November 30, 2006 at 11:34 pm | Posted in Books, Globalization, History, Philosophy, Research, Science & Technology | Leave a comment








Nature Publishing Group

Nature Publishing Group


Nature Physics Portal Alert

Thursday, November 30, 2006


Tell us at

Bringing you the latest and best in physics news and research from Nature Publishing Group

For more information, see each journal’s latest table of contents:

Nature Volume 444 Number 7119 pp 519-652

Nature Nanotechnology Volume 1 Number 2 pp 79-150

Nature Physics Volume 2 Number 11 pp 719-788

Nature Materials Volume 5 Number 11 pp 839-920
====================================================================== Another Great

It’s the breakthrough you’ve been waiting for.
the scientific jobs board from Nature now lets you advertise your vacancy completely FREE

Go online
or telephone: Europe: +44 (0) 20 78434961 US: + 1 800 9897718
====================================================================== NATURE
subscribe online today to receive your 30% off a personal subscription.
——————————- Editorial




News ——————————-





News in Brief ——————————-




News Feature ——————————-


Books and Arts ——————————-

THE HUNGARIAN MARTIANS Arthur I. Miller reviews The Martians of Science by Istvan

WOMEN OR JUST GOOD SCIENTISTS? Patricia Fara reviews Out of the Shadows: Contributions
of Twentieth-Century Women to Physics

DETECTING HIDDEN OBJECTS Manfred Fahle reviews Seeing Spatial Form by Michael R. M.
Jenkin and Laurence R. Harris

SCIENCE IN CULTURE Reaching for the stars by Martin Kemp

News and Views ——————————-



Articles ——————————-

QUANTUM PHASE TRANSITIONS OF LIGHT Andrew D. Greentree, Charles Tahan, Jared H. Cole
and Lloyd C. L. Hollenberg

Fernando G. S. L. Brandao and Martin B. Plenio

Zhang et al.

Letters ——————————-

T. Freeth et al.

RANK CLOCKS Michael Batty


Alexandra Ledermann et al.

Read the new, specially commissioned physics series of essays from January 2007, at

You have been sent this Table of Contents Alert because you have opted in to receive
it. You can change or discontinue your e-mail alerts at any time, by modifying your
preferences on your account at:

(You will need to log in to be recognised as a registrant)

For further technical assistance, please contact our registration department:

For print subscription enquiries, please contact our subscription department:

For other enquiries, please contact our customer feedback department:

Nature Publishing Group:

75 Varick Street, 9th floor  New York  NY 10013-1917  USA

Nature Publishing Group’s worldwide offices:

London – Paris – Munich – New Delhi – Tokyo – Melbourne San Diego – San Francisco –
Washington – New York – Boston Nature Publishing Group

Nature Physics Portal Alert

Nature Physics Portal Alert 30 November 2006

Thursday, November 30, 2006


November 30, 2006 at 8:02 pm | Posted in Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Research | Leave a comment








DB Research – EU Monitor No. 40:

New budget priorities for the Common Agricultural Policy

Deutsche Bank Research

Dear reader,

We have just issued the following publication
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
EU Monitor (engl.)
EU Monitor No. 40: New budget priorities for the Common Agricultural Policy
Common Agricultural Policy spending still accounts for the lion's share of the EU budget. The CAP rests on two pillars. The first comprises all types of market intervention, which consume 90% of EU agricultural expenditure; the second consists of a large number of structural measures.
Agricultural policy reform in 2003 triggered a paradigm shift towards more market focus and efficiency. The EU
agricultural budget in the framework of the Financial Perspective 2007-2013 will exert further pressure for reform; the political decision has already been taken
on a thorough review of budget priorities in 2008 and 2009.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Pay us a visit!
DB Research now also publishes its research findings via RSS news feed. For
further information see the "Service" section on our homepage.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us:
Deutsche Bank Research

In order to read our research you will require the Adobe Acrobat Reader which
can be obtained free of charge from their website:

DB Research – EU Monitor No. 40: New budget priorities for the Common Agricultural Policy

Attachment: EU_Monitor_No_40_New_budget_priorities_for_the_Commo.pdf
(0.45 MB)

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Dear reader,

We have just issued the following publication “EU Monitor” –

which is available at our website:



EU Monitor (engl.)

EU Monitor No. 40: New budget priorities for the Common Agricultural Policy

Common Agricultural Policy spending still accounts for the lion’s share of the

EU budget. The CAP rests on two pillars. The first comprises all types of market intervention, which consume 90% of EU agricultural expenditure; the second consists of a large number of structural measures. Agricultural policy reform in 2003 triggered a paradigm shift towards more market focus and efficiency. The EU agricultural budget in the framework of the Financial Perspective 2007-2013 will exert further pressure for reform; the political decision has already been taken on a thorough review of budget priorities in 2008 and 2009.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —



Pay us a visit!

DB Research now also publishes its research findings via RSS news feed.

