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Socrates in the caves

Chapter Text

Flowey
What’s LV stand for? Why, LOVE, of course! You want some LOVE, don’t you?

Socrates
No, I would not say I do.

Flowey
You don’t?

Socrates
I do not. If, as you say, that blue heart is my soul, is it then dissevered from my body?

Flowey
Yes, I suppose. But I don’t see…

Socrates
And would you not say that love is one of the bodily pleasures, like eating and drinking?

Flowey
Yes, but…

Socrates
And that, as a philosopher, I should only be concerned with the acquirement of knowledge?

Flowey
I suppose so.

Socrates
Would you also agree that knowledge is a matter of the soul, and love a matter of the body?

Flowey
Sure.

Socrates
Then should I not prefer to have my soul avoid love, and instead have my soul only be concerned with learning?

Flowey
You know what? Have fun. I’m outta here.

Chapter Text

Socrates
This plaque reads “Only the fearless may proceed. Brave ones, foolish ones. Both walk not the middle road.” You pressed only the buttons that were off the middle path. Does that mean, then, that you consider brave people to be fearless?

Toriel
Yes, that is what the puzzle means.

Socrates
It is indeed what the puzzle means, but the intention of my question was to ask whether you believe so yourself.

Toriel
I do.

Socrates
What, then, do you say of an animal that endangers itself because it lacks knowledge and therefore doesn’t have fear? Would such an animal be brave?

Toriel
No, that is just foolish.

Socrates
And a soldier that charges into battle in spite of his fear? Is such a man courageous?

Toriel
Yes, he is.

Socrates
Then it is possible to be brave without being fearless, and to be fearless without being brave, so courage is not the same as fearlessness.

Toriel
You are right. I cannot readily explain what it means to be brave. However, this is just a puzzle. It is not meant to be taken so seriously. You are a very unusual man.

Chapter Text

Papyrus
Really though! That human! Do I know that person?

Sans
Do you not know who you know?

Papyrus
Of course I know who I know! I wanted to know if you know I know who I know as much as I know I know who I know! You know?

Socrates
But how do you truly know you know you know who you know?

Papyrus
What?

Socrates
You claim to have knowledge about knowing who you know. How can you be certain of that knowledge?

Papyrus
I should know, shouldn’t I?

Socrates
Let us see. Do you believe that you are aware of which things you know?

Papyrus
Of course! I know what I know because I know.

Socrates
But what of false beliefs? Are they too a kind of knowledge?

Papyrus
Hmmm. Well, if they’re not true, then I don’t know them. I just think I know them.

Socrates
Then you do not know which things you know, because the belief in knowing some of them is false.

Papyrus
But I don’t actually know the things I think I know but don’t know, don’t I?

Socrates
Indeed.

Papyrus
Aha! So if I don’t know the things I think I know but don’t know, then I do know I know all the things I do know!

Socrates
It is as you say that you should know about all your true beliefs. In that same way, a good playwright should know what makes a good play, and a cook should know whether a meal is good.

Papyrus
That’s true.

Socrates
Would you agree that is how they can be said to know plays, and to know meals?

Papyrus
Yes.

Socrates
And would a playwright who knows plays recognize a bad play, or a cook who knows food recognize a bad meal?

Papyrus
Ah! You’re saying that to know what I know I need to know what I do not know, not just what I do know!

Socrates
That is it exactly. To be a good playwright requires to be able to distinguish between good plays and bad plays. And a good cook should know the difference between good meals and bad meals. And to be wise, one needs to tell apart good beliefs and bad beliefs. One needs to know what one does not know as much as what one does know.

Papyrus
Yes! But! Now that we know how to know whether we know what we know, we still don’t know whether you can solve this puzzle!


Sans
Hey, thanks. I think my brother likes having someone to talk to.

Chapter Text

Undyne
That’s right, human! Your continued existence is a crime! Your life is all that stands between us and our freedom!

Socrates
It is interesting that you should say my existence breaks the law. Do you believe I should obey the law?

Undyne
Of course! That’s what the law is for!

Socrates
But different places have different laws. The laws here are not the laws in Athens, and the laws in Athens are not the laws in Thessaly.

Undyne
I am just going to come down from this rock, so we can stop shouting! Stay where you are!

Socrates
I would never flee an attempt to find the truth. Now, when there is a different law for each place, and not all laws can be followed, how ought we to decide which law to follow?

Undyne
That’s simple. The law of where you are.

Socrates
But why, my dear Undyne, should we follow that law? Should we also do whatever any person tells us to do? How should we decide which people to obey?

Undyne
I guess you should listen to your parents, or your boss.

Socrates
And why should one obey one’s parents?

Undyne
Because they take care of you? I mean, they know best.

Socrates
Very well. Now, you say that the law of the land where you are should be followed. Does the same go for people? Is it for the same reason that you should obey the rules of a house you visit?

Undyne
Hey! We’re not fighting! Papyrus told me humans were talkative. I see now what he meant by that!

I’ll throw you a spear. Defend yourself!

Socrates
Of course. Now, please answer me, for I would like to find the truth. Should you obey the law for the same reason you should obey the master of the house when you are a guest?

Undyne
Woah! Where did you learn to block like that?

Socrates
At the battle of Delium, after I lost my shield. Now, by the dog, tell me, dear Undyne, do you believe-

Undyne
Okay, okay! Yeah, you should listen if you’re a guest. Otherwise it’s just rude, and you shouldn’t have visited in the first place. Now, block this!

Socrates
Then do you believe that you should obey those people who care for you in return, and that you should obey the people you visit, because you chose to accept their hospitality?

Undyne
Yeah.

Socrates
And is it by the same principles that you should obey the law?

Undyne
Ngahh! Yeah, what’s your point?

Socrates
My point, Undyne, is this. When I lived in Athens, I obeyed the law of Athens. Athens was the state where I was born, and the state where I was educated. The state I fought for, and the state where I made my home. I could have left had I wanted to, and I did not, so when the state decided I was to be punished I accepted that, and did not fight it. Likewise, when the punishment of banishment was settled upon, I left the city, as required.

I decided to travel to Lacedaemon, because I have heard their government is good, and had I arrived there, I would have followed its law, even when inconvenient. I made the decision to make my new home there, so I should follow it, even if I did not like it.

But on my trek there, over the mountain, I fell into the underground. I did not choose to visit this place, and neither can I leave, so I did not accept its laws. I am trying to leave, and the underground never provided me with anything, so I have no obligation to obey its rule.

Undyne
Okay! Whatever! What are you trying to do?

Socrates
I am merely explaining that even if my existence is a crime, that does not compel me to end it, because it is not necessary for me to follow the laws of the underground.

Undyne
Oh my god! Shut up! Just die already!