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Writing Material: Plato Agenda Item...

From Plato's Phaedrus

Agenda Item: "I cannot help feeling, Phaedrus, that writing is unfortunately like painting; for the creations of the painter have the attitude of life, and yet if you ask them a question they preserve a solemn silence," - Socrates, pg 362.

I thought this was an interesting quote comparing writing to painting because technically they are both very visual things. One reads writing and interprets words/knowledge very similarly to the way they look at a painting and absorb/learn the image. We are also living in such as visual age that it is hard to imagine a time when this was looked upon unfavorably.

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Comments (1)

Stormy Knight:

It's frustrating because Socrates presents a very narrow-minded way of thinking on this topic. It's upsetting he seems to have no use for art or anything visual. As you commented on my entry you're a visual learner, I am as well. Part of the mystery and intrigue of art is opening your imagination to what the painting means or is trying to express. Reading is very similar, especially in fiction. Then again I suppose art and fictional texts are recreational. So I can't help but go back to my thoughts of, "well, maybe Socrates is speaking from a purely educational point of view." He speaks a lot of intelligence, putting emphasis again on the need for interaction in order for communication to be truly successful.

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