For further information see the “Service” section on our homepage.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us:

Deutsche Bank Research


DB Research – EU Monitor No. 40: New budget priorities for the Common Agricultural Policy

Thursday, November 30, 2006


November 30, 2006 at 1:10 pm | Posted in Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Middle East, Research | Leave a comment









Yapi Kredi Bank

YKB Research: Leading Indicators


Yelda Yücel

Senior Economist

Strategic Planning and Research

Yapi Kredi Bank

Phone: +90 -212 339 71 23

Fax: +90 -212 339 61 03

In contrast to the first half of 2006 during when the economy seemed
overheated, the third quarter of the year exhibited signs of moderation in economic
growth. In our previous bulletins, we had noted that the impact of the May-June volatility
in financial markets and the adjustment in exchange and interest rates were felt more on
domestic demand than industrial production. More precisely, the industrial production
seemed not to cut pace, fuelled by robust export growth, whereas the domestic consumption
has been adversely hit by the rising exchange and interest rates. Overall, the slowdown in
domestic demand seemed to have contributed to moderating economic growth but we cannot
argue that the economy fell into a downturn; rather, we observe slower rates of growth
especially in terms of industrial production. As of October, the data from various sources
verify that the moderation in domestic demand continued. However, we do not have
satisfactory evidence how this slowdown in consumption affected domestic production.
Rather, we observe that exports continued to be strong, which is expected to support
growth in industrial production.

Industrial production growth in August and September were comparably
lower than the rates in the previous months. It should be noted that, despite this, the
seasonally adjusted figures point at very high levels of production. Therefore, the 4.8%
and 4% rates of growth in August and September industrial production were quite
satisfactory and the strong base effect of the second half 2005 should have definitely
played a role in the slower growth rates.

As of October, the capacity utilization rate in the manufacturing
sector was as high as 82.5%, showing no sign of a decline with respect to the previous
year’s figures. Moreover, as before, the sectorial data from automotive and
white-goods industries shows that exports of these sectors continued to be quite robust.
Although these two sectors cannot account for the overall export performance, we can guess
that they contribute considerably to the total export growth due to their high share.
Nevertheless, another figure related to exports is the data released by the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TEA). Accordingly, total exports
grew by 7% to amount to USD 7.1 billion in October, which is a quite high monthly figure.
These data suggest that production export-oriented production continued to increase.

Related with the overall economic activity, the import tax revenues in
October were recorded at the lowest level since February this year, implying a relative
slowdown in total imports. This might have stemmed from the slowdown in consumption and
capital goods imports, as well as declining oil prices. In September, the consumption
goods imports declined in line with moderating domestic demand, while the rate of growth
in investment goods imports almost stopped. Therefore, it is quite probable that this
trend continued in October, as well. To what extent the imports of intermediate goods
slowed down will be understood with the details of Turkish
Statistical Institution (Turkstat)
data to be announced on November 30 (today).

On the other hand, the signals related to domestic consumption as of
October reflect that relative slowdown continued, despite the Ramadan period which is
usually the period when consumption tends to increase. For example, revenues from the VAT
and special consumption tax in the consolidated budget, which can be regarded as an
indicator for domestic consumption, point at a sharp downturn in October, while decline in
those revenues seem to have started since July. Examining the sectorial data whose details
will be presented below, it is observed that sales in the automotive industry consistently
contracted, in line with the slowdown in domestic demand. However, the sales data
regarding the white-goods industry and developments in the consumption loans imply that
moderation in overall domestic consumption may not be very sharp, as the mentioned two
indicator suggested.

In the automotive industry, it is worth to note that the average rate
of production growth was 13% in the January-May period, while the production growth rate
fell down to 9% in the June-October period. The rate of production growth has been
supported by strong exports in the sector, whose growth rate rose from 15% to 29% in the
same period. As mentioned above, the contraction in domestic automobile sales was drastic:
In contrast to the 20% growth in imported automobiles in the January-May period, the
imports of autos declined by a considerable 34% in the latter period. The contraction in
automobile sales is an expected phenomenon due to two reasons: Firstly, even if the
May-June volatility had not taken place, the growth in automobile sales would have slowed
down due to the saturation of domestic markets. Secondly, of course, the increase in the
prices of automobiles through rising exchange rates, as well as increasing financing costs
through rising consumer loan rates inevitably restricted automobile demand.

The details of the white-goods industry also show that the production
growth has been robust, as in the case of automotive industry, and export growth which was
already strong accelerated even further in the aftermath of the exchange rate adjustment.
The difference with the automotive industry, however, was that the sales which have slowed
down in June-August period, started to increase in October, implying that the relative
stagnation in demand for durables might have come to an end. This continuity in demand for
durables might be related to the strong housing sector and increase in housing ownership
since 2005. In more detail, it is observed that rate of growth in the pre- and
post-volatility period, namely in the January-May and June-October periods were similar:
27% and 21%, respectively. The exports of white goods grew by 26% in the first five months
and 33% in the following five months, again showing no signs of a break due to the
financial volatility. Finally, the deceleration in the domestic sales of white goods is
evident in the decline in the growth of sale from 9% in the January-May period to 1% in
the June-October.

Examining the consumer loans, it is seen that the worst months were
July and August, when the growth of consumer loans decelerated significantly. Starting
from September until mid-November, there has been a recovery in weekly consumer loan
growth, albeit still far below the growth before July. The contraction in automobile loans
is the major reason for the limited rise in consumption loans, where housing loans
continued to increase gradually and personal loans almost recovered to the pre-volatility
growth rates. In this sense, we can presume that there is still some demand on consumer
loans and, this may imply that domestic demand moderation is not that severe.

