What is Self-Control?

by John Holbo on December 30, 2013

I think this looks like a rather loose translation of the original.




Matt 12.30.13 at 3:49 pm

The reviews are somewhat funny, if you follow the link, but I actually think this is appropriate. Socrates, after all, really does tend to play “hide-and-seek” a lot in his “arguments”, if we can call them that. It’s true that I don’t really remember a rabbit being involved in the version I read, but maybe it’s from an alternative version of the original text or something.


John Holbo 12.30.13 at 4:12 pm

I’m thinking this is a children’s book for Straussians. Charmides is totally about hide-and-seek.


Sandwichman 12.30.13 at 4:44 pm

“Rebecca Rabbit loves playing hide and seek. She plays with the other rabbits, the squirrel, the mouse and the hedgehog. And she knows all the best hiding places.
But one day she hid and there was no sign of her. What were the other animals to do?”

If that isn’t simplicity and vigor, what is?


Jordan 12.30.13 at 4:48 pm

Matt, the first comment by Averill is a riot. I came to the comments to post about that, but you beat me to it.


Warren Terra 12.30.13 at 4:49 pm

Doesn’t look as fascinating as The 2013-2018 World Outlook for Non-Wood Office Stacking Chairs. Now 5% off, and with free shipping!


Glen Tomkins 12.30.13 at 5:13 pm

I don’t know. Perhaps you have too constricted a concept of Socratic Irony.


Sandwichman 12.30.13 at 5:20 pm

Warren, a sequel to: “The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-milligram Containers of Fromage Frais”


Neil Levy 12.30.13 at 5:46 pm


Anderson 12.30.13 at 7:53 pm

Neil, that is categorically the best idea I’ve seen yet for marketing Kant.


Palindrome 12.30.13 at 8:20 pm

Rebecca Rabbit loves playing hide and seek. She plays with the other rabbits, the squirrel, the mouse, and the hedgehog. One day, she discovers a magic ring that allows her to become invisible. She hid and there was no sign of her! No rabbit could be imagined to be of such iron nature that she would stand fast in justice. No rabbit would keep her hands off of what was not her own when she could safely take what she likes from the marketplace, or go into houses and lie with anyone at her pleasure, or kill or release from prison whom she would, and in all respects be like a God among men. What were the other animals to do?


SusanC 12.30.13 at 8:24 pm

I’ve been imagining Socrates as a cartoon rabbit ever since Belle (and John) almost had him saying “What’s up doc?” in Euthyphro.

So this isn’t that unexpected.

Thrasymachus is probably a fox in the furry graphic novel version of the Republic.

Nietzsche, on the other hand, is more like…. [“How to do philosophy…” (Opens a large cardbox box labelled “ACME corp” and takes out a big mallet) “… with a hammer”].


Scott Supak 12.30.13 at 9:25 pm

“other rabbits, the squirrel, the mouse and the hedgehog”

All just shadows on the cave wall.


Alan White 12.31.13 at 12:08 am

Neil–the cover illustrates a violation of the second formulation of the categorical imperative, I’d say, if prostitution is the point. Otherwise I got nothing.


John Holbo 12.31.13 at 6:23 am

That is unbelievably great – the Kant. I’m tempted to buy it.


mattski 12.31.13 at 2:57 pm

Sex has a way of leading to philosophy.


The Modesto Kid 12.31.13 at 3:24 pm

SusanC: If the only tool you have is a hammer, philosophy becomes much less complicated.


Davis X. Machina 12.31.13 at 4:30 pm

#15 Sex has a way of leading to philosophy.

But not the other way round, or so I recall from university.
Illustrating the non-convertability of some propositions, I suppose.


js. 12.31.13 at 5:36 pm

You beat me to it.

If that Kant translation is anywhere near as awesome as the cover, I can only hang my head in shame at all the times I’ve assigned the Ellington. No, scratch that, I hang my head in shame now.


js. 12.31.13 at 5:43 pm

Bizarrely, this seems to be a trend!? (Though the linked Barnes and Noble cover isn’t quite as awesome.)


John Holbo 01.01.14 at 2:46 am

Actually, I think the B&N one is even better. With the ‘read instantly’ teaser suggesting immediate gratification. Which is obviously what Kant is way into.


Katherine 01.02.14 at 9:43 pm

Really, you’re drooling all over the “awesome” Kant cover? FFS.


Ed Herdman 01.02.14 at 9:47 pm

My New Year’s resolution is to look twice before rummaging through the “used” stack in the Philosophy section.

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