Abstract Petrucci (36/2012)

Plato’s Hippias minor still represents a puzzling work with respect to both its general interpretation and the philosophical meaning of its conclusion. Often do scholars leave aside a notion, which is implicitly and explicitly evoked by the characters and plays a fundamental role in the production of its arguments and its striking conclusion. This is the notion of virtue. The argumentative structure of Plato’ s Hippias minor, in fact, seems fashioned with the aim of showing that the “traditional virtue” must be overtaken by means of the “moral virtue”. In this way, Plato emphasizes both the ambiguities re­Iated to this notion and (above all) the inadequacy of the “traditional virtue” in the new context of his moral theory.