The Philosopher as a Lover: Renaissance Debates on Platonic <i>Eros</i>

Sabrina Ebbersmeyer

in Emotion and Cognitive Life in Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199579914
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745959 | DOI:
The Philosopher as a Lover: Renaissance Debates on Platonic Eros

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The paper deals with the reception of the Platonic theory of love during the Italian Renaissance. Plato's theory offers a specific conception of love, in which personal love is understood only as a part of a broader concept of love, which has specific relevance to the philosopher. In particular, this love figures as a means to acquire self-improvement and self-perfection. After outlining the Platonic theory of love to show how the erotic attraction to another person based on the perception of the beautiful is linked to the philosopher's desire for wisdom, the paper explores the reception of this theory by three well-known Renaissance philosophers, i.e. Marsilio Ficino, Leone Ebreo, and Giordano Bruno, and their appropriation of it to different ends.

Keywords: Plato; Marsilio Ficino; Leone Ebreo; Giordano Bruno; beautiful; platonic theory of love; renaissance; self-improvement; self-perfection

Chapter.  12492 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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