Talk:Charmides (dialogue)

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Socrates Becomes A Female Doctor???!!![edit]

At the end of the article, some editor claimed that, in the Theaetetus, Socrates becomes a female doctor. I do not know whether this idiocy is an expression of an inability to understand a comparison or of misplaced feminist enthusiasm, but a midwife is not a "female doctor"; and since Socrates only compared himself to a midwife, he certainly did not become a midwife. He was no Tiresias, who actually became a woman. Ordinarily I would have deleted that nonsense without turning to the discussion page, but the statement seemed to me the sort of nonsense to which someone might be passionately attached, so I thought this note might be necessary to say, "Think about it! Don't let whatever passion moved you to make that claim overmaster your common sense. If you care about Plato at all, think of what he would make of someone incapable of understanding a comparison and so committed to an ideology that he (or she) would write nonsense for its sake." --Wordwright —Preceding undated comment added 18:35, 18 May 2011 (UTC).

Original research in the "Subtextual interpretation" section[edit]

Aside from its truly hideous title, the "Subtextual interpretation" section is problematic because it makes interpretive statements without giving any citations to secondary scholarship. I feel quite sure that the interpretation given is the idiosyncratic view of the editor who wrote it, rather than a widely held view in scholarship, but if I am wrong, it should certainly not be difficult to give references, following the example of WP:CITE and WP:FOOTNOTE. I have posted an {{Original research}} template on several of the other articles on Plato's dialogues, some of which also have sections bizarrely entitled "subtextual interpretation". --Akhilleus (talk) 04:25, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

This section was deleted , as in A Short History Of Ethics p20, it was stated that Socrates considered his duty as a teacher to make his pupils wiser by making them discover their own ignorance, thus he tends to infuriate them to force them into philosophical reflection upon moral matters. It was also stated on page 21 that Socrates believed that virtue is teachable but denies the existence of teachers; this paradox was explained later in Plato works by the thesis that knowledge is already present in us and has only to be brought to birth by a philosophical midwife.Marc j (talk) 13:16, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

Granted, it WAS Ugly[edit]

Prompted by biting criticism from Mr.Achilles and Mr.Zoosnoose, I've re-phrased the analysis of Charmides. I agree, the original phrase was "hideous." Thanks for pointing it out. But the techniques in Charmides are from Rhetoric 101, and if you don't think it correct, you ought to come up with a better interpretation instead of just hacking mine off. As it is, you fellows want to leave Plato having made no particular point in this dialog. Brenda maverick 22:17, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

You seem to have missed the main point of the criticism, which is that any interpretation of primary source material must be supported by citations from secondary sources. Please see WP:OR. Statements like "Plato hints powerfully that Socrates' has ulterior (sexual) motives for his double quackery" are original research, unless you can demonstrate that this view has been published in a reliable source. --Akhilleus (talk) 22:39, 10 December 2006 (UTC)


Mr. Achilles, I am trying not to be willfully thickheaded, and I bet that I speak for you as well. We might omit that particular sentence, but leave the rest. The Greeks were masters at rhetoric, and to depict Plato as having no particular point to make, that is what it is to misrepresent his genius. Give me a little time to relocate an article published by a Harvard classicist in 1920 called "Comedy in Plato." Will ya? Brenda maverick 02:38, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

I haven't deleted anything in that section, but unless it can all be supported by secondary scholarship, I think it should be. Plato obviously has a point, otherwise his work wouldn't be around, but the point is that the article needs to represent what secondary sources say about his philosophy, rather than making stuff up ourselves. --Akhilleus (talk) 02:52, 11 December 2006 (UTC)



Comment from Andrew Smith (Andyg4oep)[edit]

"Socrates tells Critias that there would be no shame in his just talking to the beautiful and popular boy, even if he were younger than he is."

This is utterly ambiguous and impossible to understand. "he" and "his" could refer to any of three individuals, and there is at present no way of disentangling them.

"If he were younger than..." suggests doubt about relative ages. Is this in doubt, or are the relative ages of the individuals known to all ?

