A Doctor and a Scholar

Rethinking the Philosophic Significance of Eryximachus in the "Symposium"

  • Ronald Ross
Keywords: philosophy, socrates, plato, medicine


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.

How to Cite
Ross, R. (2019). A Doctor and a Scholar: Rethinking the Philosophic Significance of Eryximachus in the "Symposium". Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal, 2(1), 67-74. Retrieved from https://openjournals.bsu.edu/stance/article/view/1735