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Sweet, David R., “Introduction to the Greater Hippias,” The Roots of Political Philosophy: Ten Forgotten Socratic Dialogues, ed. Thomas L. Pangle, Ithaca. In the Greater Hippias, Plato’s Socrates questions — “in order to see who is wise and who is not” (Apology 23b) — the Sophist Hippias of Elis. The Hippias Major The Hippias Major, Attributed to Plato. With Introductory Essay and Commentary by Dorothy Tarrant, M.A. + Cambridge.

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Then maybe what Hippixs occupies himself with is not “showy but worthless” foolishness. This utensil, when well wrought, is beautiful, but absolutely considered it does not deserve to be regarded as beautiful in comparison with a mare and a maiden and all the beautiful things. That is, I know because I know how we use the word ‘beauty’ — and it isn’t the way Plato presumes that we do.

If, then, we agree to that, he will laugh and say: We have then these alternatives — is the appropriate that which causes things to appear beautiful, or that which causes them to be so? Certainly, put your criticisms.

Plato’s Greater Hippias

He is a very close relative of mine and lives in the same house, and when I go home and he hears me give utterance to these opinions he asks me whether I am not ashamed of my audacity in talking about a beautiful way of lifewhen questioning makes rgeater evident that I do not even know the meaning of the word ‘beauty’.

In comparison to his view of Protagoras, Plato does not regard Hippias highly as a thinker. Certainly, to be sure, Socrates, for it is not hard to find. Look at it this way But look at it in this way was not the cause seen to be creating?

Cratylus. Parmenides. Greater Hippias. Lesser Hippias

And if we find it, that will be splendid, but if we do not, I shall, I suppose, accept my lot, and you will go away and find it easily. Hippias replies that he now too thinks that the “question about the laws is on a different footing”. greatdr


The Greater Hippias is an inferior dialogue in which Socrates argues with Hippias the Sophist about the beautiful. Your success, I admit [with no small amount of irony], is fine evidence of the yippias of the present generation compared with their predecessors, and it is a popular sentiment that the wise man must above all be wise for himself; of such wisdom the criterion is in the end the ability to make the most money.

Which in turn requires that the definition be refocused; beauty is only usefulness applied to good ends, or those that are “favourable”. They agree that beauty makes all beautiful things beautiful, but when Socrates presses him to say precisely what he means, Hippias is unable to deliver such a definition.

For example, a man may be a figure of fun, but when he wears clothes or shoes that fit well he does seem a finer [i. Plato’s presumption is that there is a property named ‘beauty’ that is given to other things by “a real existent entity” named ‘beauty’.

We shall reply, By no means. Because that pleasure is beautiful” — or, in other words, it amounts to saying: Besides, gold or any other precious metal only gives rise to beauty if it is properly used. It is made, I think, with a view to benefit, but sometimes hipppias does positive harm if it is ill made.

After hearing them once, I can remember fifty names. Is it, then, for grsater reason, because each is a pleasure and both are pleasures, that they would be beautiful? For this reason you fail to observe that embodiments of reality are by nature so great and undivided.

Because I have never tried to find it. That man will question me something like this.

Hippias Major – Wikipedia

Socrates is an odd number, and Hippias is an odd number, and Socrates and Hippias together are an even number; etc. Come, then, Hippias, let me rehearse to myself what you say. And they tell similar tales about others among the ancients. What are the various forms of poetry and the other arts, and which ones should be fostered and which ones should be discouraged?


But to me [who never wears shoes Phaedrus a ] it does not matter if I am mixed up with that fellow; so fortify me with your instruction, and for my sake answer the questions. Plato, Benjamin Jowett – translator Narrated by: For how could we dare to deny that the beautiful thing is beautiful?

Now, however, give me a brief answer to a question about your discourse, for you reminded me of the beautiful just at the right moment. But Hippias responds that undoubtedly they desire it. Ledger, in Re-counting Plato Oxford carried out a computer text analysis and though not conclusive ” On balance the evidence for genuineness is fairly convincing “.

Certainly for what you say is well said, Socrates.

Plato’s Greater Hippias – Selections – Comments

Are you incapable of remembering what I asked about beauty itself, that which gives the property of being beautiful to everything to which it is added — to stone and wood, and man, and god, and every action and every branch of learning?

The Dialogue is set in Crete, and the three men embark on a pilgrimage from Knossus to the cave of Dicte, where, legend reports, Zeus was born. So this definition meets the same fate as those we discussed earlier — the maiden and the pot — it is an even more ludicrous failure, offering that which is beautiful to some men, and not to others.