Today in class, we are finishing up Plato’s Phaedrus, and the students in my first section seemed to be mildly disturbed by the famous critique of writing therein. It was clear that they “wanted” Plato’s own writing to somehow be written in such a way as to escape his own critique. The best we were able to come up with is the way that his dialogues seem to be almost uniquely fruitful for discussion — and I would add that the multiple points of view (even though those other than Socrates are sometimes a little weak) as well as the complications that come from the situations of the dialogues and other literary features may make Plato’s dialogues nearly impossible to take “literally.”
What do you think?!