Posted on September 13, 2018
When I read the Phaedrus in the past, I always got the impression that Socrates and Thamus associated with remembering and wisdom as active actions and reminding and the appearance of wisdom as passive actions. What I mean by that, is that, for them, remembering and wisdom are things that have to be earned out in the world. In a metaphor way, Socrates likens the written word to a painting. He makes the point that even though the person that sees the painting now knows what was there, that scene will forever remain silent for him. Basically, he only knows that knowledge with one of his sense, not all five as he would have if he had experienced it for himself. I would further continue with that idea and liken writing to the more abstract art forms that we have today. The more you progress from the original source, the more the idea gets lost. Over time, details get lost and a painting blurs. The same can be said for writing. Facts change as the years go by. As the victors and perspectives change so do what is contained in the writing. That is, unfortunately, the case, however, I believe that there are too much history and things to know that it all can’t be contained in the minds of people, and the loss would be too great.