“The Truest Tragedy” the <i>Symposium</i> as Monologue

in Socrates & the Fat Rabbis

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780226069166
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226069180 | DOI:
“The Truest Tragedy” the Symposium as Monologue

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This chapter focuses on Plato, a thousand years before the Talmud and in another country yet again. In particular, it examines a double-voicing of the Platonic text, analogous—partially but interestingly—to the double-voicing found in the Bavli. For Plato the term “tragedy” ought to be reserved for the discourse and practices within a given culture which are most clearly dedicated to holding on to truth. Among the areas in which he most strongly demands such “seriousness,” the discourse of educational formation is primary. This chapter returns to Plato's seriousness and his political discursive tractates via an analysis of that most interesting and appealing of his dialogues, the Symposium. It suggests that the Symposium is entirely about education, about the formation of the disciple of philosophy. It explores how Plato's “philosophy” is bound up with the very same discursive politics found in the Protagoras: the politics, in short, of rhetoric versus philosophy and of debate versus dialectic.

Keywords: Plato; Talmud; tragedy; truth; Protagoras; dialogues; Symposium; education; philosophy; politics

Chapter.  16984 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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