Finally, the expectation surveys of consumers and real sector
participants as of October give mixed signals regarding the ongoing economic activity. The
expectations of the consumers seem to be stable and cautious, verifying that, despite the
loss of confidence in the economy after the financial turmoil, consumers prefer to
wait-and-see. The Central Bank-Turkstat Consumer Confidence Index,
which had fallen to the lowest 89 level in July, has been stuck at around 91.5 level in
the August-October period. Although the index below 100 point at rather pessimistic
evaluations, it is notable that it did not deteriorate any further. In the details of the
Consumer Confidence Index, the increasing number of participants who think that the
current period is suitable for durable expenditures is worth to note, which supports the
ongoing increase in the white-goods sales.

The Central Bank Real Sector Confidence
Index fell in October to the lowest level since January this year, which is 4% lower than
the previous month’s figure. In this sense, as opposed to loss in the confidence of
the consumers, the decline in the index was rather limited and showed that the reaction of
the real sector participants to the recent financial volatility was contained. More
specifically, the decline in the index stemmed mainly from the significant deterioration
in the export prospects. All the questions regarding export prospects show a notable
worsening since July, which may be related to the appreciation of the domestic currency in
the aftermath of the real depreciation during the financial volatility. In fact, the
worsening expectations is not consistent with the robust export performance in the
July-October period; therefore, although the worsening in the evaluations related to
exports are very notable and should be closely watched, we do not expect a weakening of
the export performance in the near future.

Attached below you will find the Leading Indicators
analyzing the
developments in production, consumption and expectations

Kind regards.

Ýlisik dosyada son dönem üretim,
tüketim ve beklentilerle ilgili geliþmeleri derlediðimiz
(ingilizce) Oncu Gostergeler Bulteni’ni bulabilirsiniz.


Yelda Yücel

Senior Economist

Strategic Planning and Research

Yapi Kredi Bank

Phone: +90 -212 339 71 23

Fax: +90 -212 339 61 03

YKB Research: Leading Indicators


Thursday, November 30, 2006


November 30, 2006 at 4:04 am | Posted in Economics, Financial, Globalization, History, Oil & Gas, Research, Science & Technology | Leave a comment








<b>World Oilfield Chemicals to 2008</b>

World Oilfield Chemicals to 2008

Worldwide demand to grow more than 3% per year through 2008

Published by: The Freedonia Group
Distributed by: Global Information, Inc.

November 29, 2006

Global demand for oilfield chemicals is projected to expand more than three percent per
year through 2008, driven by a strong market for oil and gas exploration and development
activity. While growth will slow from the exceptionally strong gains posted during the
1998- 2003 period, the combination of rapidly rising demand for crude oil and natural gas
and the maturation of many of the world s largest producing oilfields will continue to
support the market for oilfield chemicals.

Gains driven by emerging markets, restored development

Ongoing increases in exploration and development activity in areas with large
undeveloped hydrocarbon deposits, such as Angola, Brazil and Kazakhstan, will support
strong demand growth for oilfield chemicals in these areas. Countries where oilfield
activity had been recently restricted by political factors, such as in Iraq and Venezuela,
will also post healthy gains in oilfield chemical consumption as work to develop these
countries oilfields resumes. Gains in more mature areas, such as the United States and the
North Sea countries, will be less substantial, as the areas are suffering from a lack of
good drilling prospects and overall market maturity.

Mature fields to spur demand for stimulation &
production chemicals

The increasing depletion of most of the world’s oilfields is causing a number of production problems, including rising water cuts and declining production. Rising water
cuts will spur demand for production chemicals, as will the increasing production of
heavy, high-sulfur crudes. Stimulation and enhanced oil recovery chemicals are projected
to be the fastest growing oilfield chemical products through 2008, as producers attempt to
limit production declines from mature fields and bolster the peak production of newly
drilled wells.

Study coverage

Details on these and other key findings are available in the new Freedonia industry
study, World Oilfield Chemicals which provides historical demand data (1993, 1998, 2003)
and forecasts to 2008 and 2013 by oilfield chemical product, market, geographic region and
for 27 countries. The study also considers market environment factors, reviews technology,
evaluates company market share and profiles 35 supplies.

Published by : The Freedonia Group
Distributed by : Global Information, Inc.


US $ 5100.00

PDF by E-mail

Single User License

US $ 5100.00

Hard Copy

US $ 5500.00

PDF by E-mail

Single User License

& Hard Copy

US $ 7100.00

PDF by E-mail

Corporate Use License

World Oilfield Chemicals to 2008

World Oilfield Chemicals to 2008 – Market Size, Market Share, Market Leaders, Demand
Forecast, Sales, Company Profiles, Market Research, Industry Trends, analyzes the world
oilfield chemical industry.

It presents historical demand data (1993, 1998, 2003) and
forecasts to 2008 and 2013 by product (e.g., drilling fluids, oilfield cement and cement
additives, demulsifiers, corrosion and scale inhibitors, biocides, stimulation chemicals,
EOR chemicals, completion and workover fluids); by world geographic region and for 27
countries. The study also considers market environment indicators, details industry
structure and company market share, and profiles 00 industry competitors including
M-ISWACO, Baker Hughes, and Halliburton.

