both in the short form of the contest of questions and answers and in the long form of a rivalry between discourses.  He turned the friend into the friend of a single concept, and the concept into a pitiless monologue that eliminates the rivals one by one.

A very good Nietzschean reading.  Socrates claims to be engaged in a search for Truth.  He is rather engaged in ridding the earth of the Sophists.  And so back to Callicles, back to Thrasymachus!  Reanimate their spirit, make their speech possible again.  Discover what they were just about to say, what other concepts they were creating, when Plato had Socrates extinguish their light.  There is joy to be found in that project, I think.


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