A therapeutic approach to reading the Socratic literature of the 4th century B.C. is based on the assumption that Socrates appears in Socratic dialogues not only as a persistent investigator or as a paradigm of ethical behaviour, but also as a therapist. Socrates cures the souls of his loved companions. Therapeia in Plato’s Charades is a mask which Socrates deploys to force the young Charmides to examine the excellence (aretê). At the same time therapeia is a metaphor for Socratic dialogue as an art of curing through speeches (logo). Reading the prologue 153a-158d of Charades as a dramatic genre the paper tries to outline the possible meaning of Socratic “speech therapy” in the context of a profound examination of excellence (aretê) as the care for the self and the others.
Care for the self, Plato’s Charmides, Sôphrosunê, Therapeutic function of Socratic dialogues