According to the World Oilfield Chemicals to 2008, global demand for oilfield chemicals
will reach US$10 billion in 2008 based on efforts to increase oil and gas production from
maturing reservoirs and more demanding well locations. Production, stimulation and EOR
chemicals will lead gains. The North American market will remain the largest while Latin
America grows the fastest.

Development Gateway Foundation
dgCommunities: Iraq 

November 29, 2006


November 30, 2006 at 12:40 am | Posted in Art, Books, History, Literary, Philosophy | Leave a comment







Phaedrus (Plato)

Four kinds of divine madness:

Socrates begins by discussing madness. If madness is all bad, then the preceding speeches would have been correct, but in actuality, madness given as a gift of the god provides us with some of the best things we have.20

There are, in fact, four kinds of divine madness:

1. From Apollo, the gift of prophecy;

2. From Dionysus, the mystic rites and relief from present hardship;

3. From the Muses, poetry;

4. From Aphrodite, love.

The Phaedrus, written by Plato, is a dialogue between Plato’s main protagonist, Socrates, and Phaedrus, an interlocutor in several dialogues. The Phaedrus was presumably composed around 370 BC, around the same time as Plato’s Republic and Symposium; with those two texts, it is often considered one of Plato’s literary high points. Although ostensibly about the topic of love, the discussion in the dialogue revolves around the art of rhetoric and how it should be practiced, and dwells on subjects as diverse as reincarnation and pederasty.


Socrates and Phaedrus run into one another walking about the Athenian countryside. Phaedrus has just come from the home of Lysias, son of Cephalus, where Lysias has given a speech on pederastic love. Socrates, stating that he is “sick with passion for hearing speeches” 1, walks into the countryside with Phaedrus hoping that Phaedrus will repeat the speech. They sit by a stream under a plane tree and a chaste tree, and the rest of the dialogue consists of oration and discussion.

The dialogue, somewhat unusually, does not set itself as a re-telling of the day’s events. The dialogue is given unmediated, in the direct words of Socrates and Phaedrus, without other interlocutors to introduce the story or give it to us; it comes first hand, as if we are witnessing the events themselves. This is in contrast to such dialogues as the Symposium, in which Plato sets up multiple layers between the day’s events and our hearing of it, explicitly giving us an incomplete, fifth-hand account.

Dramatis Personæ

  • Socrates
  • Phaedrus
  • Lysias (in absentia)
  • Lysias was one of the three sons of Cephalus, the patriarch whose home is the setting for Plato’s Republic. Lysias was perhaps the most famous “logo-graphos” – lit. “argument writer” – in Athens during the time of Plato. Lysias was a rhetorician and a sophist whose best-known extant work is a defense speech, “On The Murder of

    Eratosthenes.” The speech is a masterpiece of sophistry in which a man who murdered his wife’s lover in cold blood claims that the laws of Athens required him to do it.


The dialogue begins with a series of speeches on love; the second half consists of discussion on the nature and proper practice of love and rhetoric, encompassing discussions of the soul, madness and divine inspiration, and the practice and mastery of an art.

As they walk out into the countryside, Phaedrus agrees to recite for Socrates the speech of Lysias. Socrates, however, suspects strongly that Phaedrus has a verbatim copy of the speech with him. Saying that while Lysias is present, he would never allow himself to be used as a training partner for Phaedrus to practice his own speechmaking on, he asks Phaedrus to expose what he is holding under his cloak. Phaedrus gives in and agrees to read the speech as it is written.2

Lysias’ speech

They walk through a stream and find a seat in the shade, and Phaedrus commences to read aloud the speech. Beginning with “You understand, then, my situation: I’ve told you how good it would be for us in my opinion, if this worked out”,3 the speech procedes to explain all the reasons why it is better for a boy to give his favor to an older suitor who does not love him, rather than one who does. Friendship with a non-lover, he says, will last longer; it will be based on intellect rather than looks, will be honest rather than based in false flattery, and a dispassionate lover will not abandon his friend for another boy. Conversely, the boy will not be giving his favor to someone who is “more sick than sound in the head” and is not thinking straight, overcome by love. Finally, Lysias explains that it is best to give one’s favor to one who can best return it, rather than one who needs it most.4

Socrates declares that he is in ecstasy, and furthermore, it is all Phaedrus’ doing. As the speech seemed to make Phaedrus radiant, and Socrates is sure that Phaedrus understands these things better than he does himself, he followed Phaedrus’ lead and shared in his Bacchic frenzy. Phaedrus asks Socrates not to joke.5

Socrates then admits that he thought the preceding speech was terrible. It repeated itself numerous times, seemed uninterested in its subject, and seemed to be showing off.

He then says he can make an even better speech than Lysias on the same subject.6

First speech of Socrates

Socrates, however, refuses to give the speech. Phaedrus warns him that he is younger and stronger, and Socrates should “take his meaning” and “stop playing hard to get”.7 After finally swearing on the plane tree that he will never recite another speech to Socrates if Socrates refuses, Socrates, covering his head out of embarrassment, consents.8

Socrates, rather than simply listing reasons as Lysias had done, begins by explaining that while all men desire beauty, some are in love and some are not. We are all ruled, he says, by two principles: one is our inborn desire for pleasure, and the other is our acquired judgment that pursues what is best (237d). Following your judgment is “being in your right mind”, while following desire towards pleasure without reason is “outrageousness”.9

Following different desires leads to different things; one who follows his desire for food is a glutton, and so on. The desire to take pleasure in beauty, reinforced by the kindred beauty in human bodies, is called Eros.10

Remarking that he is in the grip of something divine, and may soon be overtaken by the madness of the nymphs in this place,11 he goes on.

