|Dramatic Date:||after the Symposium (416), probably after 412 (when Lysias returned to Athens); but before 399 (death of Socrates).|
|Characters:||Socrates, an Athenian gadfly, in his late 50's (?)
Protagoras, a sophist, one of the guests at Agathon's symposium.
[ Lysias the famous speechwriter and fighter for the democracy. He was made an Athenian citizen in 403, as gratitude for his assistance in getting rid of the 30 Tyrants, but was soon deprived of it again by an ungrateful and arrogant Democracy.]
|Topic:||peri` kalou~ (`beauty') type: ethikos
(in fact about rhetoric, the soul, etc.; with important remarks about mania and human psychology)
|Mise en scène:||Socrates meets Protagoras as the latter is heading out from the house of for an afternoon walk.|
Phaedrus has a speech of Lysias in his head, which he has been practicing. Socrates wants to hear it. They walk along the Ilissos and sit down under a plane tree.
The function of myths (cf. 235a-d)
Recitation of the Speech of Lysias On Love by Phaedrus:
A. The Lover (Erastes) and the Beloved (Eromenos) (230-232)
(1) Fickleness in the beloved.
(1) Indiscretion and foolishness (shame-embarassment)
(1) Constancy of the lover without reciprocation.
Socrates' Judgment concerning Lysias and his speech (234d-235b)
Socrates' First Discourse on Eros (I)
(A) General principle: There must be a definition, an understanding about what the thing is which is being debated. (237b- 237d)
(A) Domination by desire, passions; twisting the beloved around so that he can be controlled (perversion of the intellect ). Exploitation. Not profitable for the boy.
Socrates' Second Discourse on Eros
(1) Mania and its various manifestations. Sometimes a great benefit for human beings. A special kind of divine mania (connected with eros) can make a human being seem divine.
(2) Nature of the soul:
-origin of the mania of eros
The Charioteer (253c-256e)
Politicians and speechmaking: Rhetoric and the Sophists
The ‘Myth of the Cicadas’ (258e-260d)
Distinction: ‘What is just’/ ‘What is thought just by those giving judgment’ (260a)
Oratory: Is it ‘good’ or just ‘clever’?
An attack on the practice of rhetoric, especially by politicians, whose concern is not virtue, but advantage (compare the Lover and the Beloved).
(A) Public harangues, persuasion at will. (261b-e)
Everything is made out to be like everything else.
(B) Wide and narrow definition: misleading others and misleading oneself. Malicious (261e-262c)
(C) The art of definition (262c-269e)
(1) Systematic division: (263b)
The Nature of the Soul
All arts need to study nature. Distinction: episteme vs doxa
Rhetoric is like (or should be like) medicine.
Definition of episteme (270d)
Function of Oratory: `to influence men's souls'
The Good Orator must know the soul (271a-272b)
Praise of Lysias, Homer, Solon
Young Isocrates and his prospects as a truthful rhetorician (278e-279b)
|X.||Epilogue: The Philosopher's Prayer
John Paul Adams, CSUN