1. Diogenus Laertius, III, 30, quoted by Ute Schmidt-Berger 1985, pp. 135.
2. Rosen 1987, pp. 221-263. 3. The theme of prior descent is implicit in the more general Platonic procedure of creating aporia as the precondition of authentic inquiry. The first step of vir- tually any of the dialogues is decisively negative: Socrates elicits opinions in order to refute them and thereby create the acknowledgment of ignorance that must precede the search for truth. This is accomplished in the Symposium simply by letting the speeches of the sophists and poets precede the speech of Socrates- Diotima.
4. Krüger, G. 1973, p. 179.
5. Compare the applause and speechlessness that followed Agathon's poetic flourishes with Aristophanes' willingness to follow immediately upon Socrates' speech with a question and defense of his own position. Socrates' speech gener- ated further discourse in a way in which Agathon's speech did not.
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