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Think About It, 01.3 Socrates: What is a cat? - Advanced

Characters: Kelsey, Socrates

 

K: Excuse me, sorry to bother you.

S: Yes, what can I do for you?

K: Well, I happen to be looking for my cat. You haven't seen one in these parts recently, have you?

S: Please pardon me, but you say you're looking for a cat?

K: That's right. You see, she's been gone for some time now and I haven't a clue where to find her. Something told me to look in this direction, though.

S: Ah, I see.

K: Her name's Tiger. She's quite small for a cat, but then she's only around nine months old. I've been worried to death about her, actually. ...Oh, sorry for not introducing myself. The name's Kelsey.

S: If you don't mind my asking, what is a cat per se?

K: ...I'm sorry, I didn't catch that.

S: What do we mean by 'cat'? What must something be, or what must something have, to be a cat?

K: ...Um...Well, I suppose it would need four legs.

S: You mean like something resembling a table?

K: No. That's absurd! A cat is nothing like a table. It's a living thing, you see, and a table is completely inorganic. Plus it moves, as you know. A table is static and just sits there. My cat happens to move rather quickly, at that. She's one of the fastest cats in the neighborhood.

S: You mean fast in the way a horse is fast?

K: That's silly! A cat doesn't resemble a horse at all! I've already mentioned that my cat's a small thing! A horse's size doesn't compare. But this is beside the point. Have you or haven't you seen my cat?

S: Let me get this straight. You're trying to tell me this small cat has four legs like a table but is a living thing which is unlike a table. And that it is fast in the way a horse is fast but doesn't compare to a horse's size?

K: Yes! That's what I've said, point for point!

S: But you've left my question unanswered. If a cat is like these things in some ways but not like them in other ways, then what can we say a cat is? You leave me asking, 'what must something be, or have, to be a cat?'

K: ...I'm too perplexed to answer. I haven't any idea what a cat is now... In any case, I'm still wondering whether you've seen my cat or not.

S: Ah, right. Indeed, I've seen your cat. She was heading that way earlier.

K: *Whew* Thank you.

 


Now listen to the questions. If you don't understand something, ask either Kelsey or your tutor for help. Send your answers to Kelsey in the Writing Section at LingQ or tell Kelsey your answers in a conversation with him in the Speaking Section. You don't have to answer all the questions. Good luck!


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Characters: Kelsey, Socrates

 

K: Excuse me, sorry to bother you.

S: Yes, what can I do for you?

K: Well, I happen to be looking for my cat. You haven't seen one in these parts recently, have you?

S: Please pardon me, but you say you're looking for a cat?

K: That's right. You see, she's been gone for some time now and I haven't a clue where to find her. Something told me to look in this direction, though.

S: Ah, I see.

K: Her name's Tiger. She's quite small for a cat, but then she's only around nine months old. I've been worried to death about her, actually. ...Oh, sorry for not introducing myself. The name's Kelsey.

S: If you don't mind my asking, what is a cat per se?

K: ...I'm sorry, I didn't catch that.

S: What do we mean by 'cat'? What must something be, or what must something have, to be a cat?

K: ...Um...Well, I suppose it would need four legs.

S: You mean like something resembling a table?

K: No. That's absurd! A cat is nothing like a table. It's a living thing, you see, and a table is completely inorganic. Plus it moves, as you know. A table is static and just sits there. My cat happens to move rather quickly, at that. She's one of the fastest cats in the neighborhood.

S: You mean fast in the way a horse is fast?

K: That's silly! A cat doesn't resemble a horse at all! I've already mentioned that my cat's a small thing! A horse's size doesn't compare. But this is beside the point. Have you or haven't you seen my cat?

S: Let me get this straight. You're trying to tell me this small cat has four legs like a table but is a living thing which is unlike a table. And that it is fast in the way a horse is fast but doesn't compare to a horse's size?

K: Yes! That's what I've said, point for point!

S: But you've left my question unanswered. If a cat is like these things in some ways but not like them in other ways, then what can we say a cat is? You leave me asking, 'what must something be, or have, to be a cat?'

K: ...I'm too perplexed to answer. I haven't any idea what a cat is now... In any case, I'm still wondering whether you've seen my cat or not.

S: Ah, right. Indeed, I've seen your cat. She was heading that way earlier.

K: *Whew* Thank you.

 


Now listen to the questions. If you don't understand something, ask either Kelsey or your tutor for help. Send your answers to Kelsey in the Writing Section at LingQ or tell Kelsey your answers in a conversation with him in the Speaking Section. You don't have to answer all the questions. Good luck!