Hipparchus (dialogue)

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The Hipparchus (/hɪˈpɑːrkəs/; Greek: Ἵππαρχος), or Hipparch, is a dialogue attributed to the classical Greek philosopher and writer Plato. There is some debate as to the work's authenticity. Stylistically, the dialogue bears many similarities to the Minos. They are the only dialogues between Socrates and a single anonymous companion; they are the only dialogues where the titles bear the name of someone long-dead; and they are the only dialogues which begin with Socrates raising a "what is" question.[1]

The primary aim of the dialogue is an attempt to define greed. A friend of Socrates argues that greed is a desire to profit from things of no value, but Socrates replies that no sensible man attempts to profit from worthless things, but inasfar as greed is a desire for profit, then it is a desire for the good, and thus everyone is greedy. The friend of Socrates thinks there is something wrong with Socrates' argument, but cannot say what is wrong with it.[2]

In the dialogue Socrates discusses Hipparchus, a tyrant of the 6th century BC. Thus there is another theme in the dialogue concerning intellectual honesty and fairness in dialectical discussion.[2]


  1. Thomas L. Pangle, (1987), The roots of political philosophy: ten forgotten Socratic dialogues, page 78. Cornell University Press
  2. 2.0 2.1 John Madison Cooper, D. S. Hutchinson, (1997), Plato, Complete works, page 609. Hackett Publishing.

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