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Socrates' Metaphysical Olympiad in Plato's Phaedrus

論柏拉圖對話《費德魯斯篇》中蘇格拉底的形上奧林匹亞賽事

Abstracts


In Plato's Phaedrus, Socrates leaves Athens for the locus amoenus beneath a plane tree. As if possessed, the philosopher then articulates the renowned chariot allegory in a frenzy. However, to understand the myth as a medium of philosophical instruction dumbs down the Greeks' exuberant imagination revolving around sport whether in mythology or in actuality. Namely, competitive events in numerous Hellenic games feature a diversity of instrumental sociocultural views more than what a philosophical allegory can contain. For instance, sport serves as the fundamental apparatus of distinguishing Greeks from non-Greeks and furthermore, of fashioning an epitomical Greek identity underlined by gender and class differences. Therefore, this paper aims to employ the sociocultural connotations of Greek sport to re-interpret the Phaedrus and the chariot myth therein. It turns out that Socrates' journey out of town transforms the idyllic nature of the space outside Athens into a space informed by athleticism. More remarkably, with the multiple correlation points between the chariot races in Hellenic games and those in the allegory, Socrates finally mounts a de facto Olympiad-a metaphysical Olympiad that extols in like manner power and aristocracy.

Keywords

Phaedrus chariot allegory sport agon charioteering Olympiad

Parallel abstracts


於柏拉圖《費德魯斯篇》裡,蘇格拉底與費德魯斯漫步至雅典城外一株梧桐樹下的優勝美地;接著,仿若著魔一般,蘇氏在迷狂囈語中吟誦道出知名的戰車寓言。然而,將該寓言理解為哲學教導的媒介其實簡化了其於古希臘人無論是在神話或實際生活中對運動的豐富想像。亦即,在古希臘盈千累萬的運動會裡,競賽實則承載了眾多的社會文化訊息,因此,僅將戰車寓言視為哲學教導極可能去脈絡化其之於社會結構的種種意涵。例如,運動是區分希臘人和非希臘人非常重要的機制,甚者,運動也透過性別及階級差異去突顯何謂希臘人的典型。準之,本研究論文旨在運用運動之於古希臘人的社會文化意涵以重新詮釋《費德魯斯篇》及其中的戰車寓言。經推敲後發現,該對話裡雅典城外看似田園詩歌般的空間隱含著運動賽事裡競短爭長的煙硝味。而進一步探索古希臘的戰車競技與戰車寓言裡相關賽事的關聯後,可推論出蘇格拉底挪用了運動開創出其獨特的形上奧林匹亞賽事,當中也同樣交織著權力與貴族階級等等的社會結構。

References


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Papakonstantinou, Zinon. “The Athletic Body in Classical Athens: Literary and Historical Perspectives.” The International Journal of the History of Sport, vol. 29, no. 12, 2012, pp. 1657-68, www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09523367.2012.714929.
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Crowther, Nigel B. Sport in Ancient Times. Praeger, 2007.

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