Knowledge for knowledge’s sake

The Death of Socrates (1787) by Jacques-Louis David

Please contrast:

‘While the hemlock was being prepared, Socrates was learning a melody on the flute.

“What use will that be to you?”, he was asked.

At least I will learn this melody before I die,” he answered.’

Drawn and Quartered by Emil Cioran

‘There are those who seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge; that is Curiosity.

There are those who seek knowledge to be known by others; that is Vanity.

There are those who seek knowledge in order to serve; that is Love.’

Bernard of Clairvaux in De gradibus humilitatis et superbiae

We can always count on the good old Church Fathers to put things in perspective, can’t we?