The Portrait of Socrates in Plato's Symposium

In David Sedley (ed.), Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy Xxxi: Winter 2006. Oxford University Press. pp. 137-166 (2006)
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I argue that, when Alcibiades' encomium to Socrates is interpreted in light of Socrates' presentation of Diotima's speech, which immediately proceeds it, it shows Socrates to be at the top level of Diotima's "ladder of ascent" to Beauty. If Alcibiades is correct, Socrates' pretense of ignorance is an ironic sham. Socrates, as Plato's mystagogos, must have experiential knowledge of the Form of Beauty.



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William Prior
Santa Clara University

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