The elaborate imagery regarding souls and gods in the Palinode in Plato’s Phaedrus leads interpreters to view the gods as complex and similar to the human soul, only with better horses. We try to show that the gods are only made to appear complex to serve as paradigms for humans. Details of the myth should instead be viewed as allowing for gods that are simple and not souls at all. And even human souls are questionably complex under all conditions. Plato’s image fits with the context of guiding the soul by philosophical rhetorical art and the task of investigation to determine whether things are simple or complex.
© De Gruyter 2014