The problem, he explains, is that one overcome with this desire will want to turn his boy into whatever is most pleasing to himself, rather than what is best for the boy.12 The boy’s intellectual progress will be stifled,13 his physical condition will suffer,14 the lover will not wish the boy to mature and take a family,15 all because the lover is shaping him out of desire for pleasure rather than what is best. At some point, “right-minded reason” will take the place of “the madness of love”,16 and the lover’s oaths and promises to his boy will be broken.

The non-lover, he concludes, will do none of this, always ruled by judgment rather than desire for pleasure. Socrates, fearing that the nymphs will take complete control of him if he continues, states that he is going to leave before Phaedrus makes him “do something even worse”.17

However, just before Socrates is about to leave, he is stopped by the “familiar divine sign”, his daemon, which occurs always and only just before Socrates is about to do something he should not. A voice “from this very spot” forbids Socrates to leave before he makes atonement for some offense to the gods. Socrates states that he is a “seer”. While he is not very good at it, he is good enough for his purposes, and he recognizes what his offense has been: if love is a god or something divine, as he and Phaedrus both agree he is, he cannot be bad, as the previous speeches have portrayed him.18 Socrates, baring his head, vows to undergo a rite of purification as a follower of the Muses, and procedes to give a speech praising the lover.19

Second speech of Socrates


Socrates begins by discussing madness. If madness is all bad, then the preceding

speeches would have been correct, but in actuality, madness given as a gift of the god

provides us with some of the best things we have.20 There are, in fact, four kinds of divine madness:

  1. From Apollo, the gift of prophecy;
  2. From Dionysus, the mystic rites and relief from

    present hardship;

  3. From the Muses, poetry;
  4. From Aphrodite, love. As they must show that the madness of love is, indeed, sent by a god to benefit the

    lover and beloved in order to disprove the preceding speeches, Socrates embarks on a proof

    of the divine origin of this fourth sort of madness. It is a proof, he says, that will

    convince “the wise if not the clever”.21

The soul

He begins by briefly proving the immortality of the soul. A soul is always in motion

and as a self-mover has no

beginning. A self-mover is itself the source of everything else that moves. So, by the

same token, it cannot be destroyed. Bodily objects moved from the outside have no soul,

while those that move from within have a soul. Moving from within, all souls are

self-movers, and hence their immortality is necessary.22

Socrates goes on to explain the structure of the soul. He notes that to describe what a

soul “actually” is would take a very long time and is a task for a god;

accordingly, he will instead say what the soul is like.23

A soul, he says, is like the “natural union of a team of winged horses and their

charioteer”. While the gods have two good horses, everyone else has a mixture: one is

beautiful and good, while the other is neither.24

As souls are immortal, those lacking bodies patrol all of heaven so long as their wings

are in perfect condition. When a soul sheds its wings, it comes to earth and takes on an

earthly body which then seems to move itself.25 These wings

lift up heavy things to where the gods dwell, and are nourished and grow in the presence

of the wisdom, goodness, and beauty of the divine. However, foulness and ugliness make the

wings shrink and disappear.26

In heaven, he explains, there is a procession led by Zeus, who

looks after everything and puts things in order. All of the gods, with the exception of Hestia, follow Zeus in this procession. While the chariots of the

gods are balanced and easier to control, other charioteers must struggle with their bad

horse, which will drag them down to earth if it has not been properly trained.27 As the procession works its way upward, it eventually makes

it up to the high ridge of heaven, where the gods take their stands, are taken in a

circular motion and gaze at all that is beyond heaven.28

What is outside of heaven, says Socrates, is quite difficult to describe, lacking

color, shape, or solidity, as it is the subject of all true knowledge, visible only to

intelligence.29 The gods delight in these things and are

nourished. Feeling wonderful, they are taken around until they make a complete circle. On

the way they are able to see Justice, Self-Control, Knowledge, and other things as they

are in themselves, unchanging. When they have seen all things and feasted on them, coming

all the way around, they sink back down inside heaven.30

The immortal souls that follow the gods most closely are able to just barely raise

their chariots up to the rim and look out on Reality. They see some things and miss

others, having to deal with their horses; they rise and fall at varying times. Other

souls, while straining to keep up, are unable to rise, and in noisy, sweaty dischord they

leave uninitiated, not having seen reality. Where they go after is then dependent on their

own opinions, rather than the truth. Any soul that catches sight of any one true thing is

granted another circuit where it can see more; eventually, all souls fall back to earth.

Those that have been initiated are put into varying human incarnations, depending on how

much they have seen; those made into philosophers have seen the most, while kings,

statesmen, doctors, prophets, poets, manual laborers, sophists,

and tyrants follow respectively.31

Souls then begin cycles of reincarnation. It

generally takes 10,000 years for a soul to grow its wings and return to where it came, but

philosophers, after having chosen such a life three times in a row, grow their wings and

return after only 3,000 years. This is because they have seen the most and always keep its

memory as close as possible, and philosophers maintain the highest level of initiation.

