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Showing 1-10 of 35 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 44 reviews
on November 16, 2012
Ancient literature is the best thing that a person now could read. It refocuses you away from the capitalistic society with no morals and no honor. This society is all about buying and selling things, not that we don't need to buy things or sell, but the emphasis is too much on these things. Honor and dignity is gone. Justice is never heard of anymore. Reclaim these by reading Plato and learning philosophy. You will soon see how your world will be different.
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on April 14, 2011
In this review I will compare 3 editions of Plato's Phaedrus:
1. Alexander Nehamas & Paul Woodruff (Hackett Pub Co, 1995).
2. Stephen Scully (Focus Pub/R.Pullins Co , 2003).
3. James Nichols (Cornell University Press, 1998).
I have given all 3 editions 5 stars for their own unique perspectives.
Throughout the centuries, scholars have debated on what exactly is the central theme of Phaedrus: is it a dialogue about rhetoric? Or is it about Love? Or perhaps it is about both? If so, how are we supposed to understand the connection between Rhetoric and Love? The book itself is divided into 2 parts: the first part is about Love and the second is about Rhetoric, and because of this division in the book that it generated a lively discussion about Rhetoric versus Love.
The 3 editions I review here provided 3 unique perspectives.
Nichols argues strongly that Phaedrus is definitely about Rhetoric, in fact he links Phaedrus to Gorgias. His argument is that in Gorgias, Plato discusses Rhetoric in relations to justice, and in Phaedrus, he discusses Rhetoric in relations to Love. Love, therefore is a subordinate subject to Rhetoric.
Similarly, Nehamas also argues that Phaedrus is about Rhetoric albeit not as strongly as Nichols. It is a "sustained discussion of Rhetoric" in which Plato used Eros as examples. (xxxviii)
Scully's interpretation is slightly different; this is where I find my own position to be closer to. His argument is that Love and Rhetoric are equal parts of Plato's Phaedrus. This unity is possible because "both [love and rhetoric] requires the philosopher at the helm. As a lover, the philosopher guides the soul of the beloved, as a rhetorician, he guides the soul of his partner in conversation." (88)
My own position is that: it is about both with a slight emphasis on Love, and not on rhetoric. If Love is defined as that madness and uncontrollable urge to search for the ultimate truth and beauty, then, rhetoric is the tool to achieve that. Rhetoric, for Socrates, is understood as a tool that will guide the soul in search for the beautiful. What he is saying here is: it's all about Love, but you are not getting any Love, if it is without Rhetoric.
Overall, I like Scully's edition the best for its completeness: in addition to the translation, it has a wealth of valuable information in the Appendix, including copies of poems by Sappho, Anacreon, Ibycus, etc; plus interpretive text and sample photos of "Phallus Bird". Highly recommended.
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on July 18, 2014
It is a classic oldie. I got it because Persig identified his alter ego as Phaedrus. And I was curious. I still do not know why the Zen motorcyclist identified with Phaedrus. I do know that Socrates talks about love here and he specifically addresses the question of how one should treat a young boy that one loves. Things were different then, huh. Or were they? Take out the man-boy relationship used as an example, and there's a lot there about the right way to love someone. Still, I understand why it is not on the Great Books reading list.
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on August 23, 2015
I bought the Kindle edition of Rowe's translation with introduction and notes. But discovered that I was not sent a kindle edition of that translation. There were no notes and there was no introduction. I am not even sure it is the same translation. Customer service?
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on May 8, 2014
This is by far my favorite translation of Phaedrus. The other versions I've read have been to antiquated to give me a good sense of what Plato was writing, but this one was great. On top of that, the introduction made some great arguments about Phaedrus that helped me see its important place in the contemporary rhetorical conversation. This is a great buy!
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on August 17, 2016
An astoundingly clear exposition of the beautiful and true. Should be read once a year to clear one's head. As relevant as anything written today.
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on April 3, 2016
Quite the necessary read for anyone in philosophy or rhetoric. Easy to read translation.
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on March 10, 2010
Best available translation of Plato's Phaedrus in English. They are as literal as possible and convey the subtleties of the Greek text as if it were originally written in English.

I also recommend their companion translation of Gorgias.
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on January 16, 2010
This is an excellent translation of the Phaedrus published with an extensive introduction and plenty of contextual footnotes to make reading more pleasant. It should be noted that this is the same translation present in 'Plato: Complete Works' (though here, the introduction shorter and more straightforward, and the footnotes less plentiful).
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on March 29, 2016
This is one of the best Plato pieces I've read.
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