In the course of a lively drinking party, a group of Athenian intellectuals exchange views on eros, or desire. From their conversation emerges a series of subtle reflections on gender roles, sex in society and the sublimation of basic human instincts. The discussion culminates in a radical... show more
In the course of a lively drinking party, a group of Athenian intellectuals exchange views on eros, or desire. From their conversation emerges a series of subtle reflections on gender roles, sex in society and the sublimation of basic human instincts. The discussion culminates in a radical challenge to conventional views by Plato's mentor, Socrates, who advocates transcendence through spiritual love. The Symposium is a deft interweaving of different viewpoints and ideas about the nature of love—as a response to beauty, a cosmic force, a motive for social action and as a means of ethical education.
Publish date: April 29th 2003
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Pages no: 144
Edition language: English
(Original Review, 2003-03-02)The problem for me is that philosophy is surely about ideas which are themselves constructed out of language. Dinosaurs, or evidence for them in the fossil record, are not linguistic constructs - but philosophical ideas would seem to be. If you're into stuff like thi...
You've really got to love the way Plato writes philosophy. Whereas everybody else simply writes what is in effect a work of non-fiction explaining some ideas, Plato seems to have the habit of inserting them into a story. Okay, he may not be the only philosopher that uses a story to convey his philos...
When I was a young man, I and my friends certainly had some strange conversations, possibly aided by some substances of questionable legality in certain countries, but we never quite managed to attain the heights of strangeness reached at this banquet/drinking party(*) held in 416 BCE when Socrates ...
Where the phrase "Platonic love" came from. Contains some of the most well-known ideas & arguments in classical Greek philosophy. I read the free Benjamin Jowett translation, & it's also sort of interesting to see how a Victorian attempted to "explain away" certain stuff in his "introduction".
I suppose one should read some Plato to be considered an educated person. I really want to be an educated person, but this is an example of a book I would never get around to reading if I weren't pushed by some situation outside of myself. In this case the push came from a book group of which I am ...