They ignore human concerns and are drawn towards the divine. While ordinary people rebuke

them for this, they are unaware that the lover of wisdom is possessed by a god. This is

the fourth sort of madness, that of love.32

The madness of love

One comes to manifest this sort of love after seeing beauty here on earth and being

reminded of true beauty as it was seen beyond heaven. When reminded, the wings begin to

grow back, but as they are not yet able to rise, the afflicted gaze aloft and pay no

attention to what goes on below, bringing on the charge of madness. This is the best form

that possession by a god can take, for all those connected to it.33

When one is reminded of true beauty by the sight of a beautiful boy, he is called a

lover. While all have seen reality, as they must have to be human, not all are so easily

reminded of it. Those that can remember are startled when they see a reminder, and are

overcome with the memory of beauty.34

Beauty, he states, was among the most radiant things to see beyond heaven, and on earth

it sparkles through vision, the clearest of our senses. Some have not been recently

initiated, and mistake this reminder for beauty itself and pursue pleasure and making

babies. This pursuit of pleasure, then, even when manifested in the love of beautiful

bodies, is not “divine” madness, but rather just having lost one’s head. The

recent initiates, on the other hand, are overcome when they see a bodily form that has

captured true Beauty well, and their wings begin to grow. When this soul looks upon the

beautiful boy it experiences the utmost joy; when separated from the boy, intense pain and

longing occur, and the wings begin to harden. Caught between these two feelings, the lover

is in utmost anguish, with the boy the only doctor for the pain.35

Socrates then returns to the myth of the chariot. The charioteer is filled with warmth

and desire as he gazes into the eyes of the one he loves. The good horse is controlled by

its sense of shame, but the bad horse, overcome with desire, does everything it can to go

up to the boy and suggest to it the pleasures of sex. The bad

horse eventually wears out its charioteer and partner, and drags them towards the boy; yet

when the charioteer looks into the boy’s face, his memory is carried back to the sight of

the forms of Beauty and Self-control he had with the

gods, and pulls back violently on the reigns. As this occurs over and over, the bad horse

eventually becomes obedient and finally dies of fright when seeing the boy’s face,

allowing the lover’s soul to follow the boy in reverence and awe.36

The lover now pursues the boy. As he gets closer to his quarry, and the love is

reciprocated, the opportunity for sexual contact again presents itself. If the lover and

beloved surpass this desire they have won the “true Olympic Contests“; it is the perfect

combination of human self control and divine madness, and after death, their souls return

to heaven.37 Those who give in do not become weightless,

but they are spared any punishment after their death, and will eventually grow wings

together when the time comes.38

A lover’s friendship is divine, Socrates concludes, while that of a non-lover offers

only cheap, human dividends, and tosses the soul about on earth for 9,000 years. He

apologizes to the gods for the previous speeches, and Phaedrus joins him in the prayer.39


After Phaedrus concedes that this speech was certainly better than any Lysias could

compose, they begin a discussion of the nature and uses of rhetoric itself. After showing

that speechmaking itself isn’t something reproachful, and that what is truly shameful is

to engage in speaking or writing shamefully or badly, Socrates asks what distinguishes

good from bad writing, and they take this up.40

Phaedrus claims that to be a good speechmaker, one does not need to know the truth of

what he is speaking on, but rather how to properly persuade,41

persuasion being the purpose of speechmaking and oration. Socrates first objects that an

orator who does not know bad from good will, in Phaedrus’ words, harvest “a crop of

really poor quality”.42 Yet Socrates does not dismiss

the art of speechmaking. Rather, he says, it may be that even one who knew the truth could

not produce conviction without knowing the art of persuasion;43

on the other hand, “As the Spartan said, there is no genuine art of speaking without

a grasp of the truth, and there never will be”.44

They go on to examine this. They first determine that rhetoric, the art of persuasion,

is one single art that governs all speaking.45 To practice

this art of persuasion, even when one is persuading the audience to a falsehood, one draws

their audience through similarities. To do this properly, whether to deceive or avoid

deception, one must know the truth- precisely in what respects things are similar and

different; without this knowledge, to make proper comparisons is impossible, and to do so

can not be considered an art.46

To acquire the art of rhetoric, then, one must make systematic divisions between two

different kinds of things: one sort, like “iron” and “silver”, suggest

the same to all listeners; the other sort, such as “good” or

“justice”, lead people in different directions.47

Lysias failed to make this distinction, and accordingly, failed to even define what

“love” itself is in the beginning; the rest of his speech appears thrown

together at random, and is, on the whole, very poorly constructed.48 Socrates then goes on to say,

Every speech must be put together like a living creature, with a body of its own; it

must be neither without head nor without legs; and it must have a middle and extremities

that are fitting both to one another and to the whole work.49

The speech of Socrates, on the other hand, starts with a thesis and procedes to make

divisions accordingly, finding divine love, and setting it out as the greatest of goods.

