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A brilliant reading of the Phaedrus, as well as a brilliant critique of modern thought, which is so much opposed to the Platonic ideal of divine receptivity.What interests me about Plato's conception of mania, which is complex, is how it problematizes our modern conception of autonomy. Mania, as Pieper demonstrates, is primarily a loss of command over oneself, a surrender of self-control. It is a state of passivity, of being washed over by something sublime and outside of oneself. In fact, in or...
"Socrates tells Phaedrus the story of the invention of the alphabet. When Tammus sat upon the throne of Egypt, there came to him Toth, the inventor, who praised alphabetic writing as 'medicine for memory and wisdom'. Thereupon the wise king replied that writing would have just the opposite effect. 'If men learn this, it will implant forgetfulness in their souls; they will...rely on that which is written, calling things to remembrance no longer from within themselves, but by means of external mar...
I thought it strange that Pieper had written two short books on the Platonic dialogue Phaedrus, and indeed there were many sections that were exactly the same as in both books. This one in particular, though, took the entire dialogue with a bit more depth, while his other book focused on divine madness. As always, I find Pieper's views interesting and at many times refreshing, though his reading of Plato, I think, is at one point in the book a bit off. Generally, though his discussion wasn't as
Recommended by James Schall in Another Sort of Learning, Chapter 6, as one of Four Books and Two Essays to Help You Begin Wondering about Plato.Recommended by James Schall in Another Sort of Learning, Intro to Part Three, as one of Fourteen Books by Josef Pieper.