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The Rhetoric of Morality and Philosophy:…

The Rhetoric of Morality and Philosophy: Plato's Gorgias and Phaedrus

by Seth Benardete

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This is an interesting and lively interpretation of two important and enigmatic Platonic texts. Benardete jumps in with both feet, and his method is concurrent with his interpretations. As should be clear, much is done in these 232 pages. This book is billed as the first time these works are brought together in this way (but see Pohlenz for the Phaedrus as a 'correction' of the view of rhetoric in the Gorgias, and Jaeger for the Phaedrus as a new stage in Plato's view of rhetoric from that in the Gorgias3). The idea that the Gorgias is the proof of the inadequacy of current rhetoric, which clears the way toward a sketch of what could be true rhetoric in the Phaedrus, is now ubiquitous in Platonic scholarship. It would be beneficial for anyone to visit or revisit the work in which this line of interpretation was central.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0226042405, Hardcover)

The Rhetoric of Morality and Philosophy, one of the most groundbreaking works of twentieth-century Platonic studies, is now back in print for a new generation of students and scholars to discover. In this volume, distinguished classicist Seth Benardete interprets and pairs two important Platonic dialogues, the Gorgias and the Phaedrus, illuminating Socrates’ notion of rhetoric and Plato’s conception of morality and eros in the human soul.

            Following his discussion of the Gorgias as a dialogue about the rhetoric of morality, Benardete turns to the Phaedrus as a discourse about genuine rhetoric, namely the science of eros, or true philosophy. This novel interpretation addresses numerous issues in Plato studies: the relation between the structure of the Gorgias and the image of soul/city in the Republic, the relation between the structure of Phaedrus and the concept of eros, and Socrates’ notion of ignorance, among others.



(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:05 -0400)

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