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Socrates would love "Star Trek"

At about half-way through the evening's lecture on Plato's "Republic", and western political theory, it occured to me that old Socrates would have had quite a bit of fun with the metaphorical species of the "Star Trek" universe. As you all know (and if you don't, what are you, some sort of nerd?), Mister S. makes his points regarding the nature of justice in the human soul by dividing it into three essential aspects: desires, spirit, and reason. A just soul, in the estimation of the great Soc, would be one that had achieved a certain harmony between those three aspects, and their associated loves of pleasure, victory, and wisdom. But what of those who overlean towards one aspect or another? Gene Rodenberry provides us with the answer:

  • Vulcans, the - the épitomy of the soul of pure reason, without spirit and its love of challenge & victory, or the base desires of the body. Well, except for the occasional Pon-Farr, but we all have our slip-ups...

  • Klingons, the - the purest expression of the love of victory, and the unbridled spirit. The average Klingon would rather cut-out his own liver than lose a round of "Texas Hold'em". Better yet, he'd rather cut-out your liver.

  • Ferengi, the - the penultimate example of the pursuit of pleasures & desires. What Ferengi doesn't dream of having pretty slaves rub his lobes while measuring the steady-flow of latinum that trickles through his fingers?

And I ask you, who would have thought that philosophy would prove so useful to the art of science-fantasy? Finally, two disrespected pursuits have found each other in a cold, cruel world - two souls that will clasp to one another in the chill winds of the starless night, and together fight the phasers & tribbles of outrageous fortune!

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