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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Phaedrus by Plato. Phaedrus by Plato ,.
Alexander Nehamas Translator. Paul Woodruff Translator. The translation is faithful in the very best sense: it reflects both the meaning and the beauty of the Greek text.
The footnotes are always helpful, never obtrusive. A one-page outline is useful since there are no editorial additions to mark major divisions in the dialogue. An appendix "A superb translation that captures the rhetorical brilliance of the Greek.
An appendix containing fragments of early Greek love poetry helps the reader appreciate the rich, and perhaps elusive, meaning of eros. The entire Introduction is crisply written, and the authors' erudition shines throughout, without a trace of pedantry. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title.
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Why are Phaedo and Phaedrus included as different editions of the same book when they're entirely separate dialogues? See 2 questions about Phaedrus…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Phaedrus. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet. It is compared with Gorgias in sharing its principal theme, the nature and limitations of rhetoric, and with Symposium in being devoted to the nature and value of erotic love.
The connection with Republic is more tenuous, though it contributes to the criticism of the arts of Rhetoric. Also, the psychology illustrated here by the image of the charioteer and the two horses is fully compatible with the tripartite psychology of Republic and even clarifies an important ambiguity in it. The conversation that takes place between Phaedrus and Socrates is both interrupted and motivated by three speeches - one by Lysias, and then two extemporized by Socrates himself in response, inspired to employ his knowledge of philosophy in crafting two speeches on the subject of erotic love, to show how paltry is the best effort on the same subject of the best orator in Athens, Lysias, who knows no philosophy.
It is far more interesting than its popular meaning! You should know that the friendship of a lover arises without any good will at all. No, like food, its purpose is to sate hunger. The Palinode thus gives a less one-sided view of love - a view in which love and reason can go hand in hand, in which love is not entirely selfish but can be associated with educational and moral values, and in which, at the same time, passion and desire find their proper place.
In order fully to praise love, Plato felt that he had to explain its place in the metaphysical life of a human being - through a myth, as usual. After these three speeches, the conversation turns to the value of rhetoric in general, and what could be done to make it a true branch of expertise or knowledge.
On Rhetoric: An Aside A dialogue earlier than Phaedrus, Gorgias, is devoted to rhetoric and to the contrast between the rival ways of life philosophy and rhetoric promote. Now, this too is a reference to Gorgias, where rhetoric was defined in just these terms. Plato does not really seem have changed his mind about it since Gorgias. There are two main overt topics in the dialogue——rhetoric and love. The lovers are said to try to persuade their beloveds to follow a divine pattern - this is the highest educational aspect of love.
Thus the dialogue is about love and rhetoric, as it seems to be, but they are connected because both are forms of "soul-leading" - both are educational. So for this reviewer, the question of which to focus on - of Rhetoric or Love - is redundant. A focus on either should serve the purpose, and the focus for the rest of this review will be on Love.
Rhetoric got its space in the Gorgias review. Love: The Guiding Light of Philosophers The first two speeches raise the question whether or not love is a good thing, and the rest of the dialogue answers the question in the affirmative. This educational potential will be fulfilled provided the pair channel their energies into mutual education; this is the proper context of the praise lavished on the combination of philosophy and love.
More importantly, the even more educated criticism has to be addressed: that it is about Homoerotic love. For this, we need to take a look at the Athenian society of the time: First, the Athenians rarely married for love: a wife was for bearing children, while slave-girls were used for extra sex.
Love, then, was more likely to be met outside marriage——and it might be a younger man who aroused it. Second, with women being seen more or less entirely as sex-objects, Plato clearly felt that it was all too easy to get caught by the physical side of a heterosexual relationship.
However, since Athenian society did place a slight stigma on the sexual side of a homoerotic relationship, a lover might well hesitate before consummating the relationship in this way——and such hesitation, vividly portrayed in Phaedrus, meant that there was at least the opportunity for the sexual energy to be channelled towards higher, spiritual or educational purposes. It was, in effect, a form of education. Greek education was pitiful: restricted to upper-class boys, and taught no more than the three Rs, sport, Homer and the lyric poets, and the ability to play a musical instrument.
