[Pdf/E–book] Συμπόσιον


Plato s Symposium is one of the most loved classics from the ancient world a work of consummate beauty as both philosophy and as literature most appropriate since the topic of this dialogue is the nature of love and includes much philosophizing on beauty In the spirit of freshness I will focus on one very important section where Socrates relates the words of his teacher Diotima on the birth of Love explained in the context of myth Following the birth of Aphrodite the other ods were having a feast including Resource the son of Invention When they d had dinner Poverty came to beg as people do at feasts and so she was by the Leading Change: How Successful Leaders Approach Change Management gate Resource was drunk with nectar this was before wine was discovered went into thearden of Zeus and fell into drunken sleep Poverty formed the plan of relieving her lack of resources by having a child by Resource she slept with him and became pregnant with Love So the reason Love became a follower and attendant of Aphrodite is because he was conceived on the day of her birth also he is naturally a lover of beauty and Aphrodite is beautiful Diotima continues but let s pause here as according to many teachers within the Platonic tradition there are at least two critical points to be made about this passage The first is how love is conceived in the arden of Zeus and that s Zeus as mythical personification of Nous or true intellectual understanding In other words for one seeking philosophic wisdom love is born and exists within the framework of truth and understanding thus in order to have a complete appreciation of the nature of love one must be committed to understanding the nature of truth The second point is how within the Platonic tradition truth is linked with beauty Two of my own Plato teachers were adamant on this point citing how modern people who separate beauty from truth can never partake of the wisdom traditions Incidentally these exact two points are made elouently by Pierre Grimes in this video Although I am not a strict Platonist I tend to agree When I encounter people who have sharp minds and are keenly analytical but communicate their ideas in snide or sarcastic unbeautiful language or are in any way disingenuous or degrading of others I find such behavior very much in bad taste In a very real sense I feel these individuals have cut themselves off from the world s wisdom traditions particularly from the Platonic traditionI wanted to focus on this one paragraph to convey a sense of the richness of this magnificent Platonic dialogue One could mine wisdom nuggets from each and every paragraph And yes I et a kick every time I read the speech of Aristophanes featuring those cartwheeling prehumans with four arms and four legs Also two fun facts One reflecting on Alcibiades the history of philosophy records another incredibly handsome man with a similar reat head of curly hair and full curly beard a man fortunately with a much stronger character the Stoic philosopher and Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Two Diogenes Laertius reports the Greek philosopher Epicurus also wrote a book with the title Symposium Unfortunately this piece of writing is lost to us Darn Rating 2 of five all for Aristophanes s way trippy remix of the Book of GenesisWhile perusing a review of Death in Venice dreadful tale yet another fag must die rather than love piece of normative propaganda written by my ood friend Stephen he expressed a desire to read The Symposium before he eventually re reads this crapulous homophobic maundering deathless work of art As I have read The Symposium with less than stellar results I warned him off Well see below for what happened next Stephen wrote Damncan you do a uick cliff notes summary or maybe a video lecture I would much rather take advantage of your previous suffering than have to duplicate itTHE SYMPOSIUMSo this boring poet dude wins some big ass prize and has a few buds over for a binge They re all lying around together on couches which is as promising a start to a story as I can think of when the boys decide to stay sober boo and debate the Nature of LuuuvPhaedrus subject of a previous Socratic dialogue by Plato ives a nice little speech dry as a popcorn fart about how Love is the oldest of the ods and Achilles was younger than Patroclus and Alcestis died of love for her husband and some other stuff I don t remember because I was drifting off and so I Experiential Learning: A Handbook for Education, Training and Coaching got up to see if I would stay awake better on the patio It was a little nippy that daySo next up is the lawyer I know right Ask a lawyer to talk about love Like asking a priest to talk about honor or a politician to talk about common decency So he pontificates about pederasty for a while which made me uncomfortable so Iot up to The Public-Private Partnership Handbook: How to Maximize Value from Joint Working get some coffee I may have stopped by the brandy bottle on the way back out I can t recallSo after the