Lesher, James, Debra Nails, and Frisbee Sheffield, eds. 2007. Plato's Symposium: Issues in Interpretation and Reception. Hellenic Studies Series 22. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_LesherJ_NailsD_SheffieldF_eds.Symposium_Interpretation_Reception.2007.
Two: The Role of the Earlier Speeches in the Symposium: Plato’s Endoxic Method?
1. The Speeches
2. Socrates’ Critique
Since Socrates says that he will speak differently from his predecessors (199b2–5), in a way that privileges the truth, we may be tempted to see a sharp break in the text between the “rhetorical and poetical [and] the dialectical” (Jowett; cf. Bury1932, Dover 1980, and Rowe 1998a). If there is such a break, then does this imply that, from a philosophical perspective, the previous accounts are “fanciful performances,” with little to offer to our understanding of erôs? Since such a break might make it difficult to entertain the possibility that Socrates’ speech is continuous with those of his peers, I need to examine this critique with care.
3. Continuity and Resolution?
There is some dispute about whether Aristotle’s procedure is endoxic in a weak or strong sense and, if so, in just what works. The details of this dispute will not concern me here.  The above passages from the ethical treatises certainly suggest a rather strong view. Reputable views or appearances ground the course of the inquiry: “with this as a starting-point we must give some sort of proof about these matters,” and “if we both resolve the difficulties and leave the reputable opinions (endoxa) undisturbed, we shall have proved the case sufficiently.” At any rate, we can use this to demarcate a third position, which gives the most substantive role to endoxa. On such a view, one aims to create as little disturbance for the endoxa as possible. Such views are seen to carry a certain evidential status, and it is as such that they are employed in a philosophical account.  In the following I will offer a brief and rather dogmatic sketch of Socrates’ speech with an eye on how the things said previously are employed in that account.
4. Endoxic Method?