In a peculiar way, the Athenian institution of homoerotic affairs filled a gap by providing a boy with a more realistic grasp of local culture and worldly wisdom. This is also the most useful and logical POV for this reviewer to adopt to understand the dialogue best. This is particularly true when it comes to the interconnected Myths that populate these three dialogues. In the Myth, we are incarnated as humans if the attempt was not fully successful, doomed for thousands of years.
Beauty alone has this privilege, to be the most clearly visible and the most loved - and thus the trigger for the Quest for meaning. Love as remembrance should also find ready acceptance among Proust readers. In the palinode, love and memory are critically connected: love is our reaction to the half-remembered Form of Beauty and of Truth. The starting-point is the perception of beauty on earth, and the consequent recollection of Beauty seen before.
In short, love prompts recollection, recollection is the precondition for knowledge, and knowledge is the precondition for the right handling of words. In this way, all the major themes of the dialogue tie together. One of the horses is good, the other not; one white, noble and the aide of Reason, the other unruly, Black and crazed with desire.
In Phaedrus he gives an astonishing analysis of what, in his view, is really happening beneath the surface of a love-affair, and focuses particularly on its ecstatic aspects - the ability of love to get us to transcend our normal bounds.
Thus, the non-intellectual elements of the soul were necessary sources of motivational energy and that the passions, and the actions inspired by them, are intrinsically valuable components of the best human life. The intensity of the experience of philosophical love, as Plato sees it, is precisely the intensity of the simultaneous presence in the lover of passion.
To return to the course of the myth, we are told in the second part about the development of a human love-affair. The nature of the love-affair depends entirely, we hear, on how removed the philosopher-partner is from the world how ascetic he is, in a sense : if he is fully mired in his body, all he will want is sex with the beautiful beloved who arouses his love, but if he is a philosopher the vision of worldly beauty will remind him of heavenly Beauty, and his soul will grow wings and aspire to return to the region beyond heaven where he first caught sight of true Beauty.
But Plato stresses that the philosophic lover will not want this just for himself: being attracted to someone like himself——that is, to a potential philosopher——he wants to bring out this potential in his partner. Thus, not only does the philosophical lover educate his partner, but he also educates himself: he ascends the ladder only by pulling someone else up on to the rung he has vacated. The educational aspect of philosophy is here properly fulfilled. The implication is that the kind of lover you are on earth depends, to a large extent, on how philosophic you are, how receptive you are to the vision of Beauty.
It depends entirely on you if Love opens the window to Philosophy. Is it no more than it appears to be, or is it something deeper? In Symposium he answers that love is a universal force that energizes and motivates us in whatever we do, because its object is something we perceive as good for ourselves.
Its object, self-evidently at least, for Plato and his fellow Greeks , is beauty. The ultimate, deepest aim of Love, Plato says, is immortality - self-procreation in a beautiful environment. The highest manifestation of this is not the physical procreation of offspring, but the perpetuation of ideas in an educational environment in which the lover takes on the education of the beloved.
This is the position taken for granted in Phaedrus. There is also a more prosaic and non-mythical way to approach the message in Phaedrus: As Plato makes plain elsewhere, when he says that someone desires something, he means that he lacks something. Someone in love has an inkling of his own imperfection, and is impelled to try to remedy the defect. Love can make philosophers of any of us.
ISBN 13: 9783525304372
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Phaidros by Platon
The titles included in this exceptional series gather the masterworks of some of world literature's most celebrated names. Painstaking translations from the original English, German, Greek, and Russian preserve the essence of these classics for a Spanish-speaking audience, and the books themselves are elegantly and impeccably bound, as befits the contents. Whether drama, fiction, or philosophy, these magnum opera provide windows into social and historical contexts considerably different to the present day. Platon Plato was a Classical Greek philosopher and mathematician. A student of Socrates, he founded the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Convert currency.
Phaidros , written by Plato , is a dialogue between Plato's protagonist , Socrates , and Phaedrus , an interlocutor in several dialogues. Socrates runs into Phaedrus on the outskirts of Athens. Phaedrus has just come from the home of Epicrates of Athens , where Lysias , son of Cephalus , has given a speech on love. Socrates, stating that he is "sick with passion for hearing speeches", [Note 1] walks into the countryside with Phaedrus hoping that Phaedrus will repeat the speech.