3.5.2 Charmides (132r – 137r)



In his early work, — perhaps written when Phililp was still helping Plato edit LAWS — Aristotle does ironic work with the front end of the name ‘Speusippos’, one of the ‘-ippos’ family, so the irony may be compounded, Speusippos and Philippos being rhetorically demoted together.   Proclus couples the two youngish platonists (neither one the young Aristotle).   He cleverly contrives to  call them ‘Speusippos kai Amphinomos’  [Friedlein edn  p. 77,15], and thus couples them, but avoids the overly clever punning on names.  Proclus manages thus to steer away from encoding the two names so as to make them both ‘-ippos’ men.

Eudoxus’s academic astronomer-colleague Kallippos fits under the same name-suffix.  Kallippus of course shares in several of the special facets with both Aristotle and Philip:   all 3 are adept at astronomy, so Aristotle in his Met. Lambda review of planetary motions and their causes.   It is surprising that Leonardo Taran, omits the pair Kallippos/Eudoxos in his tract on the famous phrase, from both Rep. X and from Aristotle elsewhere :  ‘amicus Plato, sed magis amica Veritas’.    Aristotle in Met Lambda works the variation we ma paraphrase as ‘amici sunt Kalippos et Eudoxos, sed magis amica akribeia’  “both Kalippos and Eudoxus are friends, but what lets me prefer one to the other is his closer approach to complete accuracy [sc. about the number of ‘spheres’ his theory requires for the cosmic orrery of the sky].

Diogenes Laertius is later to take sides with those who attribute to the ‘Socrates’ of Lives of Eminent Men II, 47, his writing on physical topics, following Anaxagoras  but also, continues DL, setting forth his own Ionian-like views, rather than echo those of Anaxagoras [the famous matter of ‘meteoroscopy and study of the earth beneath’.   Famously this was made part of what the Apology  refutes and disowns.  But that was another Socrates at issue, so says DL.  Do consider this set of pointers to a youngish Aristotle writing allusively about Amphinomus and Speusippus:


Speusippos, Arist’s ironic use of first syllable in his name EN IV,8 1125a14 r2


Who was the man with the Socrates-like name in DL II, 46, father who bequeathed his patronymic to Anaxagoras ?  Σωσιβίος can DL have incautiously allowed grandfather and grandson to exchange names ?   Swzein tou biou theme opens Charmides.   ‘How, O Saving-power man, did you save your life ?  Answer:  just as (=ws) you see me here.