2018 | 50 | 165-207
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Plato’s ‘Phaedrus’ 253e5–255a1 revisited. A Reappraisal of Plato’s View on the Soul

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The paper is a reconsideration of the second part of the chariot allegory (Phdr. 253e5–255a1). After presenting a rationale and status quæstionis I analyse what Plato says about the lover’s soul when he meets his beloved. As a result a new interpretation is offered. It departs from orthodox and common readings because I suggest that (i) the charioteer, the good horse and the bad horse stand not only for, respectively, reason, spirit and appetite, and that (ii) thinking, feeling and desiring should be ascribed not only to, respectively, the charioteer, the good and the bad horse. It is rather that each element of the psyche contains a kind of rationality, a kind of affectivity, and a kind of appetite, and, each of the three functions belongs to each of the three elements of the soul. The inward differentiation of kinds of functions should be understood by means of hierarchy.
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