And yet, they agree, the art of making these divisions is dialectic,

not rhetoric, and it must be seen what part of rhetoric may have been left out.50

When Socrates and Phaedrus procede to recount the various tools of speechmaking as

written down by the great orators of the past, starting with the “Preamble” and

the “Statement Facts” and concluding with the “Recapitulation”,

Socrates states that the fabric seems a little threadbare.51

He goes on to compare one with only knowledge of these tools to a doctor who knows how to

raise and lower a body’s temperature but does not know when it is good or bad to do so,

stating that one who has simply read a book or came across some potions knows nothing of

the art.52 One who knows how to compose the longest

passages on trivial topics or the briefest passages on topics of great importance is

similar, when he claims that to teach this is to impart the knowledge of composing tragedies; if one were to claim to have mastered harmony after learning the lowest and highest notes on the lyre, a musician would say that this knowledge is what one must

learn before one masters harmony, but it is not the knowledge of harmony itself.53 This, then, is what must be said to those who attempt to

teach the art of rhetoric through “Preambles” and “Recapitulations”;

they are ignorant of dialectic, and teach only what is necessary to learn as


Rhetoric, then, must determine the nature of the soul to be an art, just as medicine

must determine the nature of the body; it must know the different types of souls and how

they are moved.55 And yet, Socrates says, the truth is of

no import in a law court, but rather the convincing; rhetoric, people claim, consists of

cleaving towards the likely and should leave the truth aside. However, as it has already

been determined that only people that know the truth can properly use the art of the

“likely”, this popular opinion is decided to be clearly wrong.56

They go on to discuss what is good or bad in writing. Socrates gives a brief story,

discussing the gift of writing from the Egyptian god Theuth to the god Thamus, who was to

disperse the gifts to the people of Egypt. After Theuth remarks on the potion for writing

and memory he has discovered, that of writing, Thamus responds that its true effects are

likely to be the opposite; it is a potion for reminding, not remembering, he says, with

the appearance but not the reality of wisdom. Future generations will hear much without

being properly taught, and will appear wise but not be so, making them difficult to get

along with.57

No written instructions for an art can yield results clear or certain, Socrates states,

but rather can only remind those that already know what writing is about.58 Furthermore, writings are silent; they cannot speak, answer

questions, or come to their own defense.59

Accordingly, the legitimate brother of this is, in fact, dialectic; it is the living,

breathing discourse of one who knows, of which the written word can only be called an

image.60 The one who knows uses the art of dialectic rather

than writing:

The dialectician chooses a proper soul and plants and sows within it discourse

accompanied by knowledge- discourse capable of helping itself as well as a the man who

planted it, which is not barren but produces a seed from which more discourse grows in the

character of others. Such discourse makes the seed forever immortal and renders the man

who has it happy as any human being can be.61

To be a proper rhetorician, then, one must know the truth of what he is speaking or

writing on and how to define and divide it until reaching something indivisible, one must

understand the nature of the soul and what sort of speech is proper to each soul, and only

then will he be able to use speech artfully, to teach or to persuade. This, he says, is

the whole point of the argument they have been making.62

You are only a true practitioner of the art of rhetoric, then, if you have

. . . composed these things with a knowledge of the truth, if you can defend your

writing when you are challenged, and if you can yourself make the argument that your

writing is of little worth . . .

And furthermore,

then you must be called by a name derived not from these writings but rather from those

things that you are seriously pursuing . . . To call him wise, Phaedrus, seems too much,

and proper only for a god. To call him wisdom’s lover- a philosopher- or something similar

would fit him better and be more seemly.63

With the afternoon over and the heat dying down a bit, Socrates offers a short prayer

to “dear Pan and all the other gods of this

place”, and they depart for the city.

Interpretations and themes

Madness and divine inspiration

We find this dialogue, more than almost any other, revolving around issues of the

divine. After originally remarking that “landscapes and trees have nothing to teach

me, only people do”,64 Socrates goes on to make

constant remarks concerning the presence and action of the gods in general, nature gods

such as pan and the nymphs, and the Muses, in addition to the unusually explicit

characterization of his own daemon. The importance of divine inspiration is demonstrated

in its connection with and the importance of religion, poetry and art, and above all else,

love. Love, much like in the Symposium,

is contrasted from mere desire of the pleasurable and given a higher, heavenly function.

Unlike in the Ion, a dialogue dealing with

madness and divine inspiration in poetry and literary

criticism, madness here must go firmly hand in hand with reason, learning, and

self-control in both love and art.


The pederastic relationships common to ancient Greek life

are also at the fore of this dialogue. In addition to theme of love discussed in the

speeches, seeming double entendres and sexual innuendo

is abundant; we see the flirtation between Phaedrus and Socrates as Phaedrus encourages

Socrates to make his first speech, Phaedrus makes a remark at noon-time that Socrates

should not leave as the heat has not passed and it is “straight-up, as they

say,”65 Socrates wishes to know what Phaedrus is

holding under his cloak, and so on. The relationships discussed in the speeches are

explicitly pederastic. And yet, this is tempered in various ways; role reversals between

lover and beloved are constant, as they are in the Symposium. Socrates, ostensibly

the lover, exhorts Phaedrus to lead the way at various times, and the dialogue ends with

Socrates and Phaedrus leaving as “friends”- equals, rather than partaking in the

lover/beloved relationship inherent in Greek pederasty. In the beginning, they sit

themselves under a chaste tree, which is precisely what its name

suggests- often known as “monk’s pepper”, it was used by monks to decrease

sexual urges and is believed to be an antaphrodisiac.

