But savages are strange beings; at times you do not know exactly how to take them. At first they are overawing; their calm self-collectedness of simplicity seems a Socratic wisdom.
Queequeg’s way, his simplicity of being, has a philosophical quality. The comparison to a Greek philosopher is not incidental—Socrates, and the Pre-Socratics before him, were much more concerned with applying the fruits of study and speculation to the way they actually lived their lives than most of the western philosophers who follow them; abstract as it sometimes became, early Greek philosophy was ultimately practical.
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