An introduction to the analysis of platonic love

Thus we see that there are many causes which impair the happiness of friends.

Plato on love symposium

Another question 9 may be raised, whether friendship can safely exist between young persons of different sexes, not connected by ties of relationship, and without the thought of love or marriage; whether, again, a wife or a husband should have any intimate friend, besides his or her partner in marriage. He who is of a noble mind will dwell upon his own faults rather than those of another, and will be ready to take upon himself the blame of their separation. Seven types of love[ edit ] Throughout these eras platonic love slowly was categorized into different subsections, which were: Eros is a sexual or passionate love, or a modern perspective of romantic love. But the bad are not friends, for they are not even like themselves, and still less are they like one another. Some modern authors' perception of the terms "virtue" and "good" as they are translated into English from the Symposium are a good indicator of this misunderstanding. According to Diotima in her discussion with Socrates, for anyone to achieve the final rung in the Ladder of Love, they would essentially transcend the body and rise to immortality - gaining direct access to Being. One would be forever limited to beauty of the body, never being able to access the true essence of beauty. But then the congenial cannot be the same as the like; for like, as has been already shown, cannot be the friend of like. While we do not deny that great good may result from such attachments, for the mind may be drawn out and the character enlarged by them; yet we feel also that they are attended with many dangers, and that this Romance of Heavenly Love requires a strength, a freedom from passion, a self-control, which, in youth especially, are rarely to be found. It explains the possibilities of how the feeling of love began and how it has evolved—both sexually and non-sexually. Philosophical interpretation[ edit ] Platonic love is examined in Plato's dialogue, the Symposium , which has as its topic the subject of love or Eros generally. Philia is the type of love that is directed towards friendship or goodwill, often is met with mutual benefits that also can be formed by companionship, dependability, and trust.

Socrates asks Lysis whether his father and mother do not love him very much? They may live apart and have little intercourse, but when they meet, the old tie is as strong as ever—according to the common saying, they find one another always the same.

Plato symposium desire

This is the type of love, that, according to Socrates, is practiced by animals. The subject of friendship has a lower place in the modern than in the ancient world, partly because a higher place is assigned by us to love and marriage. But the bad are not friends, for they are not even like themselves, and still less are they like one another. After this explanation has been received with triumphant accord, a fresh dissatisfaction begins to steal over the mind of Socrates: Must not friendship be for the sake of some ulterior end? Such a form of love is impossible for a mortal to achieve. When the heart is failing and despair is setting in, then to hear the voice or grasp the hand of a friend, in a shipwreck, in a defeat, in some other failure or misfortune, may restore the necessary courage and composure to the paralysed and disordered mind, and convert the feeble person into a hero; compare Symposium. Thus, as in the Charmides and Laches, and several of the other Dialogues of Plato compare especially the Protagoras and Theaetetus , no conclusion is arrived at. It explains the possibilities of how the feeling of love began and how it has evolved—both sexually and non-sexually.

Nor can the congenial be the good; for good is not the friend of good, as has been also shown. But why should the indifferent have this attachment to the beautiful or good? May not desire be the source of friendship? According to Diotima in her discussion with Socrates, for anyone to achieve the final rung in the Ladder of Love, they would essentially transcend the body and rise to immortality - gaining direct access to Being.

The sense of the inter-dependence of good and evil, and the allusion to the possibility of the non-existence of evil, are also very remarkable.

plato symposium pdf oxford

But Plato has not forgotten dramatic propriety, and Socrates proposes at last to refer the question to some older person.

The alienation of friends, like many other human evils, is commonly due to a want of tact and insight.

Symposium plato text

One would be forever limited to beauty of the body, never being able to access the true essence of beauty. Later in , Marsilio Ficino put forward a theory of neo-platonic love in which he defines love as a personal ability of an individual which guides their soul towards cosmic processes and lofty spiritual goals and heavenly ideas De Amore, Les Belles Lettres, The subject is continued in the Phaedrus and Symposium, and treated, with a manifest reference to the Lysis, in the eighth and ninth books of the Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle. Such a form of love is impossible for a mortal to achieve. But why should the indifferent have this attachment to the beautiful or good? The essence of it is loyalty, without which it would cease to be friendship. Hence the casuistical or other questions which arise out of the relations of friends have not often been considered seriously in modern times. Vulgar Eros and Divine Eros are both connected and part of the same continuous process of pursuing totality of being itself, [4] with the purpose of mending human nature, eventually reaching a point of unity where there is no longer an aspiration to change. It is most likely to be permanent when the two friends are equal and independent, or when they are engaged together in some common work or have some public interest in common. Compare Bacon, Essay on Friendship; Cic.

And in those especially who have no family ties, may not the feeling pass beyond one or a few, and embrace all with whom we come into contact, and, perhaps in a few passionate and exalted natures, all men everywhere?

Philia is the type of love that is directed towards friendship or goodwill, often is met with mutual benefits that also can be formed by companionship, dependability, and trust.

plato symposium pdf

When the heart is failing and despair is setting in, then to hear the voice or grasp the hand of a friend, in a shipwreck, in a defeat, in some other failure or misfortune, may restore the necessary courage and composure to the paralysed and disordered mind, and convert the feeble person into a hero; compare Symposium.

Some other explanation then has to be devised. The good of it is necessarily limited; it does not take the place of marriage; it affords rather a solace than an arm of support.

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Lysis Introduction & Analysis