The topic of this chapter is how "people are inconsistent and confused in their ideas about matters of good and evil" (v. 4, p. 125). He notes that people are very reluctant to admit their lack of virtue. Rather, most will cite some quasi-involuntary short-coming. Most will not admit they lack justice or self-control.
As such "we should constantly be focusing our attention on the following thoughts:
- What kind of person do I picture myself as being?
- How do I conduct myself?
- Is it really as a wise person, as someone who has control of himself?
- Can I say for my part that I've been educated to face everything that may come?
- Is it indeed the case, as is fitting for someone who knows nothing, that I'm aware that I know nothing?
- Do I go to my teacher as to an oracle, ready to obey?
- Or do I go to the schoolroom like a sniveling child, wanting only to gain second hand information, and, if the occasion should arise, expound them to others? (v. 8-10, p. 125)
We learn philosophy to submit our judgements to purification.
We learn philosophy to become fully aware of what we stand in need of.
We learn philosophy to change our thoughts.