I do not mean to wax longingly on being near the academically named departments with relatively well-payed careerists or to drown in their career driven publications. There is nothing wrong with career production. But there is nothing necessarily good there either.
But, when I spend time with Plato’s character–Socrates. How I long! The more I return to Socrates the more I want to stop reading and aim at practice. I want to interrogate myself…and others the way Socrates did. I want to maintain such openness to the exposure of my own lack that I remain ready for questions and with questions. I want the goal of my questioning and responding to be soul-development. And, when it is time, I want, like Socrates, to face death with a developed soul. The developed soul is best in living and dying. I do not claim completion. But I will not deny longing. And I am ready (be nice?) for interrogation.
In his Apology Plato has Socrates giving an account of his life’s work. It has a way of framing all the rest of the dialogues, since, if the proper frame, it establishes why the dialogue is taking place and what the goal is. Socrates says,
“And if the person with whom I am arguing, says: Yes, but I do care; then I do not leave him or let him go at once; but I proceed to interrogate and examine and cross examine him, and if I think that he has no virtue in him, but only says that he has, I reproach him with undervaluing the greater, and overvaluing the less. For I do nothing but go about persuading you all, old and young alike, not to take thought for your persons or your properties, but first an chiefly to care about the greatest improvement of the soul.”