Plato on Homer: Heroic Liars and the Concept of Injustice in «Hippias Minor»

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The article addresses Plato’s dialog Hippias minor as a text investigating the possibility of alternative models of morality presented by Homeric heroes Achilles and Odysseus. We study the way Socrates’ thought going from examples of particular acts to the level of moral abstractions. While on the level of concrete cases the acts of «heroic liars» seem to contradict certain principles of morality the further we go to its abstract core the greater is the gap between what is moral on its surface and what is moral indeed. Thus we see how Socrates comes from ethical question to metaphysical one which is found within the former.

J D Wilson

The Catholic University of America School of Philosophy

Email: wilsonjd@cua.ed


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