Socrates and Love Loves Objective Meaning

1332 Words6 Pages
Abstract For as long as humans have been around, they have consistently characterized Love by its effects and have always fallen short in stating its objective meaning. In the play, The Symposium by Plato, Socrates’ speech on Love describes many aspects of true love and the objects of Love’s desire. Thus, this paper will explain Love’s true purpose through the views of the great Socrates. Therefore, to show Socrates’ objective understanding of Love, this essay will discuss Socrates-Diotima’s position on Love, explain how their position can be applied critically to one of the other speeches and discuss how Alcibiades’ speech at the end of The Symposium is a critique of Socrates’ position. Socrates and Love – 3 “I shall try to go through for you the speech about Love I once heard from a women of Mantinea, Diotima – a women who was wise about many thing…”(Plato, 201 D). According to Socrates, Diotima said that Love was neither beautiful nor good; instead it was located in a middle point between good and evil. Diotima further said that Love was a child of lack (poros) and plenty (penia), which explained its position between good and evil. Love then served as a spirit that relayed messages between gods and humans. Additionally, Diotima said that Socrates had mistaken the idea of love with the beloved. “…I conclude that you thought Love was being loved, rather than being a lover. I think that’s why Love struck you as beautiful in every way: because it is what is really beautiful and graceful that deserves to be loved…”(Plato, 204C). Therefore, Diotima argued that Love is outside of us and always of ‘something’. Furthermore, Diotima stated that the soul was mortal because people strive to be immortal by having their qualities survive in their offspring. She said “…reproduction goes on forever and it’s what mortals have in place
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