lawyer tells us when exactly it s okay for arown man to pork a teenager the doctor chimes in that luuuuuv is the drug it s everything man the whole uuuuuuuniiiiiveeeeeeeeeerse is luuuuv Who knew they had hippies in those days I needed brandy I mean coffee and the text of my ancient Penguin paperback was Controversies in Neurosurgery getting smaller and smaller for some reason so I went to look for the brandyet the magnifying lass so I could see the footnotesThen comes Aristophanes Now seriously this is a ood bit Aristophanes in Plato s world tells us why we feel whole complete when we re with our true love Once upon a time we were all two bodied and two souled beings all male all female or hermaphroditic When these conjoined twins fell into disfavor Zeus cleaved them apart and for all eternity to come those souls will wander the earth seeking the other half torn from usNow being Aristophanes Plato plays it for laughs but this is really the heart of *the piece Plato uite clearly thought this one through in terms of what makes us humans want and need love It * piece Plato uite clearly thought this one through in terms of what makes us humans want and need love It a bizarre version of Genesis don cha thinkSo there I was lazed over with brandy fog admiration for the imagination of this ancient Greek boybanger and I was about to ive up and pass out take my contemplations indoors when the wind riffling the pages a bit caused me to light on an interesting line I continued WITH THE HOST S SPEECHNOW REALLYIS THERE ANYTHING ON the host s speechNow reallyis there anything on wide reen earth boring than listening to a poet bloviate Especially about luuuuv Blah blah noble blah blah youthful yakkity blah brave snoreThen it s Socrates s turn and I was hoping Plato ave him some Marketing Excellence 3: Award-winning Companies Reveal the Secrets of Their Success good zingers to make up for the tedium of the preceding sixteen years of my life I mean the previous speech It was a little bit hard to hold the magnifyinglass for some reason and it kept You’ve Got Murder getting in the way of the brandy bottle I mean coffee thermos COFFEE THERMOSI m not all the way sure what Plato had Socrates say but it wasn t riveting lemme tell ya what I woke up I mean came to ummm that is I resumed full attention when the major studmuffin and hawttie Alcibiades comes in late and drunk and proceeds to pour out his unreuited lust for older uglier Socrates He reallyets into the nitty Cambridge Marketing Handbook: Services gritty here talking about worming his way into the old dude s bed and still Socrastupid won t play hide the salamiVarious noises of incredulity and derision were heard to come from my mouth I feel sure though I was a little muzzy by that time and it is about this point that the brandy bottle COFFEE THERMOS slid to theround and needed picking up As I leaned to do so I remember thinking how lovely and soft the bricks lookedWhen I woke up under the Developing Resilient Organizations: How to Create an Adaptive, High-Performance and Engaged Organization glass table top theoddamned magnifying lass had set what remains of the hair on top of my head on fireThe moral of the story is reading The Symposium should never be undertaken while outdoors This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 30 Unported License It s been less than three years that I ve been Socrates companion and made it my job to know exactly what he says and does each day Before that I simply drifted aimlessly Of course I used to think that what I was doing was important but in fact I was the most worthless man on earth as bad as you are this very moment I used to think philosophy was the last thing a man should do In Praise of Love An Encore This is a dialogue about the human aspiration towards happiness and how that desire is best satisfied Plato s overriding concern as a teacher is how to achieve eudamonia or how to live the ood life However this is as difficult a topic to capture in teaching as it is to achieve in action Hence he approaches the topic by defining many peripheral topics by showing

Various Aspects Of The Good 
aspects of the ood The Symposium too the same ultimate uestion is approached this time through the uestion of how to love perfectly Many wonderful explanation of Love are iven but in the end it boils down to how to live the ood life through the uestion of what should one love to do and hence what should one do in life The answer that emerges is simple love only things that are ends in themselves do only them Ends in themselves are not to done for any further end to achieve something else And most importantly they should be eternal Symposium The Setting Plato s dialogues are fictional and often richly dramatic snippets of philosophical imagination The Symposium is a particularly dramatic work It is set at the house of Agathon a tragic poet celebrating his recent poetic victory Those present are amongst the intellectual elite of the day including an exponent of heroic poetry Phaedrus an expert in the laws of various Greek states Pausanias a representative of medical expertise Eryximachus a comic poet Aristophanes and a philosopher Socrates And the political maverick Alcibiades towards the endThe SymposiumThe Symposium consists mainly of a series of praise speeches encomia delivered in the order in which these speakers are seatedThey begin with the discourse of Phaedrus and the series contains altogether eight parts divided into two principal seuences The Speeches 1 Phaedrus Love makes us noble and ods honor it Love is the Murderess Ink: The Better Half of the Mystery greatestod Love is nobility This is the simplest of the speechesAn unconditional praising of Love and this from the same Phaedrus who unconditionally condemns it in his own eponymous dialogue 2 Pausanias perhaps the most interesting of these speeches for this reviewer Wants to define Love before praising it Love is not in itself noble and worthy of praise it depends on whether the sentiments it produces in us are themselves noble Differentiates between Common Love Divine Love How hasty vulgar lovers are and therefore how unfair to their loved ones Love is like everything else complex considered simply in itself it is neither honorable nor a disgrace its character depends entirely on the behavior it Utenrikspolitikk og norsk krisehåndtering gives rise to The common vulgar lover loves the body rather than the soul his love is bound to be inconstant since what he loves is itself mutable and unstable The moment the body is no longer in bloom he flies off and away his promises and vows in tatters behind him How different from this is a man who loves the right sort of character and who remains its lover for life attached as he is to something that is permanent Pausaniasoes on from this to provide a theory on the origins of Social Customs of courtship etc We can now see the point of our customs they are designed to separate the wheat from the chaff the proper love from the vile That s why we do everything we can to make it as easy as possible for lovers to press their suits and as difficult as possible for young men to comply it is like a competition a kind of test to determine to which sort each belongs This explains two further facts First why we consider it shameful to yield too uickly the passage of time in itself provides a ood test in these matters Second why we also consider it shameful for a man to be seduced by money or political power either because he cringes at ill treatment and will not endure it or because once he has tasted the benefits of wealth and power he will not rise above them None of these benefits is stable or permanent apart from the fact that no enuine affection can possibly be based upon themOnly in this case we should notice is it never shameful to be deceived in every other case it is shameful both for the deceiver and the person he deceives Suppose for example that someone thinks his lover is rich and accepts him for his money his action won t be any less shameful if it turns out that he was deceived and his lover was a poor man after all For the young man has already shown himself to be the sort of person who will do anything for money and that is far from honorable By the same token suppose th. The Symposium is a complex piece which is perhaps as widely read as any of Plato's works apart from the Rep. ,
ΣυμπόσιονAction this is before the days of Empiricism and retires into the portico of the neighbouring house from which initially he will not stirWhen he finally arrives he is too hung over to drink or talk so he wonders whether wisdom could be infused by touch out of the fuller into the emptier man as water runs through wool out of a fuller cup into an emptier oneAddressing his host he adds If that were so how reatly should I value the privilege of reclining at your sideAs often seems to be the fate of flirts Agathon rebuffs him You are mocking SocratesInstead it is agreed that each of the attendees will regale the withered assembly with their views on LovePhaedrus on ReciprocityPhaedrus speaks of the reciprocity of Love and how it creates a state of honour between Lover and Beloved A state or army consisting of lovers whose wish was to emulate each other would abstain from dishonor become inspired heroes eual to the bravest and overcome the worldPhaedrus also asserts that the ods admire honour and value the return of love by the Beloved to his Lover at least in a human sense than the love shown by the Lover for the BelovedParadoxically this is because the love shown by the Lover is divine because he is inspired by GodI had to have an alcohol free day before I understood this subtle distinction so don t worry if you re having trouble keeping upPausanius on the Heavenly and the CommonPausanius argues that there are two types of Love that need to be analysed the common and the heavenly or the divineThe common is wanton has no discrimination is apt to be of women as well as youths and is of the body rather than of the soulIn contrast heavenly love is of youths they love not boys but intelligent