Enthusiasm and Divine Madness: On the Platonic Dialogue Phaedrus

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St. Augustine's Press, 1964 - Fiction - 109 pages
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Plato's famous dialogue, the Phaedrus, was variously subtitled in antiquity: "On Beauty", "On Love", "On the Psyche". It is also concerned with the art of rhetoric, of thought and communication.

Pieper, noted for the grace and clarity of his style, gives an illuminating and stimulating interpretation of the dialogue. Leaving the more recondite scholarly preoccupations aside, he concentrates on the content, bringing the actual situation in the dialogue -- Athens and its intellectuals engaged in spirited debate -- alive. Equally alive is the discussion of ideas, which are brought to bear on contemporary experience and made to prove the perennial validity of Socratic wisdom, and its power to excite the mind. The main thesis -- that in poetry and in love man is "beside himself", that is, divinely inspired -- is discussed with reference to modern poets, novelists, and modern psychology.

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Review: Enthusiasm and Divine Madness

User Review  - Noah - Goodreads

I thought it strange that Pieper had written two short books on the Platonic dialogue Phaedrus, and indeed there were many sections that were exactly the same as in both books. This one in particular ... Read full review

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About the author (1964)

Josef Pieper is one of the most renowned and popular philosophers of the 20th century. He wrote dozens of titles on all aspects of philosophy and living, including Only the Lover Sings, Guide to Thomas Aquinas, Hope and History, In Defense of Philosophy, and In Search of the Sacred.

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