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Record identifier : 569068
Personal Name - Primary Intelectual Responsibility : Batchelder, Geoffrey M
Title and statement of responsibility : Moral corruption and philosophic education in Plato's "Phaedrus" [Thesis]
Publication, Distribution,Etc. : The Catholic University of America, 2009
Language of the Item : eng
Dissertation of thesis details and type of degree : Ph.D
Body granting the degree : , The Catholic University of America
Summary or Abstract : This dissertation argues that Plato's Phaedrus is a case study in the philosophic cure of moral corruption, a process of intellectual decay that causes people to hold false opinions about matters of practical conduct and can lead to a systematic, pathological failure to recognize first principles for the ordering of the soul. Philosophic education by contrast leads toward true moral opinions and the practice of virtue, which is the proper, healthy condition of souls and the only state conducive to true happiness. The argument invokes two key ideas: first, philosophy is a kind of therapy whose teachers, like physicians, treat diseases, but in souls rather than bodies; and second, paying attention to dramatic aspects of the dialogue permits a fuller grasp of its doctrinal contents.In the Phaedrus , Socrates helps a youthful Athenian aristocrat named Phaedrus overcome a false opinion about love by using philosophic analysis to correct popular views on the subject. Initially, Phaedrus shows undue enthusiasm for a speech written by the sophist Lysias that claims one should grant erotic favors to a non-lover rather than a lover. After Phaedrus reads the speech aloud, Socrates delivers two speeches of his own to clarify and refute the Lysian speech, and Phaedrus admits that Socrates has beaten Lysias at his own game. Using his familiar method of dialectic, Socrates explains the principles that made his speeches superior, the errors that make sophistic rhetoric a cause of moral corruption, and the theoretical basis of the cure he is attempting. The quality of Phaedrus's responses improves as he absorbs substantive philosophic doctrines: he rejects bodily pleasures as slavish, admits the weakness of a sophistic rhetoric based on literary devices and technical jargon, acknowledges the strength of a philosophic rhetoric based on knowledge of truth and an understanding of the human soul, concedes that dialectical education is better than emulating written speeches, and finally at the dialogue's end, endorses an epitome of Platonic ethics that suggests philosophic therapy has had a beneficial effect on him..
Topical Name Used as Subject : Classical studies
: Philosophy
Information of biblio record : TL
 
 
 
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