This book is a re-reading of Plato's early dialogues from the point of view of the characters with whom Socrates engages in debate. Socrates' interlocutors are generally acknowledged to play important dialectical and dramatic roles, but no previous book has focused mainly on them. Existing studies are thoroughly dismissive of the interlocutors and reduce them to the status of mere mouthpieces for views which are hopelessly confused or demonstrably false. This book takes interlocutors seriously and treats them as genuine intellectual opponents whose views are often more defensible than commentators have standardly thought. The author's purpose is not to summarise their positions or the arguments of the dialogues in which they appear, much less to produce a series of biographical sketches, but to investigate the phenomenology of philosophical disputation as it manifests itself in the early dialogues.
'This is an absolutely splendid book. Beautifully written, very original, entertaining, considerate, compassionate.' Myles Burnyeat ' ... one of the best book on Socrates to appear in many years.' David Sedley