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Contrasts on the Topic of Eros - Essay Example

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Contrasts on the Topic of Eros

In a discussion of eros through the insights of Socrates and Phaedrus, the nature of the quest and the object of those desires are discovered in relationship to the framework of Plato. Within the speech that Socrates made in Phaedrus, he defined the meaning of the term eros as “a certain desire” (Rhodes 3). In this, it is suggested that the desire is without hesitation, a feeling in which the individual is driven towards the object of the desire without deviation. The desire is certain, it is clear with purpose of connectivity, both physical and mental. However, in the second speech, he begins to call it a yearning, which suggests that it is a pull towards something, a feeling based on the envy of want and without that same certainty that he has suggested in his first description. Eros, through its certainty or its capacity of yearning, is manifested in passion. If desire is the look towards fulfillment, then passion is the fulfillment of that anticipatory event of desire. The nature of eros, as it is associated with the god from whom it was given its context, eros is a potential that was placed within the human frame of emotions. It is the potential of developing feelings for others, the potential for the experience of connection. The placing of eros within the human framework was the work of the god Eros, but he use of it was left to the discretion of the individual. Therefore, an important part of the concept of eros is that it is potential, a intent that is defined by its affect on what will be, rather than what is (Phillips 21). Socrates describes the nature of the god Eros as the child of Poverty and Plenty, a descendent of extremes, and born with wisdom and a love of beauty. However, human beings do not have the innate benefit of wisdom, therefore it is the seeking of the object of desire that the gift of Eros exists. As a human being, love is not given automatically, but is the eventual outcome of the pursuit of love (Phillips 21). This also places eros as an intention, an outcome that is the event of hope in which within that hope is placed a pursuit that will end in love. It is the quest that each human being attends towards finding a way to be consumed in the human experience of extension into partnership with another human being, which then spreads to interconnections of family and procreation of life. Socrates also connects eros to the love of wisdom. Phillips quotes Socrates for having said “wisdom is a most beautiful thing, and love is of the beautiful” (21). Phillips states “The most beautiful thing one can love, according to Socrates, is wisdom. We demonstrate this most beautiful love in our striving to become wise” (21). This leads to the quest for the human excellence in the form of arete. While some definitions of arete are centered on the notion of being an expert and highly skilled in a vocation, it can also define attaining a level of excellence as a human being (Dominik 206). Therefore, eros can be seen outside of the realm of the erotic, as a pursuit of wisdom and within the pursuit of the nature of the self. However, eros more often involves an object of the pursuit, as eros is the quest, the object is the target of that quest. Once again, the definition of the object becomes the subject of concern. It would be considered most obvious to place the concept of the object on a person ...Show more

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Clients Name Name of Professor Name of Class Date Contrasts on the Topic of Eros The concept of eros is discussed in terms of the search for beauty, although the object of the quest that is eros can be defined by a number of different terms. Socrates develops his discourse on eros through the search for beauty which he defines as wisdom…
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