Dialectic and Disagreement in the Hippias Major

David C. Lee
Saint John's College
There are two different approaches to the Hippias Major. The first emphasises its conformity to a pattern, with the aim of uncovering a single argumentative structure common to several ‘Socratic’ dialogues. The second approach emphasises elements specific to the Hippias Major, including dramatic features such as character, with the aim of finding the best reading of the dialogue taken individually. I make use of the second approach to show that a careful reading of the dialogue by itself does not support the widely held view that Socrates’ interlocutor, the sophist Hippias, misunderstands the central question. I propose a new basis for the Socrates-Hippias exchange which gives an important role to the notion of explanation, and I show that this reading enables us to detect and analyse an argument presented against the position advocated by Hippias. I make a connection between the interpretation defended here and some broader issues about our understanding of the development of Plato’s philosophy.
Keywords Plato  Presocratics  Theory of Forms  Explanation  Hippias of Elis
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Plato: Hippias Major.Lucas Angioni - 2019 - Archai: Revista de Estudos Sobre as Origens Do Pensamento Ocidental 26:1-51.

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