Plato's Phaedrus on Love and Speechmaking

Jun 27, 2016, 10:12 PM

Socrates hangs out in the country flirting with his buddy Phaedrus. And what is this "Platonic" love you've all heard about? Well, you use the enticement of desire not to rush toward fulfillment, but to get all excited about talking philosophy.

Phaedrus starts off reading a speech by renowned orator Lysias (actually Plato's invention parodying the style of this real guy) about love: Love is a form of madness, where people do things they then regret after love fades. Therefore, it's better to hang out with someone who does NOT love you, i.e., some friend who's concerned with your interests instead of fulfilling his addled desires.

Socrates critiques both this position and the speech itself. We get to learn about what makes for a good persuasive speech (one point: don't put the sentences in random order!) and see both how Socrates would make the same point Lysias does but better, and then what Socrates's true view and preferred presentation is: This takes the form of a long myth that involves a chariot, and the structure of the soul, and how beauty causes us to remember a heavenly world. And after all this, we get to hear more about rhetoric and how back-and-forth, in-person philosophical exchange is way better than reading books.

Mark, Wes, and Dylan are joined by Great Discourses founder Adam Rose, who provides us with a lot of nice literary context, as you should know if you listened to our spiel for signing up for the July or September seminars with a 15% discount using the code PELIFE. (PEL Citizens get 20% off.) #philosophy #plato #socrates #phaedrus #love #rhetoric Go to the blog: