Monday, February 15, 2010

Fowler, Ryan C. Review of Seth Bernardete, THE RHETORIC OF MORALITY AND PHILOSOPHY. BMCR (January 2010).

Bernardete, Seth. The Rhetoric of Morality and Philosophy: Plato's Gorgias and Phaedrus. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1994. Rpt. 2009. This work, now nearly 20 years old, has recently been reissued in paperback. In it the late Seth Benardete reads these two seminal Platonic dialogues together as pointing to "a psychology in which the locus of moral indignation and the love of the beautiful in the human soul are properly understood" (2). For Benardete, the Gorgias is a work concerned with the rhetoric of morality, and one intended to test the efficacy of Gorgianic rhetoric. The Phaedrus represents an inquiry into the possibility of an effective philosophically-grounded rhetoric, which can also properly be called the science of eros. This interpretation, to an extent novel in 1991 though now widely accepted (see e.g., Nichols 1998, Stauffer 20061), addresses numerous issues central to Platonic studies, including the relationship between the structure of the Gorgias and the image of soul and city in the Republic, and that between the structure of Phaedrus and the concept of eros. . . . Read the whole review here:

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