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Socratic dialogues

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-A109-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved April 12, 2024, from

Article Summary

After Socrates’ death in 399 bc, a number of his followers composed imaginary dialogues between Socrates and various persons, usually historical. In addition to the dialogues of Plato there were works by Antisthenes, Aeschines, Phaedo, Euclides and, somewhat later, Xenophon. Only the writings of Plato and Xenophon have survived intact. The portrayal of Socrates varied from author to author, but the charismatic personality and skilful questioner is recognizable in each version. The connection between love and Socratic philosophy was frequently illustrated in Socrates’ relationship to Alcibiades. The erotic theme was also represented in the role played by Aspasia, Pericles’ mistress, in at least four authors, including Plato. Historical fact and even chronological possibility were regularly disregarded. This was essentially a genre of fiction.

Citing this article:
Kahn, Charles H.. Socratic dialogues, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-A109-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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