Actually, the bust isn't Philebus. It's Herakles.
But he'll certainly do as an ersatz Philebus. (You'd at least have
wondered if it was really Philebus if I hadn't told you,
wouldn't you have?)
So who is Philebus, really? He's a character in Plato's dialog entitled,
Philebus himself is not terribly remarkable; he's another of Socrates'
many foils that make their appearances in Plato's dialogs. The Philebus
itself is a lengthy defense of the superiority of intellectual activity
over physical pleasure. What drew me to it, however, was not so much its
main theme, but Plato's recurring, and highly suggestive, allusions to
music, the infinite, and the problem of the one and the many, three subjects
about which I am deeply passionate (i.e., I'll argue about them loudly
if not effectively). So that's why my computer is Philebus's, or, at any
rate, the dialog's, namesake.
Speaking of which: Philebus the computer is a 3.2GHz Dell Dimension 8400 running the Ubuntu distribution of the Linux operating system and the
Apache http server. The person who
stares at Philebus's monitor way too much and who also built this page
and keeps referring to himself is Chris Menzel, who teaches
University. Together with my colleague
and various other department entities I also manage the
Philosophy department's World Wide Web
site. Go there if you want to find out
about the department and all my other fine colleagues.