Concerning the date of Plato's Phaedrus


Abstract


There is already a long history of discussion concerning the dating of the Phaedrus . The dialogue has been referred to the early (Immisch, Natorp, Pohlenz), middle (Lutoslawski - Raeder) and late period of Plato's work (Regenbogen). Scholars (Wilamowitz, Wishart and Leach, Brandwood)1 have repeatedly noted the stylistic and lexical variety of the Phaedrus that was proved by the stylometrists' researches. At the II Symposium Platonicum, dedicated to the Phaedrus , Robinson asserted in his contribution that the dialogue ťwas composed somewhere in between the time Plato completed the Timaeus and started work on the Parmenides ; Robinson argued that in the Phaedrus 'Plato still adhered to many of his earlier ( Republic/Timaeus ) views in the domain of epistemologa metaphysics and philosophical psychology but was now moving towards a revised version of them not immediately compatible with the original version'.2 Bostock in his monograph Plato's Theaetetus also mentioned the ideological diversity of the Phaedrus , whose first part returns to still earlier themes, notably the theory of recollection, while its second part is very much more forward- looking (conceptions of collection and division, detailed investigation of the soul and a science of rhetoric). This observation led him to the assumption that 'the Phaedrus was composed shortly after the Republic , the second half was not added until rather later'.3 Considering the reasons to associate the Phaedrus with the middle dialogues on the one hand and with the later on the other, Rowe even like character of the dialogue, which power than the mere assertion that it the middle and late works'.

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