A Doctor and a Scholar
Rethinking the Philosophic Significance of Eryximachus in the "Symposium"
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.
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All articles are licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial No-Derivatives 4.0 International license.