Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter January 19, 2015

Psychic Representation in Plato’s Phaedrus

Paul Carelli
From the journal Apeiron


The three parts of the soul in the Myth of the Chariot are most often understood to correspond to the three parts of the soul in the Republic, with the charioteer representing the rational part of the soul, the white horse the spirited part and the black horse the appetites. Such an interpretation, however, is at odds both with the suggestion at the end of the Republic that the soul is a unity when it is free of the body and with the creation of the human soul in the Timaeus, where the soul receives its spirited and appetitive parts only after embodiment. Further, this interpretation causes problems with the elements of the Myth of the Chariot itself. In this paper I argue that it is better to understand the elements in the Phaedrus myth as representing divisions within rational soul.

Keywords: Plato; Phaedrus; soul
Published Online: 2015-1-19
Published in Print: 2015-1-1

© 2015 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston