Chapter

Eros, the Socratic Spirit: Inside and Outside the Symposium

CATHERINE OSBORNE

in Eros Unveiled

Published in print April 1996 | ISBN: 9780198267669
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683336 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198267669.003.0004

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Eros, the Socratic Spirit: Inside and Outside the Symposium

Show Summary Details

Preview

The contrast between Plotinus and Plato shows us something about what is important in the account of love in the Symposium. Diotima had diverted our attention from an explanation of love in terms of the beauty of the object to an explanation in terms of the lover. However, what Eros accounts is the very fact that one perceives the objects as desirable and worth having. That perception of the beloved as desirable is something inspired by the work of Eros that transforms one from mere mortal without erotic aspirations to philosophers who yearn for what they perceive as good. It is an attitude that takes one outside oneself, to see oneself as lacking and inadequate, and which enables one to proceed on the road of philosophy and follow the spirit of Socrates, or Eros, who can inspire one with the love of wisdom.

Keywords: Plotinus; Plato; love; Symposium; Diotima; Eros; beauty; Socrates; wisdom; philosophy

Chapter.  12566 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.