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One of Platoas most profound and beautiful works, "Phaedrus" takes the form of a dialogue between Socrates and Phaedrus, an amateur rhetorical enthusiast, on the topic of passionate or romantic love. Concerned with establishing principles of rhetoric, it argues that rhetoric is only acceptable as an art when it is firmly based on the truth inspired by love, the common experience of true philosophic activity. It is in this dialogue that Plato employs the famous image of love as the driver of the chariot of souls.
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Plato (c.427-347 BC) stands, with his teacher Socrates and his pupil Aristotle, as one of the shapers of the whole intellectual tradition of the West. In the mid-380s, in Athens, he founded the Academy, the first permanent institution devoted to philosophical research and teaching, and an institution to which all Western universities like to trace their origins. Plato wrote over twenty philosophical dialogues, appearing in none himself (most have Socrates as chief speaker). Christopher Rowe is Professor of Greek in the University of Durham, and from 1999-2004 held a Leverhulme Personal Research Professorship. His books include Plato, The Cambridge History of Grek and Roman Thought, and New Perspectives on Plato, Modern and Ancient. He has also translated, and/or written commentaries on Plato's Phaedro, Statesman, and Symposium. His present project is a comprehensive treatment of Plato's strategies as a writer of philosophy.

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