Phaedrus performs an analogy between eros and writing that splits each term in two. The first orientation operates via a logic of ownership: lover of the beloved; writer/reader of text. The second orientation treats eros and writing as inventive activities that catalyze the self-overcoming of the lover and beloved—of the writer/reader and text. This orientation is heralded in Socrates’s palinode, but it has been overlooked by accounts of Socrates’s critique of writing. This article establishes the relationship between the beloved-as-reminder, established in the palinode, and writing-as-reminder, established in the discussion of writing. Thinking about eros and writing in an analogous relationship has significant implications for scholarly literature on Plato’s orientations to writing and knowledge. Specifically, this analogous relationship changes the way the most basic function of writing is configured within the dialogue. It also, importantly, informs the “possessive” and “inventive” approach the text takes toward its performance of pedagogy.

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