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[271a]

Socrates
Then this is the goal of all his effort; he tries to produce conviction in the soul. Is not that so?

Phaedrus
Yes.

Socrates
So it is clear that Thrasymachus, or anyone else who seriously teaches the art of rhetoric, will first describe the soul with perfect accuracy and make us see whether it is one and all alike, or, like the body, of multiform aspect; for this is what we call explaining its nature.

Phaedrus
Certainly.

Socrates
And secondly he will say what its action is and toward what it is directed, or how it is acted upon and by what.

Phaedrus
To be sure. [271b]

Socrates
Thirdly, he will classify the speeches and the souls and will adapt each to the other, showing the causes of the effects produced and why one kind of soul is necessarily persuaded by certain classes of speeches, and another is not.

Phaedrus
That would, I think, be excellent.

Socrates
By no other method of exposition or speech will this, or anything else, ever be written [271c] or spoken with real art. But those whom you have heard, who write treatises on the art of speech nowadays, are deceivers and conceal the nature of the soul, though they know it very well. Until they write and speak by this method we cannot believe that they write by the rules of art.

Phaedrus
What is this method?

Socrates
It is not easy to tell the exact expressions to be used; but I will tell how one must write, if one is to do it, so far as possible, in a truly artistic way.

Phaedrus
Speak then.

Socrates
Since it is the function of speech [271d] to lead souls by persuasion, he who is to be a rhetorician must know the various forms of soul. Now they are so and so many and of such and such kinds, wherefore men also are of different kinds: these we must classify. Then there are also various classes of speeches, to one of which every speech belongs. So men of a certain sort are easily persuaded by speeches of a certain sort for a certain reason to actions or beliefs of a certain sort, and men of another sort cannot be so persuaded. The student of rhetoric must, accordingly, acquire a proper knowledge of these classes and then be able to follow them [271e] accurately with his senses when he sees them in the practical affairs of life; otherwise he can never have any profit from the lectures he may have heard. But when he has learned to tell what sort of man is influenced by what sort of speech, and is able,


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