beings whose reason is beginning to be developed much about the time at which their beards begin to rowand in choosing young men to be their companions they mean to be faithful to them and pass their whole life in company with themThis love is disinterested it is not done from any motive of interest or wish for office or power and involves both honourable attachment and virtuous serviceEryximachus on the Healthy and the DiseasedEryximachus a physician defines Love in terms of both the soul and the bodyHe distinguishes two kinds of love the desire of the healthy and the desire of the diseased These two are opposites and the role of the physician is to harmonise or reconcile the most hostile elements in the constitution by analogy with music which is an art of communionAristophanes on The Origin of LoveAristophanes explains the origin of the ender and sexuality of mankind in terms of three beings one of which was a double male now separated into homosexual men one a double female now separated into homosexual women and the third an androgynous double now separated into heterosexual male and female by Zeus the intense yearning which each of them has towards the other does not appear to be the desire of lover s intercourse but of something else which the soul of either evidently desires and cannot tell and of which she has only a dark and doubtful presentiment human nature was originally one and we were a whole and the desire and pursuit of the whole is called loveAgathon on BeautyAgathon praises the od of love first and then his ift Love in the form of Temperance is the master of pleasures and desires It empties men of disaffection and fills them with affection Love is concerned with BeautySocrates on GoodSocrates approaches the topic of Love by asking uestions for example whether Love is the Love of something or nothingSocrates elicits the answer that Love wants Beauty and in doing so it wants what is GoodHe then uotes Diotima extensivelyThe Pizmotality of DiotimaDiotima by a process that we would now call the Socratic Method leads Socrates to the conclusion that Love is the love of the everlasting possession of the Good We seek Good so that we can maintain it eternally Love is of immortalityBecause Man is mortal our way of achieving eternity or immortality of possession is the Tattooed Beauties: The World's Most Beautiful Tattoo Models: English Edition generation or birth of BeautyWe achieve immortality by way of fame and offspringDiotima argues that Beauty applies to both the soul and the body However the Beauty of the Mind is honourable than the Beauty of the outward FormShe advocates the contemplation of Beauty Absolute a Beauty which if you once beheld you would see not to be after the measure ofold and arments and fair Boys And Youths Whose Presence Now Entrances and youths whose presence now entrances and you and many a one would be content to live seeing them only and conversing with them without meat or drink if that were possible you only want to look at them and to be with themyou would not be clogged with the pollutions of mortality and all the colours and vanities of "Human LifeSocrates Does Not "lifeSocrates does not how else Diotima tutored him in the art and science of Love or whether she herself was a Beauty Absolute whose appeal was reater than that of boys and youths Alciabades on IndifferenceAt this point the younger Alciabades speaks He is eual parts frat and prat he is evidently in love with Socrates and seems intent on complaining that Socrates has resisted his sexual advances Even though Alciabades had slept a night with this wonderful monster in my arms he was so superior to my solicitationsI arose as from the couch of a father or an elder brotherIt is clear that Socrates has no affection for the mind of Alciabades no matter what he might think of his body He teases him by proposing that Socrates and Agathon share a couch for the nightThe Pompatus of LoveAnd that s how it ends but for the discussion of Comedy and TragedyIf this had been a PowerPoint Presentation Socrates Plato and I would have told you what we were Founding Mothers going to say then say it and end by telling you what we had just saidBut because this work is pre Microsoft I will end this disuisition here largely because I want to read Plato s complementary work on Love Phaedrus and see what he has to say about Socrates this mentor of frat boys who was so much than a picker arinner a lover and a sinner Only then will I be able to speak definitively of the Pompatus of LoveVERSEThe Object of LoveAccording to AristophanesI would loveTo find OneAn OtherSo we couldEach love oneAnotherIn divineUnitySOUNDTRACKSteve Miller Band The Joker and the Angry Inch The Origin of LoveScroll to 357 for video and the Angry Inch The Origin of LoveSpanish subtitles Cameron Mitchell on The Origin of Love Zou Animation of The Origin of Love Animation of The Origin of Love Animation of The Origin of Love Monsoon The Origin of Love Live with cocktail The Pirate Queen: Queen Elizabeth I, Her Pirate Adventurers, and