Social gadfly

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A gadfly is a person who interferes with the status quo of a society or community by posing novel, potentially upsetting questions, usually directed at authorities. The term is originally associated with the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates, in his defense when on trial for his life.

HistoryEdit

SocratesEdit

The term (epitheton [1]) "gadfly", originally in sources in Greek shown as μύωπός, (Plato: Apology 30-31),[2] the word, a subsequent 16th century English language construct of "gad" plus "fly", [3] synonomous perhaps with horse-fly, [4] (μύωψ, [5] being also understood as being a myops, [6] or muope [7]) was used by Plato in the Apology[8] to describe Socrates's relationship with Athens, as Athens analogous to a horse, with Socrates an insect. [9]

During his defense when on trial for his life, Socrates, according to Plato's writings, pointed out that dissent, like the gadfly, was easy to swat, but the cost to society of silencing individuals who were irritating could be very high: "If you kill a man like me, you will injure yourselves more than you will injure me" because his role was that of a gadfly, "to sting people and whip them into a fury, all in the service of truth." This may have been one of the earliest descriptions of gadfly ethics.

BibleEdit

The Book of Jeremiah uses a similar analogy as a political[citation needed] metaphor: "Egypt is a very fair heifer; the gad-fly cometh, it cometh from the north" (46:20, Darby Bible).

Modern politicsEdit

In modern politics, a gadfly is someone who persistently challenges people in positions of power, the status quo or a popular position.[10] For example, Morris Kline wrote, "There is a function for the gadfly who poses questions that many specialists would like to overlook. Polemics is healthy."[11] The word may be uttered in a pejorative sense or be accepted as a description of honourable work or civic duty.[12]

See alsoEdit

BibliographyEdit

search criteria:

https://logeion.uchicago.edu/ (Ἁ @ μυωπός):

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Hjördis Becker-Lindenthal, in, (Katalin Nun, Dr Jon Stewart editors) — Volume 16, Tome I: Kierkegaard's Literary Figures and Motifs: Agamemnon to Guadalquivir, p.259, published by Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 28 October 2014 (revised) ISBN 1472441362, ISBN 9781472441362 - accessed 2020-01-27 (sourced using "Socrates the gadfly" see: Tejera (1995))
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Kenneth F Kitchell Junior (2014) — Animals in the Ancient World from A to Z, p.91, published by Routledge June 23 2014 ISBN 1317577434, ISBN 9781317577430 - accessed 2020-01-27
    • Bibliographical: Lilian Bodson (October - November 1983) "..all agree that Aristotle was the first scholar to give an extensive account of these smallest of creatures...Since he was the first to study insects extensively, or, at least, to compile and enlarge upon what was already known about them (Byl, 1980; Chroust 1973; Grayeff 1956), Aristotle .. defining them .. giving their order a specific name .. defined them as a zoological class on the basis of two general criteria: wings and mouth parts.." " & Aristotle — The beginnings of Entomology in Ancient Greece, The Classical Outlook Volume 61, No. 1 - accessed 2020-01-27
  5. ^ Demetrios Moutsos (1980) — Greek μύωψ and τζιμούριον Zeitschrift für vergleichende Sprachforschung 4. Bd., 1./2. H. (1980), pp. 147-157, published by Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht (GmbH & Co. KG) - accessed 2020-01-27 (sourced using: "μύωψ"
  6. ^
  7. ^ H. W. Fowler, F. G. Fowler, David Crystal — The Concise Oxford Dictionary: The Classic First Edition, p.536, OUP Oxford, 18 August 2011 (reprint of 1911 edition) ISBN 0199696128, ISBN 9780199696123 - accessed 2020-1-27 μύωψ, ωπος, ὁ, ἡ, (μύω, ὤψ) A closing or contracting the eyes, as shortsighted people do, and so, shortsighted, Arist. Rh. 1413a4, Pr. 959a3, b38, Alex.Aphr. Pr. 1.74., published by University of Chicago, - accessed 2020-01-27
  8. ^ "Apology 30e".
  9. ^
    • Bibliographical: Lilian Bodson (October - November 1983) "..all agree that Aristotle was the first scholar to give an extensive account of these smallest of creatures...Since he was the first to study insects extensively, or, at least, to compile and enlarge upon what was already known about them (Byl, 1980; Chroust 1973; Grayeff 1956), Aristotle .. defining them .. giving their order a specific name .. defined them as a zoological class on the basis of two general criteria: wings and mouth parts.." " & Aristotle — The beginnings of Entomology in Ancient Greece, The Classical Outlook Volume 61, No. 1 - accessed 2020-01-27
  10. ^ Liberto, Jennifer (2007-08-08). "Publix uses law to boot gadfly". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2008-06-22.
  11. ^ Why the Professor Can't Teach (1977), page 238
  12. ^ "The Gadfly". BBC – h2g2. 2004-10-06. Retrieved 2008-06-22.

External linksEdit

  •   The dictionary definition of gadfly at Wiktionary