CriticaLink | Plato: Phaedrus | Terms


The Greek word sophrosyne means something like "prudence," "self-control," or "temperance". In the Phaedrus, Socrates applies the term to the state of mind of those who are able to control their impulses to immediate gratification in the presence of beauty. He contrasts sophrosyne with hubris the loss of control, "shamelessness", or "arrogance" that causes the individual to seek pleasure and gratification regardless of the cost.