Team Aristotle FTW
(Parmenides, 141b, trans. M.L. Gill & P. Ryan)
Did you follow all that? It’s not even the fact that Plato’s conclusions are so often incorrect; it’s that they’re argued in such an exhausting and pointlessly complex manner. Plato is the Lacan of Ancient Greece - he’s almost always full of shit, but it sounds real impressive so everyone pretends that it makes sense, because nobody wants to be the only person to admit they don’t get it when in fact there’s really nothing to get.
Also, while I’m ranting, can we talk about how much I hate Harvard’s Loeb Classical Library? Their books are overpriced, the works are poorly grouped, and the translations are outdated and in some cases just plain bad. Despite this, for many Greek and Latin classics, Loeb is literally the only place to find decently edited texts in the original language, which Harvard University Press obvious knows, which is why they jack the prices up so high.
Is there any possible earthly reason why Hackett can sell me the complete works of Plato for $50 in one volume but I have to pay $280 for a 12-volume set of Loeb’s Plato collection? These books were edited, typeset, and translated a century ago and the guy’s been dead for thousands of years. You’re not paying royalties, you’re not paying overhead costs, you’re not paying editors. Would it really fucking kill you, Harvard, to support classical scholarship by making decent editions of ancient texts available to broke-ass scholars for a decent price? Really, these should be distributed for free on the Internet. But I’ll be generous; I’m willing to pay for them. Does that mean you have to fucking gouge me?
Maybe just one fucking time one of America’s elite institutions of “higher education” could make a little, tiny symbolic gesture towards actually proving they care about learning or scholarship or research, or anything other than profit and greed? Making the Loeb volumes cheaply available to scholars would cost a tiny fraction of Harvard’s annual merchandising and branding profits, and would make life infinitely easier for classicists everywhere.