Rethinking agreement in Plato

ὁμολογεῖν with a personal subject can be used (1) for a speech act of affirming and (2) for promising. My focus in this talk will be on use (1), where it is standardly translated as ‘agree (that such and such)’. It is heavily used in Plato’s dialogues both to report the interlocutor’s responses and in questions or comments from the questioner (whether Socrates or another). I shall argue that (despite the ὁμο-prefix), when A. records or asks for a ὁμολογεῖν from another speaker B., A. does not imply that B. expressed a view shared by A. or by anyone else. So the translation ‘agree’ may be misleading.
Why does this matter? I present some texts where a correct understanding of the implications of ὁμολογεῖν makes a difference to our interpretation. I suggest that some understandings of the nature of Socratic questioning have been affected by what I regard as the incorrect assumption that Socrates is asking for agreement with his own views when he asks for an interlocutor’s ὁμολογεῖν. Among the texts I’ll present to show that Plato can use ὁμολογεῖν (1) to indicate an expression of belief which is not shared either by the speaker or any other person will be some from Euthydemus (295a, 301c-d).