Plato's Phaedrus ends with the myth of Theuth. In this myth writing is offered as a kind of present to King Thamus. The king, who in fact represents Ammon, king of the gods, receives this gift from the demigod Theuth. But it is the king who will give this gift its value in the act of receiving or rejecting it. According to Derrida, '... the value of writing will not be itself, writing will have no value, unless and to the extent that god-the-king approves of it' (Dissemination, p.76).
 Plato understood writing as a sign of a sign, that is, a sign of the spoken word that, in turn, is the sign of a meaning that is expressed. Writing is therefore a two-step representation. It is in the service of logos as the living speech act. Writing is an exteriority that is subsequently added to the inner purity of the concept, the essence, the signified, the soul, the spirit. Since writing can only repeat, it does not add anything essential and could therefore be considered unnecessary. Nevertheless, Plato presents writing as dangerous and threatening. Writing is dangerous because it kills the living meaning and presence of the consciousness to itself; it forms a threat to the inner purity.
 Derrida draws our attention to the fact that Platonism assigns the origin of logos to the paternal position. The speaking subject can be conceived of as the father of his speech. Speech or logos is his son. The specificity of logos would thus be intimately bound to the presence of the father. Logos is alive because it is inspirited by its father (the one who speaks), who can constantly explicate, supplement, explain, etc. The spoken word is not only positioned opposite writing, it is also considered superior because it is associated with presence, whereas writing may indicate a double absence (of both author and reader). The hierarchical relation that privileges the spoken word to the written word is based in the human desire for presence and origin. Writing is connected with the absence of the father. It is an orphan, a lost son. Writing no longer knows who his father is. On one hand, it escapes and undermines parental authority. On the other hand, it can be attacked, bombarded with unjust approaches. It is open to a multitude of misunderstandings and, in principle, an infinite number of interpretations that only the father could dissipate, thus assisting his son, if he was not absent.