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Article

Некромантия Сократа? Ψυχαγωγία в «Федре» Платона

Платоновские исследования. 2017. Т. 7. № 2. С. 33-54.
Прокопов К. Е.

Rhetoric is one of the key themes of Plato’s Phaedrus. In the second part of the dialogue Socrates refers to rhetoric as psychagogy (soul-leading). The notion of psychagogia initially designated the process of conjuring souls from the Underworld to the world of the living. Outside the magical context psychagogy could refer to a set of poetical and rhetorical devices necessary for persuading an audience. This paper deals with a number of texts exemplifying various aspects of psychagogy in antiquity: psychagogy as a necromantic ritual in tragedy; the description of the power of logos in ritual terms by Gorgias in the Encomium of Helen; rhetorical psychagogy in Isocrates and Aristotle; psychagogy in the Timaeus and the Laws; the image of Socrates as psychagogos (soul-leader) in Aristophanes’ Birds. This analysis yields a nuanced understanding of the term in Plato’s Phaedrus, and enables us to provide an interpretion of the whole dialogue as an example of psychagogy. By transposing the notion of psychagogy from the ritual realm to the philosophical, Plato reestablishes its meaning as the practice of soul-leading in the soul’s ascent to truth.