Volume 19, Issue 2, 2019
Investigating the terms of transition from a dialogue to dialectics in Plato’s Charmides
In this article, following the introductory chapters of the Platonic dialogue Charmides (153a1-154b7), we attempt to investigate the terms of transition from a simple dialogue to dialectics. Interpreting the expressive means used, we attempt to explain how Plato goes from historicity to systematicity, in order to create the appropriate conditions to build a definition about a fundamental virtue as well as to set the criteria to be followed in a philosophical debate. Our study is divided in two sections, each of which is also divided in two subsections. In the first section, we investigate the historical context of the dialogue and the terms of transition from a single dialogue to dialectics. In the second section, we attempt to define according to Socrates’ judgments the mental and moral quality of the young men as well as the terms and conditions of the right interlocutor. At the end of each section, we present a table of concepts to bring to light the conceptual structures that Plato builds, which reveal the philosophical development in this dialogue.