Contemplation and Self‐Mastery In Plato's <i>Phaedrus</i>

Suzanne Obdrzalek

in Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199644384
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191743344 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy

Contemplation and Self‐Mastery In Plato's Phaedrus

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This chapter examines Plato's moral psychology in the Phaedrus. It argues against interpreters such as Burnyeat and Nussbaum that Plato's treatment of the soul is increasingly pessimistic: reason's desire to contemplate is at odds with its obligation to rule the soul, and psychic harmony can only be secured by violently suppressing the lower parts of the soul.

Keywords: Phaedrus; moral psychology; eros; reason; love; soul

Chapter.  15790 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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