Anthony Gottlieb uses his review of Rebecca Goldstein’s Plato at the Googleplex to speculate on how ancient philosophers might have employed social media and information technology:

“The epigrammatic Heraclitus would surely have appreciated the enforced brevity of Twitter. Diogenes the Cynic, who made a spectacle of himself in order to heap scorn on conventional values (to which end he allegedly masturbated in public), would presumably have relished Facebook — until his selfie-strewn account was deleted. Diogenes Laertius, an infamously undiscerning historian, would have gleefully reposted every hoax and rumor to be found in cyberspace.”

Taking some issue with Goldstein’s book, he writes, “it’s harder to swallow the idea that Plato would be such a Googler, given his insistence on the chasm between mere information and genuine wisdom. Aristotle, a keen collector of biological oddities, is the more plausible hoarder of facts.”

Articles by Peter J. Leithart

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