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Love And Beauty In Plato’s Phaedrus And Symposium

786 words - 4 pages

Love and beauty is another theme that recurs in Greek discussion, especially in Plato’s dialogues. In the Phaedrus and especially the Symposium, Plato discusses the nature of erotic love and give the argument for the ultimately transcendental object of love: Beauty. In both dialogues, Plato presents Socrates as a quintessential philosopher who is a lover of wisdom, and through his great speeches we are able to grasp Platonism and Plato’s view on the interesting theme.
Let’s first focus on the Phaedrus, where Plato gives a detailed account of the psychology and the art of love. Socrates first introduces a thought-provoking analogy, comparing the soul to “the natural union of a team of ...view middle of the document...

Such place beyond heaven is elaborates later in the Symposium as the realm of transcendence where the form of Beauty exists. Not beauty in particular, but the unchanging, universal, the one and only Beauty. Hence, the ultimate function of love is attaining the subject of all true knowledge, or to grasp being as it is.
The Symposium can be read as a continued discussion as Plato explains the nature of love, and most importantly, the “ladder” of love. Love is not beautiful or good; nor it is ugly or bad; it is something in between. Love lacks what is beautiful and good, so it is not among the gods; yet it is not among the mortals either. Socrates, through the words of Diotima, explains that Love, being a sprit or a mediator between men and gods, is the child of Poverty and Resource, as a result of which it has many contrasting characteristic. It is poor, homeless, always in the state of need, but at the same time brave, resourceful, and a seeker of wisdom. In summary, love is neither mortal nor mortal; neither resource-less nor wealthy; and, being a lover of wisdom (philosopher), neither wise as yet not ignorant.
After stating that the object of Love is the beautiful, Socrates begins to elaborate the earlier point mentioned in the...

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