Socrates' Lesson to Hippothales in Plato's Lysis

Classical Philology 115 (3):551-566 (2020)
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In the opening of Plato’s Lysis, Socrates criticizes the love-besotted Hippothales’ way of speaking to, and about, Hippothales’ yearned-for Lysis. Socrates subsequently proceeds to demonstrate (ἐπιδεῖξαι) how Hippothales should converse with Lysis (206c5–6). But how should we assess Socrates’ criticisms of, and demonstration to, Hippothales? Are they defensible by Socrates’ own standards, as well as independent criteria? In this note, I first articulate and assess Socrates’ criticisms of Hippothales. Second, I identify, examine, and respond to puzzles to which Socrates’ demonstration to Hippothales gives rise.

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Matthew D. Walker
Yale-NUS College


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