Signature and Authorship in the <i>Phaedrus</i>

Seán Burke

in The Ethics of Writing

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print January 2008 | ISBN: 9780748618309
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652075 | DOI:
Signature and Authorship in the Phaedrus

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This chapter analytically counterpoises the oral and graphic signatures more Aristotelico as also in a general ethical meditation, before reviving the question of agency as it reflects dialectic's uncertain status as a discourse stranded between its own determinations of science and muthos. The dynamic of play and seriousness, of game and gravity, which the Phaedrus weaves around the question of writing, is motivated by a desire to guard against the game becoming dangerous, the discursive mask masquerading as the man, the ludic being taken for the grave, the playful careening into the heinous, and the fatal. The closing phase of the chapter reviews the authorship as the unnameable concept on which the argument of the Phaedrus turns. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche's unique status, his absolutely singular signature, makes him the archetypal figure of the ethics of writing as developed in the Phaedrus.

Keywords: Phaedrus; signature; authorship; writing; Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche; ethics

Chapter.  22167 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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