A second edition of the book version of the Handbook will be published by Wiley in mid In addition, an online version will provide additional chapters and supplementary material. A number of chapters are either complete or nearly complete.
Phaedrus Lysias in absentia Lysias was one of the three sons of Cephalus, the patriarch whose home is the setting for Plato's Republic.
Lysias was a rhetorician and a sophist whose best-known extant work is a defense speech, " On the Murder of Eratosthenes.
The outcome of this speech is unknown. Summary[ edit ] The dialogue consists of a series of three speeches on the topic of love that serves as the subject to construct a discussion on the proper use of rhetoric.
They encompass discussions of the soulmadnessdivine inspiration, and the practice and mastery of an art. As they walk out into the countryside, Socrates tries to convince Phaedrus to repeat the speech of Lysias which he has just heard.
Phaedrus makes several excuses, but Socrates suspects strongly that Phaedrus has a copy of the speech with him. Saying that while Lysias is present, he would never allow himself to be used as a training partner for Phaedrus to practice his own speech-making on, he asks Phaedrus to expose what he is holding under his cloak.
Phaedrus gives in and agrees to perform Lysias' speech.
Beginning with "You understand, then, my situation: I've told you how good it would be for us in my opinion, if this worked out", [Note 3] the speech proceeds to explain all the reasons why it is better to give your favor to a non-lover rather than a true lover. Friendship with a non-lover, he says, demonstrates objectivity and prudence; it doesn't create gossip when you are seen together; it doesn't involve jealousy; and it allows for a much larger pool of possible partners.
You will not be giving your favor to someone who is "more sick than sound in the head" and is not thinking straight, overcome by love.
He explains that it is best to give your favor to one who can best return it, rather than one who needs it most. He concludes by stating that he thinks the speech is long enough, and the listener is welcome to ask any questions if something has been left out.
Socrates, attempting to flatter Phaedrus, responds that he is in ecstasy and that it is all Phaedrus' doing. Socrates comments that as the speech seemed to make Phaedrus radiant, he is sure that Phaedrus understands these things better than he does himself, and that he cannot help follow Phaedrus' lead into his Bacchic frenzy.
Phaedrus picks up on Socrates' subtle sarcasm and asks Socrates not to joke. Socrates then proceeds to give Phaedrus credit for leading him out of his native land: A hungry animal can be driven by dangling a carrot or a bit of greenstuff in front of it; similarly if you proffer me speeches bound in books en bibliois I don't doubt you can cart me all around Attica, and anywhere else you please.
Phaedrus warns him that he is younger and stronger, and Socrates should "take his meaning" and "stop playing hard to get". We are all ruled, he says, by two principles: Following your judgment is "being in your right mind", while following desire towards pleasure without reason is "outrage" hubris.
The desire to take pleasure in beauty, reinforced by the kindred beauty in human bodies, is called Eros. The problem, he explains, is that one overcome with this desire will want to turn his boy into whatever is most pleasing to himself, rather than what is best for the boy. At some point, "right-minded reason" will take the place of "the madness of love", [Note 14] and the lover's oaths and promises to his boy will be broken.
Phaedrus believes that one of the greatest goods given is the relationship between lover and boy. Because the boy has a lover as such a valuable role model, he is on his best behavior to not get caught in something shameful.
To get caught in something shameful would be like letting down his lover, therefore the boy is consistently acting his best. The absence of shame makes room for a sense of pride to come in; pride from the wealthy feeling of impressing one's own lover. Impressing one's own lover brings more learning and guidance into the boy's life.
The non-lover, he concludes, will do none of this, always ruled by judgment rather than desire for pleasure. Socrates, fearing that the nymphs will take complete control of him if he continues, states that he is going to leave before Phaedrus makes him "do something even worse".
A voice "from this very spot" forbids Socrates to leave before he makes atonement for some offense to the gods. Socrates then admits that he thought both of the preceding speeches were terrible, saying Lysias' repeated itself numerous times, seemed uninterested in its subject, and seemed to be showing off.
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