The Gift of the Crow: Rhetoric and Dialectic in Plato's Phaedrus

Amijoseph Brosseau


Well Phaedrus, I am a lover of these divisions and collections, so that I may be able to think and to speak; and if I believe that someone else is capable of discerning a single thing that is also by nature capable of encompassing many, I follow straight behind in his tracks as if he were a god. Only a god would know for certain whether or not this is the right name for those who can do this correctly, but so far I have always called them dialecticians. But tell me what I must call them now that we have learned all this from Lysias and you. Or is it just that art of speaking that Thrasymachus and the rest of them use, which has made them masters of speechmaking and capable of producing others like them—anyhow those who are willing to bring them gifts and to treat them as if they were kings?

Phaedrus 266b-c


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