Relying on Your Own Voice

Review of Metaphysics 53 (2):283-307 (1999)
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PLATO’S Protagoras is composed of three distinct frames. The outer frame consists in Socrates’ brief discussion with an unnamed companion. The remainder of the Protagoras is willingly narrated by Socrates to the companion, from memory of course, and apparently right after the main action. The inner frame consists in Socrates’ dialogue with Hippocrates. Roused before dawn by the impetuous young man, Socrates leads Hippocrates to reflect on the wisdom of his enthusiastic desire to study with Protagoras. This is a classic and successful little example of Socratic dialogue. He then takes Hippocrates to meet Protagoras; the bulk of the dialogue—call it the innermost frame—consists in Socrates’ exchanges with Protagoras. Hippocrates does not utter a word in this part of the dialogue, though it is initiated at his request and seems undertaken by Socrates for his benefit.



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Charles Griswold
Boston University

Citations of this work

Plato on rhetoric and poetry.Charles Griswold - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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