Theryn Fleming's Reviews > Phaedrus and Letters VII and VIII

Phaedrus and Letters VII and VIII by Plato
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bookshelves: read-in-2010s, communication

Phaedrus is a dialogue between Phaedrus and Socrates, in which Socrates argues that good rhetoricians need to know the truth of what they're arguing. Rhetoricians who are ignorant of the truth are likely to be misled by their own arguments. (And here I couldn't help but think of Stephen Colbert and truthiness!) For my purposes (discussing orality vs. literacy), the key part of Phaedrus is the last five or six pages, in which Socrates argues that writing is inferior to oral dialogue because oral speakers can tailor arguments to the audience, enter into dialogue with listeners, etc. while writers cannot.

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Reading Progress

December 16, 2010 – Shelved
January 6, 2011 – Started Reading
January 6, 2011 – Finished Reading

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