Would the intended meaning of the sentence be conveyed by something such as this: - "Socrates tells Critias that he would like just to talk to the beautiful and popular boy, and that there would be no shame in doing so, even though Charmides is younger than Socrates." ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Andyg4oep (talkcontribs) 09:08, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Well, I don't know where the "just" came from, since Chaerophon suggests that Charmides should strip, as well. Socrates says that there would be nothing shameful in talking to Charmides with Critias present, since he is his cousin and guardian, even if Charmides were even younger than he is now. RJC Talk Contribs 15:38, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Hi RJC. Do your comments on the interpretation of this come from a reading of the original text ? If so, they have a claim to be authoritative, and I will accept your interpretation of "..even if he were younger than he is.".

With only the Wiki text to guide me, I understand that 'just' signifies that Socrates intends to talk, and nothing else, which under the circumstances might be contrary to our expectations.

Re my previous comments, would the original author of this passage please edit it so that we can follow his meaning ? Andy —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.32.50.77 (talk) 07:40, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, 155a. Socrates, speaking to Critias about Charmides, "even if he were younger still." RJC Talk Contribs 11:58, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

The meaning of ἐπίτροπος (epitropos)[edit]

Socrates informs the reader that Critias is the child's guardian or caretaker ("epitrophos"), a kind of parent surrogate, or in English, "babysitter" (155a).

It is not correct that ἐπίτροπος (epitropos) means 'babysitter' in English. Certainly, nowhere in his translation of Charmides does Jowett translate ἐπίτροπος as 'babysitter'. In brief, in Classical Attic Greek ἐπίτροπος means 'one to whom the charge of anything is entrusted, steward, trustee, administrator' (LSJ, Middle Liddell, Slater).[1]

LSJ, in full:

ἐπίτροπ-ος , ον, (ἐπιτρέπω )

A.one to whom the charge of anything is entrusted, steward, trustee, administrator, c.gen. rei, “τῶν ἑωυτοῦ” Hdt.1.108 ; “τῶν οἰκίων” Id.3.63 : abs., X.Oec.12.3, D.21.78, 27.19, Ev.Luc.8.3, etc.; steward, messman, X.Cyr.4.2.35 : metaph., “τῶν [τοῦ Πρωταγόρου] ἐ.” Pl.Tht.165a.

2. = Lat. procurator, “Καίσαρος ἐ.” Str.3.4.20, Plu.2.813e, etc.; ἐ. Σεβαστοῦ, -τῶν, OG1502.10 (Aezani, ii A.D.), 501.2 (Tralles, ii A.D.); “ἐ. τῆς Ἠπείρου” Arr.Epict.3.4.1 ; “τῶν μετάλλων” OG1678.5 (Egypt, ii A.D.), etc.

3. governor, viceroy, οἱ ἐ. τῆς Μέμφιος, Μιλήτου ἐ., Hdt.3.27,5.30, cf. 106.

4. executor, PPetr.3p.9, al.(iii B.C.).

II. c.gen.pers., trustee, guardian, Hdt.4.76, Th.2.80, etc.; “ἐ. τινι παίδων” Hyp.Epit.42 : abs., Pl.Lg.924b, etc.; “ὑπὸ ἐπιτρόπους εἶναι” Ep.Gal.4.2 ; “καθιστάναι ἐ.” PRyl.153.18(ii A.D.): metaph., guardian, protector, “θεὸς ἐ. ἐών” Pi.O.1.106.'Bold text'

Middle Liddell, in full:

ἐπίτροπος 1 ἐπιτρέπω

1.one to whom a charge is entrusted, a trustee, administrator, Hdt.: a governor, viceroy, id=Hdt., Dem.

2.a guardian, Hdt., Thuc.

Slater, in full:

ἐπίτροπος

1.guardian “θεὸς ἐπίτροπος ἐὼν τεαῖσι μήδεται —, Ἱέρων, μερίμναισιν” O. 1.106

101.162.162.5 (talk) 13:07, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ "Greek Word Study Tool". Follow PerseusDigLib on Twitter Perseus Digital Library. Retrieved 6 December 2014.