Monday, November 30th, 2015
Translated by Alexander Nehamas and Paul Woodruff
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May 11, 2016 at 4:19 am
Antonio and Kait, I wonder what you make (in light (!) of Socrates’ speech here) of Derrida’s reminder that writing is an imitation of speech. That is, that writing is by nature a mimicry, rather than “the real thing.”
See in context
February 4, 2016 at 9:07 pm
February 4, 2016 at 9:03 pm
FROM ANTONIO: Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but Socrates seems to emphasize the difference between the internal and the external here, recalling an earlier passage where love is “absorbed” within the lover ( G. ¶ 6). It seems consistent with Plato’s notion of light as a stream of particles to think that a physical transmission of substance is required for the subject to make beauty one’s own.
Wisdom may have the same requirement, with the wind of speech rather than the light of images being its transmission medium. Though light carries the written word in through the eyes, it carries “signs that belong to others” rather than speech, the latter Socrates apparently considers more immediate.
February 4, 2016 at 9:02 pm
FROM ANTONIO: Could a piece of writing be just such an “image of wisdom,” capable of awaking “terribly powerful love”?
If so, would the reversed direction of the love transaction diminish the benefits attributed to love in the second half of this speech? That is to say, could Lysias, embodied in his scroll, be an appropriate object of Phaedrus’ love rather than a lover, providing Phaedrus a sort of back-love in the way one might feel love from cherished book.
January 26, 2016 at 2:15 am
What is the difference between the appearance of wisdom and the reality of wisdom that Socrates is trying to establish here?
Is he saying that actual learning can only happen through discourse, and not through reading/writing?
Can we relate this to the Shimer moto of “not what to think but how” ?
January 17, 2016 at 12:31 am
In fact, come to think of it, one might ask if Plato had a motive in raising this question of “authorship” in the first place.
January 17, 2016 at 12:30 am
What is the effect of this opening? We are immediately present to the action here, as opposed to other dialogues (e.g. The Republic or the Phaedo) in which a frame narrative indicating the speaker and sometimes their situation vis a vis the action of the dialogue are all made evident from the outset.
January 17, 2016 at 12:12 am
Isocrates (436-338 B.C.) was an Athenian teacher and orator whose school was more famous in its day than Plato’s Academy.
January 17, 2016 at 12:11 am
Gardens of Adonis were pots or window boxes used for forcing plants during the festival of Adonis.
As king of the Egyptian gods, Ammon (Thamus) was identified by Egyptians with the sun god Ra and by the Greeks with Zeus.
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