The Dialectic of Logos and Eros: Plato’s Display of Rhetoric in the Phaedrus and the Symposium

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  • This dissertation offers an interpretation of Plato's philosophical writing that relies on the discussion of speech that is displayed in the Phaedrus. As Socrates shows in this discussion of speech, the philosophical writer who wishes to teach the philosopher's art of thinking must write in a way that could facilitate the serious activity of philosophy or dialectic, that is, the examination of the powers and affects of things that are said to be beneficial or harmful to human beings. In both the Phaedrus and the Symposium, Plato displays various speeches of praise and blame about erōs or love to which Socrates must respond, hence inviting his audience to examine for themselves the natures of speech and love as complex things, both in terms of their powers and affects in relation to the human soul. In other words, rather than the indoctrination of some rigid metaphysical system, Plato sought to teach through his philosophical writing-dramatic works which can be identified as Plato's "display of rhetoric"-an arduous art of thinking that Socrates calls dialectic.

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  • Copyright © 2022 the author(s). Theses may be used for non-commercial research, educational, or related academic purposes only. Such uses include personal study, research, scholarship, and teaching. Theses may only be shared by linking to Carleton University Institutional Repository and no part may be used without proper attribution to the author. No part may be used for commercial purposes directly or indirectly via a for-profit platform; no adaptation or derivative works are permitted without consent from the copyright owner.
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  • 2022


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