A Doctor And A Scholar: Rethinking The Philosophic Significance Of Eryximachus In The Symposium

Stance 2:67-74 (2009)

Too often critics ignore the philosophic significance of Eryximachus, the physician from Plato’s Symposium, and mistakenly dismiss Eryximachus’ presence in the text. However, this paper argues that a review of the role of medicine in the Platonic dialogues, coupled with a close reading of the Symposium’s structure and language reveals how the physician’s emphasis on love as a harmonizing force is analogous to Socrates’ emphasis on balance and harmony throughout the dialogues. Also, the description of the good physician is reflective of the way a good philosopher operates. By employing the medical trope, Eryximachus’ speech allows the reader greater insight into Platonic philosophy
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 1943-1880
DOI 10.5840/stance2009210
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