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Section 1 (153a–157c)
Section 2 (157c–162b)
Section 3 (162b–165e)
Section 4 (165e–169c)
Section 5 (169c–172c)
Section 6 (172c–176d)
Philosophical Themes, Arguments, and Ideas
Suggestions for Further Reading
Suggested Essay Topics
How to Cite This SparkNote
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1. What organization is Socrates returning from at the beginning of the dialogue?
The Delphic Prophets
2. What do Socrates's friends ask him about first upon his arrival?
His latest philosophy
His love for Charmides
His trip back
A recent battle
3. Who is Charmides' "guardian"?
4. Which two major qualities does
Agility and grace
Piety and bravery
Temperance and grace
Temperance and bravery
5. What makes Socrates feel a "wild-beast appetite"?
The possibility of learning from the wise
A glimpse beneath Charmides' robes
His first look at Charmides
6. Why does Socrates claim to be a bad judge of beauty in youths?
Because all youths seem beautiful to him
Because he's getting old
Because he doesn't want to share his opinion of Charmides
Because beauty is nothing without wisdom
7. What illness does Charmides complain of?
8. Where does Socrates claim to have gotten his "charm" cure from?
The Delphic oracle
9. What question opens the Socrates dialogue with Charmides?
What is temperance?
Does Charmides possess temperance?
How can one teach self-knowledge?
What good does self-knowledge do?
10. What is Charmides' first definition of temperance?
11. Who does Socrates quote as saying, "Modesty is not good for a needy man"?
12. What does Socrates claim about the definition of temperance as "doing our own business"?
It is false
It echoes what the poets have said
It is a riddle
It does not apply to the ideal State
13. Who does Critias quote on the nature of work?
14. Which "sciences" serve as Socrates's two most frequent examples in the
Craftsman and physicians
Architects and craftsmen
Philosophers and physicians
Craftsmen and philosophers
15. What does Critias claim about the true nature of the Delphic oracle's statement, "Know thyself"?
It is a prophecy
It is impossible
It is a greeting
It is a metaphor
16. What does Critias object to in Socrates's manner of argument?
He never reaches a conclusion
He is too long-winded
He is missing in the point
He is only interested in refutation
17. Critias initially proposes that temperance is a science of what?
Of the good
A man's self
The other sciences
18. Which example does Socrates see as a possible case of something defined by self- relation?
The power of fire to burn
The power of the eye to see
The power of the physician to heal
The power of philosophy to pursue knowledge
19. Why does Socrates claim to keep the discussion going after he perplexes Critias?
In the interest of knowledge
Because Critias has a reputation to maintain
Because Charmides is present
Because a solution seems near
20. A major problem with the knowledge of knowledge is that the man who has it knows
he knows, but cannot know what?
How he knows
Why he knows
What he knows
When he knows
21. What figure does Critias's nitpicky distinctions between working, doing, and making remind Socrates of?
22. How does Socrates introduce his anxiety about the idea of the perfect, wisdom- governed state?
As a dream
As a prophecy
As a philosophy
As a riddle
23. What does Socrates worry might be missing from the perfect, wisdom-governed state?
24. What is the problem, by the end of the dialogue, with Socrates's "charm" to produce temperance?
It hasn't worked for Charmides
It appears to be useless
Charmides already has temperance
Temperance hasn't been defined yet
25. What relation to Socrates does Charmides occupy by then end of the dialogue?
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