Ideal of Love and Love of the Idea : Phaedrus



… For him it is like food, just so that he can be filled up. Lovers love a young man like yourself as wolves love lambs ! …

Ideal of Love and Love of the Idea : Phaedrus

Phaedrus, one of the Middle Dialogues of Plato is a brief but influential piece of philosophical craft. Through a conversation in three speeches between Lysias and Socrates, Plato sets the tone for centuries of speculation on love, passion, beauty and education. The homo-eroticism of upper-class Athens is criticised, in a move foretelling Stoic morality. Socrates elaborates upon Lysias’ plea for an orientation of sexuality towards the consolidation of the social order, before tackling it frontally in his famous palinode. Then, love becomes of importance only because beauty is the most accessible Form on earth, and sexual energy must be channeled in this direction, for higher, spiritual and educational purposes. A debate on rhetoric and dialectic comes to close this dialogue, where the “weakness” of writing is sanctioned, via a remarked discussion of Egyptian mythology. A smooth introduction to the Theory of Forms or Ideas (Eidos), to the concept of the immortal soul and of pre-birth knowledge, Phaedrus is thus a beautiful entry into the world of Plato, and an appropriate complement to the Symposium and Republic, its contemporaries.

How this course works

The participants can initiate their entry into the text on their own, prior to the Crash Course, but the programme will start with the basics, with a presentation of the historical and philosophical importance of Plato, before undertaking a close reading of the entire text in the classroom. This course, like all programmes at IST, is designed in view of dynamic exchanges between the instructor and the participants ; therefore interjections, questions, comments and alternative interpretations are invited and encouraged throughout the session, while an interactive time is kept specifically at the end of each study session.

Crash Course

Duration : 2 sessions of 180 minutes
Dates and Times : decided with the participants
Instructor : Samuel Buchoul
Modality : Skype Videoconference
Open to : All · No pre-requisites

At IST, a new edition of each course is organised upon 3 confirmed participants



c. 370 BC


Session 1

Introduction — Greek culture till Plato, Socrates, Platonic works and concepts

Textual analyses from the following sections :

Lysias’ speech
Socrates’ first speech

Session 2

Textual analyses from the following sections :

Socrates’ second speech
On rhetoric and writing



The financial contribution is open
beyond a minimum amount of

15.00 $

or the equivalent in your local currency
Check the conversion rates here

2 Interactive sessions of Textual Analysis
6 Hours of collective study
Reading Material in soft copy
Instructor’s Notes for each session
HD Audio Recordings of the sessions


A new edition of this course will be organised
upon 3 confirmed registrations