the Dawn of Empire glassStarts at 250 but the intro is fun Monsoon The Origin of Love Live at the 2013 Capital Pride Festival Wainwright The Origin of Love Hitchcock Intricate Thing Velvet Undergound Nico Femme Fatale Reed Sweet Jane Live with Steve Hunter Junkies Sweet Jane Official Video Junkies Sweet Jane Live on Japanese TV Symposium PlatoThe Symposium Ancient Greek is a philosophical text by Plato dated c 385 370 BC It depicts a friendly contest of extemporaneous speechesiven by a Tracking Daddy Down group of notable men attending a banuet The men include the philosopher Socrates theeneral and political figure Alcibiades and the comic playwright Aristophanes 1984 1385 160 9642575000 1381 1386 1389 469 399 385 OPRAH Good evening and welcome to What s the Most Spiritual Book of All Time For people who missed last week s exciting semi final round The Sermon on the Mount beat The Bhagavad Gita 4 1 while Jonathan Livingston Seagull unexpectedly lost 3 2 to outsider The Symposium Let s all welcome our finalists Applause Enter JESUS CHRIST and SOCRATES both wearing tuxedos They shake hands More applauseOPRAH And Now Let Me now let me our jury I m thrilled to have with us living legend Paul McCartney world famous novelist EL James the beautiful and talented Lindsay Lohan controversial scientist Richard Dawkins and ever popular hockey mom Sarah Palin The crowd Cooked: From the Streets to the Stove, from Cocaine to Foie Gras goes wild with some people clapping and others booing It s impossible to make out a word anyone saysOPRAH Thank you thank you thank you I m justoing to remind you of the rules before we start Each member of the jury Fat gives us a short speech and then we count up the votes to see who our lucky winner is Over to you Pau In this book Socrates argues that it is not always aood idea to have sex with boys and Aristophanes explains we were once co joined creatures of three sexes either malefemale malemale or femalefemale and were shaped like balls How could anyone not find this a book worth reading The Symposium holds the key to ancient psychology One has but to compare post Freudian psychology s understanding of the drives with Plato s discourse on human longing here in order to measure the distance between the ancient and modern orientations to reality It is strange for us to conceive this in the post Darwinian post Freudian era but Plato enuinely held that the longing to know is the fundamental human drive with sexuality the modern candidate foundational drive being derived therefrom What a different psychology this basic belief reveals And with this alternate psychology Plato reveals an orientation to the world that opens up horizons entirely other to those we are accustomed toPlato has shown a concern for the way that our pre rational orientation to the real feeds into and constrains our capacity to reason already in other dialogues such as The Republic One ets the feeling that the arch rationalist becomes progressively haunted in each dialogue by the realization that what we love determines in advance the direction our rationality can take in its approach to the real Nietzsche commented admiringly on Plato s psychological acumen evinced by his discovery that our strongest longing is the true but hidden master of our reason Already with the Symposium we see that the structure of reasoning crystallizes itself around this primordial pre rational engagement with the real Early on in the dialogue Socrates makes the rather cheeky claim that it is only the Ambition and Accommodation: How Women View Gender Relations genuine philosopher who can understand the real meaning of desire Socrates further proposes to the incredulity of others present that indeed philosophy is somehow connected with the pursuit of the fulfillment of this deepest desire And what better setting could Plato choose to prove the power of Socrates s insight into the human drives than a drinking party Here Socrates proves his superior capacity to harmonize and rein in his whole human capacity for feeling not merely by displayi I mlad I chose this translation by Robin Waterfield and this publisher Oxford World s Classic the introduction is of American Kinship: A Cultural Account great help and the text flows easily and is very understandable and doesn t feel stiff and suchThis book s subject is a series of speeches praising Love both of sexual and of mind kind the former producing sometimes children the latter creative works and learning the latter is immortal and superior in author s opinion The book ends with useful notes and a name index that shines light on the partyuests and names popping up in conversations Plato wrote the book between 385 378 BC most likely around 380 BCPlato sets this imagined high society dinner part in Athens 416 BC which is told about to others just after the death of one of the An Ethics of Interrogation guests Alcibades in 404 BC Otheruests include the comic poet Aristophanes who of course Ancestral Voices: Religion and Nationalism in Ireland gets the funny hiccups that