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Symposium 200 b9-c5

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Symposium 200 b9-c5

Postby Bart » Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:36 pm

εἰ γὰρ καὶ ἰσχυρὸς ὢν βούλοιτο ἰσχυρὸς εἶναι, φάναι τὸν Σωκράτη, καὶ ταχὺς ὢν ταχύς, καὶ ὑγιὴς ὢν ὑγιής—ἴσως γὰρ ἄν τις ταῦτα οἰηθείη καὶ πάντα τὰ τοιαῦτα τοὺς ὄντας τε τοιούτους καὶ ἔχοντας ταῦτα τούτων ἅπερ ἔχουσι καὶ ἐπιθυμεῖν, ἵν᾽ οὖν μὴ ἐξαπατηθῶμεν, τούτου ἕνεκα λέγω— τούτοις γάρ, ὦ Ἀγάθων, εἰ ἐννοεῖς, ἔχειν μὲν ἕκαστα τούτων ἐν τῷ παρόντι ἀνάγκη ἃ ἔχουσιν, ἐάντε βούλωνται ἐάντε μή, καὶ τούτου γε δήπου τίς ἂν ἐπιθυμήσειεν;

I struggled long and hard with this sentence, but I'm almost there, I think, except for the last bit -καὶ τούτου γε δήπου τίς ἂν ἐπιθυμήσειεν;- What is τίς doing here? It must be an enclitic indefinite pronoun/ adjective (instead of an interrogative pronoun); but if adjective, I do not see what it is referring to, and if a pronoun I don't understand how it fits in the sentence.
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Re: Symposium 200 b9-c5

Postby Qimmik » Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:25 am

I'm not sure I understand the whole passage, but isn't τίς in the final clause an interrogative pronoun? -- "who would desire that?" τίς with acute accent is interrogative, and the clause ends with a question mark.
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Re: Symposium 200 b9-c5

Postby NateD26 » Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:41 am

As Qimmik noted, ἐπιθυμήσειεν is 3rd sg. opt. and it would be reasonable to assume τίς is its
interrogative subject. The sentence ends with ; which is the Greek conventional question-mark.

From what I understand, the gist of the sentence is Socrates' statement that people who already
possess certain physical attributes, still wish to possess these attributes. But, he asks, who would desire
to have what is already in his/her grasp?

According to R.G. Bury, the paragraph leading to 200c, is about wanting and desiring pertaining
to the future -- keeping/maintaining what we now possess --, not to the present.

I struggle to explain δήπου here. This question does not, as stated in Smyth 2850,
and is often the case, expects a positive answer. Its sole purpose is to oppose any such notion
that these people's desires pertain to the present. Harold N. Fowler (Cambridge, 1925) read it
as "and how, I ask, is a man going to desire that?" He then immediately inserted "No" for the following
ἀλλ᾽ ὅταν τις...
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Re: Symposium 200 b9-c5

Postby Qimmik » Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:54 am

"and who would desire that?" i.e., who would desire to have something he already has?

δήπου - this isn't a yes/no question. So here δήπου doesn't presuppose a positive answer.
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Re: Symposium 200 b9-c5

Postby NateD26 » Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:28 am

Qimmik wrote:"and who would desire that?" i.e., who would desire to have something he already has?

δήπου - this isn't a yes/no question. So here δήπου doesn't presuppose a positive answer.

I'll grant you that. But what is its meaning in this question?
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Re: Symposium 200 b9-c5

Postby Bart » Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:44 am

The problem with τίς as an interrogative pronoun in my view is that ἐπιθυμήσειεν is a 3 plur aor opt (not singular), so you would expect τίνες instead.
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Re: Symposium 200 b9-c5

Postby Bart » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:01 am

The gist of the argument appears to be something like this: it is (logically) necessary that an X man (fill in strong/ fast/ healthy) is X (strong/ fast/ healthy) whether he wants it or not, and desiring what is a (logical) necessity is absurd. But it is not a necessity that this situation will last in the future. So when an X man says he wants to be X, he actually means that he wants to remain X.
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Re: Symposium 200 b9-c5

Postby IreneY » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:28 am

Bart I think you confused the forms (easy, they are similar).
ἐπιθυμήσειεν is 3rd person sing
ἐπιθυμήσειαν is 3rd person pl

Did that horrible verb (ειμί) confuse you?
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Re: Symposium 200 b9-c5

Postby Bart » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:52 am

Doh! Yes, of course. Strange how you can get so completely stuck on something already known. Thanks!
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Re: Symposium 200 b9-c5

Postby Qimmik » Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:33 pm

But what is its meaning in this question?


I think here δήπου implies that the answer is obvious: "and of course who would desire that?"

Denniston (p.267) suggests that it's "virtually equivalent to 'of course'."

LSJ:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0058%3Aentry%3Ddh%2Fpou
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