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Fig 3.13 – Tripartite Personality

Text: Pages 104 and 105

In Phaedrus, Plato describes a tripartite psychological personality through the symbol of the charioteer and its two-winged horses. One white horse is the spirited soul that is immortal and doesn’t need a whip or direction. This horse is “…a lover of honor and modesty and temperance, and the follower of true glory, he needs no touch of whip, but is guided by word and admonition only.” The dark horse cannot be contained by a whip because it is overwhelmed by physical needs and human desire. This horse is deformed and very obstinate and is described as a “…crooked lumbering animal…put together…of a dark color, with grey eyes and blood and complexion, the mate of insolence and pride, shag-eared and deaf, hardly yielding to whip and spur.”

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