is cured with sneezing and Plato s teacher Socrates whoets to be the Animal Ecology giver of Plato s opinion on the subject Socrates himselfets it from not certain if existed person that is Diotima a wise womanI liked this uote On the other hand ignorant people don t love knowledge or desire wisdom either because the trouble with ignorance is precisely that if a person lacks virtue and knowledge he s perfectly satisfied with the way he is If a person isn t aware of a lack he can t desire the thing which he isn t aware of lackingSeven speeches are heard Socrates turn comes at the end but when Alcibades bursts into the part he ives one speech praising Socrates and clearly showing that to him the mind part of Love is of a stranger he doesn t really et why Socrates rejects his advances Alcibades comes to a bad end in exile murdered by the Persians Socrates as we know from history John for Everyone: Part One, Chapters 1-10 gets a death sentence having to drink poison But all ends well in this story people leave the party some sleep to the next morning and Socratesoes back to the Lyceum Anarchist Modernism: Art, Politics, and the First American Avant-Garde gymnasium and public baths in the morning as usual he has aood alcohol tolerance We Betting on Ideas: Wars, Inventions, Inflation get areat dinner party conversation about love that hold surprisingly noble interesting thoughts to carry with us to lif. Except the classicist who knows Greek; and they also tend to be light on the dialogue as a work of philosop. ,

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At someone takes a lover in the mistaken belief that this lover is a Being after Rousseau: Philosophy and Culture in Question good man and likely to make him better himself while in reality the man is horrible totally lacking in virtue even so it is noble for him to have been deceived For he too has demonstrated something about himself that he is the sort of person who will do anything for the sake of virtue and what could be honorable than that It follows therefore thativing in to your lover for virtue s sake is honorable whatever the outcome And this of course is the Heavenly Love of the heavenly Berlioz and His Century: An Introduction to the Age of Romanticism goddess Love s value to the city as a whole and to the citizens is immeasurable for he compels the lover and his loved one alike to make virtue their central concern All other forms of love belong to the vulgaroddess Makes one wonder if we should really be proud of our modern methods sans the niceties of elaborate courtship 3 Eryximachus Differentiates between Healthy Unhealthy Love doctor that he isEverything sound and healthy in the body must be encouraged and ratified Conversely whatever is unhealthy and unsound must be frustrated and rebuffed that s what it is to be an expert in medicine 4 Aristophanes Bases Love on the conception of Longing Completion beautifully illustrated in his famous Myth of Soulmates We used to be complete wholes in our original nature and now Love is the name for our pursuit of wholeness for our desire to be completePlato also uses this occasion to make fun of Aristophanes by painting whims lewd and bawdy man iven to sensual pleasures and fits of hiccups There are even direct references to Aristophanes s irreverent clouds Aristophanes do you really think you can take a shot at me and then escape Use your head Remember as you speak that you will be called upon to Atlantic Double-Cross: American Literature and British Influence in the Age of Emerson give an account Though perhaps if I decide to I ll let you off 5 Agathon Decides to stop the praising of Love and focus on the ualities of Love For every praise no matter whose you must explain what ualities in the subject of your speech enable it toive the benefits for which we praise it So now in the case of Love it is right for us to praise him first for what it is and afterwards for its Awakening Spaces: French Caribbean Popular Songs, Music, and Culture gifts Heoes on toe elaborate on the perfection of Love s ualities about the Edge of Venomverse god s justice moderation bravery and wisdom and how Love confers all these ualities to its devotees Thus Love is the source of allood according to Agathon 6 Socrates Enough with the Eulogies Socrates sets out with a series of uestions in an attempt to pin down Love You have beautifully and magnificently expounded his ualities in other ways tell me this too about Love Is Love such as to be a love of something or of nothing He proceeds through the same arguments as in Phaedrus and arrives at No one is in need of those things he already has Whenever you say I desire what I already have ask yourself whether you don t mean this I want the things I have now to be mine in the future as well Socrates Conclusion Love is a lack and desire to fill that It is a desire for something lacking or a desire for preservation of what has been acuired What constitutes eudaimonia is not to be had in a moment in time In a word then love is wanting to possess the