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Phaedrus (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 25 Jun 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 1 edition (25 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199554021
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199554027
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 1.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 275,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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About the Author

Robin Waterfield's translations include Plato's Republic, Symposium, Gorgias, Aristotle's Physics, Herodotus' Histories, Plutarch's Greek Lives and Roman Lives, Euripides, Orestes and Other Plays and The First Philosophers: the Presocratics and the Sophists. He is also the author of a biography of Kahlil Gibran.


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simply amazing!
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Format: Paperback
If the Symposium is the backbone of Plato's philosphy of love, then this is his refining text. Certainly more complex in its ideas, it still appears accessible and even almost domestic.

Plato's characteristic use of the dialogue form works well here as it sifts through the complexities of thought. This is especially good on the idea of active Platonic vision, and contains the beautiful myth of the charioteer and his horses.

Probably not a good first introduction to Plato (I would suggest either the Symposium or the Republic), but critically important both in his own time and for the European Renaissance.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 44 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars About love and philosophy, one of Plato's best 16 Nov. 2012
By Didaskalon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ancient literature is the best thing that a person now could read. It refocuses you away from the capitalistic society with no morals and no honor. This society is all about buying and selling things, not that we don't need to buy things or sell, but the emphasis is too much on these things. Honor and dignity is gone. Justice is never heard of anymore. Reclaim these by reading Plato and learning philosophy. You will soon see how your world will be different.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love or Rhetoric? 15 April 2011
By stephen liem - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this review I will compare 3 editions of Plato's Phaedrus:
1. Alexander Nehamas & Paul Woodruff (Hackett Pub Co, 1995).
2. Stephen Scully (Focus Pub/R.Pullins Co , 2003).
3. James Nichols (Cornell University Press, 1998).
I have given all 3 editions 5 stars for their own unique perspectives.
Throughout the centuries, scholars have debated on what exactly is the central theme of Phaedrus: is it a dialogue about rhetoric? Or is it about Love? Or perhaps it is about both? If so, how are we supposed to understand the connection between Rhetoric and Love? The book itself is divided into 2 parts: the first part is about Love and the second is about Rhetoric, and because of this division in the book that it generated a lively discussion about Rhetoric versus Love.
The 3 editions I review here provided 3 unique perspectives.
Nichols argues strongly that Phaedrus is definitely about Rhetoric, in fact he links Phaedrus to Gorgias. His argument is that in Gorgias, Plato discusses Rhetoric in relations to justice, and in Phaedrus, he discusses Rhetoric in relations to Love. Love, therefore is a subordinate subject to Rhetoric.
Similarly, Nehamas also argues that Phaedrus is about Rhetoric albeit not as strongly as Nichols. It is a "sustained discussion of Rhetoric" in which Plato used Eros as examples. (xxxviii)
Scully's interpretation is slightly different; this is where I find my own position to be closer to. His argument is that Love and Rhetoric are equal parts of Plato's Phaedrus. This unity is possible because "both [love and rhetoric] requires the philosopher at the helm. As a lover, the philosopher guides the soul of the beloved, as a rhetorician, he guides the soul of his partner in conversation." (88)
My own position is that: it is about both with a slight emphasis on Love, and not on rhetoric. If Love is defined as that madness and uncontrollable urge to search for the ultimate truth and beauty, then, rhetoric is the tool to achieve that. Rhetoric, for Socrates, is understood as a tool that will guide the soul in search for the beautiful. What he is saying here is: it's all about Love, but you are not getting any Love, if it is without Rhetoric.
Overall, I like Scully's edition the best for its completeness: in addition to the translation, it has a wealth of valuable information in the Appendix, including copies of poems by Sappho, Anacreon, Ibycus, etc; plus interpretive text and sample photos of "Phallus Bird". Highly recommended.
4.0 out of 5 stars I do know that Socrates talks about love here and he specifically addresses the question of how ... 18 July 2014
By MR - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is a classic oldie. I got it because Persig identified his alter ego as Phaedrus. And I was curious. I still do not know why the Zen motorcyclist identified with Phaedrus. I do know that Socrates talks about love here and he specifically addresses the question of how one should treat a young boy that one loves. Things were different then, huh. Or were they? Take out the man-boy relationship used as an example, and there's a lot there about the right way to love someone. Still, I understand why it is not on the Great Books reading list.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Reader Beware 23 Aug. 2015
By Charmides - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought the Kindle edition of Rowe's translation with introduction and notes. But discovered that I was not sent a kindle edition of that translation. There were no notes and there was no introduction. I am not even sure it is the same translation. Customer service?
5.0 out of 5 stars Got this for a class, kept it at semester-end because I like it so much 8 May 2014
By Marc D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is by far my favorite translation of Phaedrus. The other versions I've read have been to antiquated to give me a good sense of what Plato was writing, but this one was great. On top of that, the introduction made some great arguments about Phaedrus that helped me see its important place in the contemporary rhetorical conversation. This is a great buy!
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