This conversation is much like the Symposium held in Plato's work. Though most of the speeches given in Symposium were in lecture form, that is, not taking into account what others said, Socrates' speech was much like this philosophical conversation.
In his questioning Agathon and giving a speech that was a mixture of the previous speakers' best ideas; he created a more conversational atmosphere... displayed 300 characters
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Plato is suggesting throughout The Symposium, by having Socrates combine the ideas and refute previous ones, and by having Alcibiades enter abruptly (on page 61), that it is conversation which will lead to more pleasure than simply a one-sided speech. One must not only support one's own ideas; one must be open-minded, listen to others, and make judgments based upon rational thoughts... displayed next 300 characters
Socrates consulted the Oracle at Delphi (Know thyself) so we know that it is possible that Socrates would consult a priestess. Still, knowing that doesn't answer why Plato would select a woman to initiate Socrates into the mysteries of male, homoerotic desire...
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