Notably, Socrates sees the pederastic relationship as ideally devoid of sexual

consummation; rather than being used for sexual pleasure, the relationship is a form of

divine madness, helping both lover and beloved to grow and reach the divine.

Rhetoric, philosophy, and art

The Phaedrus also gives us much in the way of explaining art and the practice of

art. The discussion of rhetoric, the proper practice of which is found to actually be

philosophy, has many similarities with Socrates role as a “midwife

of the soul” in the Theaetetus; the

dialectician, as described, is particularly resonant. To practice the art, one must have a

grasp of the truth and a detailed understanding of the soul in order to properly persuade,

and one must of course have an idea of what is good or bad for the soul to know what the

soul should be persuaded towards. To simply have mastered the tools of an art is not to

have mastered the art, but only the preliminaries, much like the person who claims to have

mastered harmony after learning the highest and lowest notes of the lyre. To practice an

art, one must know what that art is for and should be achieving, not just the tools

of the trade.

The role of divine inspiration in philosophy must also be considered; the philosopher

is struck with the fourth kind of madness, that of love, and it is this divine inspiration

that leads him and his beloved towards the good- but only when tempered with self-control.

Writing, examined separately but ultimately equated with philosophy and rhetoric, is

somewhat deprecated; it is stated that writing can do little but remind those who already

know, somewhat reminiscent of the archetypical Zen master’s

admonishment that “those who know, know”. Unlike dialectic and rhetoric, writing

cannot be tailored to specific situations or students; the writer does not have the luxury

of examining his reader’s soul in order to determine the proper way to persuade. When

attacked it cannot defend itself, and is unable to answer questions or refute criticism.

As such, the philosopher uses writing “for the sake of amusing himself” and

other similar things rather than for teaching others. A writer, then is only a philosopher

when he can himself argue that his writing is of little worth, among other requirements.

This final critique of writing with which the dialogue concludes seems to be one of the

more interesting facets of the dialogue and of interpreting Plato in general; Plato, of

course, comes down to us through his numerous written works, and philosophy today is

concerned almost purely with the reading and writing of written texts. It seems proper to

recall that Plato’s ever-present protagonist and ideal man, Socrates, fits Plato’s

description of the dialectician perfectly, and never wrote a thing.

There is an echo of this point of view in Plato’s Seventh Epistle (Letter), wherein

Plato says not to write down things of importance. 66

See also

    • 1 Plato, the

      Phaedrus, trans. by Alexander Nehamas and Paul Woodruff. From Plato: Complete Works,

      ed. by John M. Cooper. ISBN 0-87220-349-2,

      228b (stph. p.)

    • 2Ibid. 228a-e
    • 3Ibid. 230e-231
    • 4Ibid. 231-234c
    • 5Ibid. 234d-e
    • 6Ibid. 235a, c
    • 7Ibid. 236c-d
    • 8Ibid. 236e-237
    • 9Ibid. 237e-238
    • 10Ibid. 238a-c
    • 11Ibid. 238c-d
    • 12Ibid. 238e
    • 13Ibid. 239c
    • 14Ibid. 239c
    • 15Ibid. 240a
    • 16Ibid. 241a
    • 17Ibid. 242a
    • 18Ibid. 242c-e
    • 19Ibid. 243a-b
    • 20Ibid. 244a
    • 21Ibid. 245c
    • 22Ibid. 245c-e
    • 23Ibid. 246a
    • 24Ibid. 246a-b
    • 25Ibid. 246c
    • 26Ibid. 246d-e
    • 27Ibid.


    • 28Ibid. 247b-c
    • 29Ibid. 247c
    • 30Ibid. 247d-e
    • 31Ibid.


    • 32Ibid.


    • 33Ibid. 249d-e
    • 34Ibid. 250a
    • 35Ibid.


    • 36Ibid.


    • 37Ibid.


    • 38Ibid. 256b-e
    • 39Ibid.


    • 40Ibid. 258d
    • 41Ibid. 260a
    • 42Ibid. 260d
    • 43Ibid. 260d
    • 44Ibid. 260e
    • 45Ibid. 261e
    • 46Ibid. 262a-c
    • 47Ibid. 263b
    • 48Ibid.


    • 49Ibid. 264c
    • 50Ibid. 266c
    • 51Ibid.


    • 52Ibid. 268a-c
    • 53Ibid. 268c-e
    • 54Ibid. 269b-c
    • 55Ibid.


    • 56Ibid. 273d
    • 57Ibid.


    • 58Ibid. 275d-e
    • 59Ibid. 275e
    • 60Ibid. 276a
    • 61Ibid.


    • 62Ibid. 277b-c
    • 63Ibid. 278c-d
    • 64Ibid. 230d
    • 65Ibid. 242a
    • 66 Plato, Seventh

      Epistle, “Therefore every man of worth, when dealing with matters of worth, will

      be far from exposing them to ill feeling and misunderstanding among men by committing them

      to writing.” [1]

  • The Symposium
  • The Republic
  • The Theory of forms
  • References


Entries and comments feeds.