ABSTRACT This paper traces out the lineaments of a popular Aesop tradition behind and within Plato's characterization of Socrates in his dialogues. It attempts thereby to expose the mimetic origins of philosophic prose writing (at least partly) in the lowly and abjected fabular discourse of Aesop, which Platonic dialogue strategically appropriates and disavows to constitute “philosophy” as an autonomous, transcendent domain of inquiry.

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