Alliance Rising: The Hinder Stars I (Alliance-Union Universe) good forever If this is the objective of Love The next uestion is how to pursue this objectiveAnswer Seek Love in Beauty and Reproduction and Birth in Beauty The argument does not deviate much from that in Phaedrus readers will want to compare this speech on Love with those of Socrates in PhaedrusSocrates account thus moves from an analysis of the nature of such desire to an account of knowledge and its acuisition for if we all have a desire for our ownood and happiness the issue becomes how to identify correctly the nature of this ood He defines intellectual activity to be the best ood and central to human happiness than any other activity 7 Alcibiades An almost pointless speech does not contribute much to the dialogue directly and yet it does by adding to the context Plato s Political Intent Praise Socrates Distance Socrates from the follies of this young manAlcibiades account reveals that although he desires the wisdom he perceives in Socrates there is a competing value pulling him away Yet when I leave him I am eually aware that I am iving in to my desire for honor from the public so I skulk out of his sight like a runaway slave This conflict between the attractions of wisdom and the sort of excellence that earns honour from the people is the very one attractions of wisdom and the sort of excellence that earns honour from the people is the very one out theoretically in Socrates speech Alcibiades choice to organize his life around the pursuit of personal honor exonerates Socrates from any association with the terrible events that resulted from his choices Socrates was not responsible for the corruption Plato s Philosophical Intent Also show how even Socrates teachings are not flawless Even Philosophy is dependent on ood students to produce results Symposium A Conclusion The Symposium belongs with the dialogues concerned with Education especially the moral education of the young Its discussion of the nature and Blue Guide goals of loving relationships takes us to the heart of Plato s concern with theood life and how it is achieved That Education and Desires are seen to play such an important role in moral development draws on a theme elaborated in the Republic and is concerned with the development of character and how that contributes to the ood lifeThough Plato leads us to the lofty heights of the Forms as the true end of our desire for ood things and happiness his account is nonetheless one that resonates beyond such abstractions The Symposium does not contain a fully developed theory of the self although it outlines with considerable care the dimensions of concern which preoccupy human beings Its achievement is a rich and unitary image of human strivingThrough this conception even if narrow of a flourishing life where certain things are advocated to the young as valuable the dialogue explores the nature of eudaimonia which may be translated as happiness or flourishing This is ultimately why a dialogue devoted on the surface to the nature of erotic relationships is an ethical work at its core which culminates in the specification of the life which a human being should live And it is this concern that relates the Symposium to a fundamental uestion that informs a variety of Platonic dialogues How should one liveThus Plato s concern with desire and its role in the Birth and Fortune: The Impact of Numbers on Personal Welfare good life leads to his conclusion One s ability to act well and to lead a worthwhile andood life depends in part on desiring the right kinds of things and acting on that basis What or whom one desires determines the choices one makes and thereby affects one s chances of leading a worthwhile and happy lifeIt is by prompting us to reflect deeply on the relationship between our desires and their real end and the role that our lovers might play in helping us to achieve it that the Symposium really makes its mark It has been a long time since I first read The Symposium That was back in university in my freshman year course Sexuality in Literature I admit I found it all a bit shocking the open tolerance of sexual relationships between men and boys wasn t it pederasty Even now it is surprising to find that one of the most influential and foundational works on love in Western history is largely focused on relationships that have often been deemed illegal Imagine what the medieval Europeans would have thought of this work had it not been entirely inaccessible to them in Latin Maybe they would have enjoyed the notion of spiritual Platonic love but I doubt they would have liked Alcibiades intrusionWell after re reading this little dialogue I can only concur with the verdict of the crowd that this is one of Plato s most perfect works Indeed it is among the handful of Plato s works that is arguably valuable as literature than as philosophy Plato was a writer in perfect control of his craft and even little detail of this short dialogue bursts with life The reader feels as if she is really there eavesdropping