My dissertation is an interpretation of Plato’s Hippias Major, in which Socrates investigates τό καλόν (usually translated as “the beautiful” or “the noble”). My reading of the Hippias Major focuses on the importance of appearing beautiful, to others and thereby to oneself, and reveals the way in which the impulse to appear beautiful is connected to the desire for the immortal preservation of oneself and one’s own. The impulse to appear beautiful is essential to political life, insofar as the pleasure of praise effects a kind of harmony between the private good and the common. This impulse, however, is also a fundamental impediment to Socratic philosophy, as it prevents the critical examination of oneself and one’s opinions, while hindering a truly erotic experience of the beautiful. In examining these issues, my dissertation seeks to establish the Hippias Major’s connection to and consonance with other more popular Platonic dialogues, such as the Republic, Symposium, and Phaedo.