Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 11, Issue 1, Fall 2006

Claudia Baracchi
Pages 27-49

“Words of Air”
On Breath and Inspiration

(1) In Plato’s Phaedrus divine inspiration comes literally to mean “environmental inspiration.” Intimated thereby is the insufficiency of all reflection on the divine and the natural which would fail to interrogate these categories precisely in their convergence, indeed, in their being (at) one. (2) The theme of inspiration, in its divine or elemental character, necessarily raises further questions concerning the status of inspired utterance—that is, in this case, of philosophical discourse itself. (3) These themes finally point to the problem of the provenance of speaking and writing, if not from a purely active and free subject.