on a bunch of drunken Athenians as they extemporize on loveFurther organizing the dialogue as a seuence of speeches and not as a dialogue between Socrates and an interlocutor effectively reduces the sometimes unpleasant aspect of Plato s works of Socrates forcing his way through an awkward argument as his admirers assent to his every fallacious deduction Plato here shows us a Island Girls (and Boys) genuine diversity of opinions and styles proving himself a versatile writer His portrayal of Aristophanes is particularly charming and memorable aentle counter to Aristophanes satirical portrayal of Socrates in The Clouds And for anyone who has ever been in love I suspect that Aristophanes little myth will be far resonant than the ideal love described by Socrates I Never Met a Physician Who Wasn t Descended from a GreekThis might just be the work that put the meta at least the metafiction in metaphysicsPlato s name is attached to it but its principal focus is Socrates And Calvinists Incorporated: Welsh Immigrants on Ohio's Industrial Frontier guess what Socrates doesn t so much elaborate on his own views as 1 recount the views of others especially those of the female philosopher Diotima and 2 indirectly reveal his views by his conduct and his responses to the views of others especially the taunts of AlcibiadesEven the concept of Platonic Love could possibly be accurately attributed to Socrates but likely to DiotimaIn fact I wonder whether this work proves that the Greek understanding of Love as we comprehend it actually owes to women than menThe Epismetology of the Word SymposiumDespite being familiar with the word for decades I had no idea that symposium or less literally means a drinking party or to drink togetherIn Socrates time it was like a toga party for philosophersIt sreat that this learned tradition was reinvigorated by Pomona College in 1953 How appropriate that Pomona was the Roman oddess of fruitful abundance Of course many of us will remember our first experience of a toga party from the film Animal *HouseMore Recently Perhaps In * recently perhaps in to the film the concept has transformed into a frat party notice the derivation from the masculine word fraternity which Urban Dictionary defines in its own inimitable way A sausage fest with douchebag frat boys who let a lot of irls in and hardly any Call the Next Witness guys so they can slip date rape drugs into theirls drinks and have sex with them because obviously they can t rely on their charmIf you substitute philosophers for frat boys young boys for young irls and wine and mead for date rape drugs then you have the recipe for The SymposiumAlcohol Free DazeI should mention one other aspect of the plot sorry about the spoiler but the work is 2400 years old today so you ve had enough time to catch up and that is that Socrates appears to have attended two symposia over the course of two consecutive daysIn those days future philosophers were counselled to embrace alternating alcohol free daysIn breach of this medical advice Socrates and his confreres turn up to this Symposium hung over from the previous night of this medical advice Socrates and his confreres turn up to this Symposium hung over from the previous night a result there was talking than drinking If this had just been your run of the mill Saturday Night Live Symposium it s uite possible that the legacy of this particular night might never have eventuated Instead we have inherited a tradition of Greek Love Platonic Love Socratic Method and Alcohol Free TutorialsAn Artist in Comedy as Well as TragedyOne last distraction before I et down to LoveIt has always puzzled readers that The Symposium ends with a distinct change of tone as the feathered cocks begin to crow and the sun rises on our slumber party Aristodemus was only half awake and he did not hear the beginning of the discourse the chief thing which he remembered was Socrates compelling the other two to acknowledge that the Bulletproof Feathers: How Science Uses Nature's Secrets to Design Cutting-Edge Technology genius of comedy was the same with that of tragedy and that the true artist in tragedy was an artist in comedy alsoResearchers at the University of Adelaide now speculate that what Socrates was saying was When you re pissed nobody can tell whether you re serious or jokingThere is still some contention as to whether Socrates was referring to the inebriation of the artist or the audienceAnyway it remains for us to determine how serious this Socratic Dialogue on Love should be takenTogas on Hey Ho Let soThe Mocking Socrates Easy TouchOK so the tale starts with Apollodorus telling a companion a story that he had heard from Aristodemus who had once before narrated it to Glaucon who had in turn mentioned it to the companion are you with me The tale concerns a Symposium at the House of Agathon On the way Socrates drops behind in a fit of abstr. Ublic However the existing standard commentaries in English do not offer much by way of help to any reader.
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