If the Republic displays how a rhetoric of need might proceed successfully, the Phaedrus
is instructive in the way in which such a rhetoric can fail.
Comfortably perched under the tree by the river, seeking shelter from the scorching summer in Athens, the young Phaedrus
appears shocked, wondering how the usually sober and detached Socrates is so 'totally out of place.'
The most demanding readers will love the exciting narrative, Slapsak's haikulike concision in her descriptions of nature, the sharp-minded and rhythmically organized dialogues, all while continuosly discovering the importance of Plato's Phaedrus
and the rich knowledge of numerous intertextual and interarts connections.
Despite the ambivalence Socrates expressed about the use of writing in Phaedrus
, his student Plato's intellectual revolution away from image-thinking and toward abstract thought would've been impossible without the technology of writing.
Hermias' commentary on the Phaedrus
is the only example of the Neoplatonic commentaries on this dialogue to have survived in its entirety, say Baltzly and Share, though many Neoplatonic commentaries are known.
Plato in the Phaedrus
, for example, talks about the typology of madness; in the discussion at Phaedrus
249 the discussion has turned to the philosopher who is inspired and so has a kind of knowledge not arrived at through reasoning whom, because they do not know the philosopher is inspired, the crowd considers to be mad.
In the lecture later, ironically, recorded in writing as "Phaedrus
," the ancient Greek philosopher said written words divorced information from its original spoken source, and said writing things down would irreversibly weaken people's memories.
: A Defense of a Philosophic Art of Writing.
Before he leaves, he hands Laurie one of Plato's' most interesting dialogues, Phaedrus
. The book will serve as a talisman as Laurie later serves in the Navy in the Second World War.
In Plato's Phaedrus
, Socrates relates how Theuth, the Egyptian god of invention, tells King Thamus that writing will enhance the memory and wisdom of its users.
In Plato's Phaedrus
, Socrates tells the story of the ancient Egyptian deity Theuth, who invented the arts of mathematics, astronomy, and writing.
More particularly, the reference is to Plato's Phaedrus
, when Phaedrus
tells Socrates that he has been learning Lysias's discourse but wonders whether he will be able to remember and recite it adequately, at which point Socrates states that Phaedrus
would never have decided to go for a walk if he had not already learnt the discourse by heart: "[Socrates:] when he [Phaedrus] was tired with sitting, he went out to take a walk, not until, by the dog, as I believe, he had simply learned by heart the entire discourse" (Plato, Phaedrus