The author offers an interpretation of the most neglected portion of the Phaedrus: the beginning. His immediate purpose is to cast light upon the philosophical function of that much and unjustly maligned character, the nonlover. In a secondary sense, his paper is intended as evidence of a thesis on how to read a Platonic dialogue. The beginning of the Phaedrus is an invitation to return to the beginning of the Symposium. Phaedrus, we recall, is the 'father of the logos' at Agathon's banquet; the dialectical ascent in the Symposium begins dramatically from the fact that he is the beloved of the physician Eryximachus. Eryximachus, himself a moderate drinker, turns the banquet from drinking to a praise of Eros, in response to Phaedrus' complaint that the god has been neglected by poets and other encomiasts. Despite the atmosphere of celebration, excitement, and hybristic self-exaltation, the Symposium begins with a sober mixture of medicine and utilitarianism.