Love in the <i>Symposium</i>

A. W. Price

in Love and Friendship in Plato and Aristotle

Published in print September 1990 | ISBN: 9780198248996
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191681172 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Love in the Symposium

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For Socrates, love is for possessing the good oneself for ever or for the good to belong to oneself always. In effect, his statement is more of a statement of the final goal of all desire. Beauty as the goal of love needs some clarification as the common thought here is that the lover wants to possess a beauty in the sense of his making love to him or her. In fact, this will turn out to be part of what Socrates does envisage, even if procreation is mental—if it can be counted that doing philosophy with a beautiful boy as a Platonic way of making love to him. Overall, however, the route here is not that direct as central to this idea is neither beauty, nor ownership, nor immortality, but goodness.

Keywords: love; Socrates; Symposium; Diotima; desire; beauty; philosophy; Plato; goodness

Chapter.  18380 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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