The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. There is no outside of language. One would not be able to speak of the outside of language. Battle begins when words fail. Conflict is the motor of history and social change. Visibilities and statements. Description and prescription in the field of linguistics, a field of perpetual interaction.
Like the nomadic and royal sciences from A Treatise on Nomadology – The War Machine. The pros and cons of Prozac prescribed for depression, a lack of vitalism, an internal battle lost.
Socrates took advantage of this open-ended relationship between visibilities and statements. “Open-ended” because this virtue of language always begs the question, leaving the master of rhetoric free to make his critique as Thrasymachus accuses Socrates of doing in their argument over the true nature of Justice.
The mercenary Sophist does not freely give his learned opinion however, unlike Socrates who loves wisdom and truth for its own sake and for the sake of a noble and chivalric friendship. We venture out into the field of conflict between visibilities and statements, armed with our jousting sticks, enarmoured in suits of Socratic irony and shielded by the herald of our proud proud school, discipline… to fight for the proper name of philosophy, to win the hand of the voluptuous Sophia. For these conflicts, one must really risk life and limb. There’s little room for error. Socrates swallowed hemlock in the face of charges relating to the corruption of youth.
Plato aimed to redeem his master. The pen is mightier than the sword. He sallied forth, probably in a toga after the fashion of Athens for the time, not like us knights of the faith in the middle of our ages. His weapon is his pen as Socrates – like Jesus – never wrote anything. In fact Socrates prescribed against writing in the written text of Phaedrus. Plato swallowed the tale. Thoth, the inventor of writing, brings his invention to Amon, the Theban king of Egypt for his approval. Amon rejects its ultimate utility because the faculty of memory or self-presence will atrophy. The people will forget themselves. The danger of excess. Imitating Phaedrus, Plato covers up his inconsistency with these words:
PHAEDRUS: Socrates, it doesn’t take much for you to make up stories from Egypt and anywhere else in the world you feel like.
SOCRATES: Well, my friend, the people at the sanctuary of Zeus at Dodona say that the original prophecies there were spoken by an oak. In those days people weren’t as clever as the young ones nowadays, and they were so foolish that they happily listened to oak and rock, as long as they told the truth. But perhaps it matters to you who the speaker is, or what country he comes from, because you are not concerned only with whether or not he’s right.
PHAEDRUS: You’re right to have told me off – and, yes, I think the Theban king was correct about writing.
Plato, Phaedrus (275 b-c)
Listen to oak and rock. Language is loud. It has volume. Carved in stone, penned upon paper – it doesn’t matter what form the communication takes (but it does) so long is the content is true. Socrates will go on later to say writing is a good source of amusement and play but the serious work of the dialecticians is tested in speech, not writing. One should listen to the experts. Incorporate the philosophy encapsulated in writing. Pseudos: Plato for Prozac. A con.
Socrates – he who does not write. What harm can writing do? The old man was being ironic. And besides, the master’s good philosophy and teachings will be passed down beyond death to future generations, another space and time, even unto the middle of the ages. Plato pens Phaedrus. A time capsule. And then some.
I am emale. I swallow.