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The Ethics of WritingAuthorship and Legacy in Plato and Nietzsche$
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Sean Burke

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780748618309

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748618309.001.0001

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The Ethical Opening

The Ethical Opening

Chapter:
(p.46) 1 The Ethical Opening
Source:
The Ethics of Writing
Author(s):

Seán Burke

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748618309.003.0003

This chapter reviews the aporia, particularly when deeper subtleties and layers of textual significance in the Phaedrus come into view. It also considers the issue of writing against writing in terms of the ironic distance opened between Plato as author and Socrates as protagonist, or when other aspects of what is traditionally called ‘the Socratic problem’ bear upon the argument. Eric Havelock's argument makes for the most elegant reading of Plato's arguments against the poets and art generally. Preface to Plato explained the preverbal mystery of the Dionysian in terms of an oral synthesis. Writing is opposed for the same reasons as preliterate poetry, for its repetition, its promotion of hypomnēsis associated with particularity, its unresponsiveness, its silence before questioning, and its changeless words.

Keywords:   aporia, Phaedrus, Plato, Socrates, writing, Socratic problem, Eric Havelock, Preface to Plato

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