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Plato Symposium: Origin, Purpose and Nature of Law - Essay Example

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Plato Symposium: Origin, Purpose and Nature of Law

He argues that the two are linked together because the physical represents an imperfect imitation of the ideal and the objects may actually be the form they purport to represent. Plato says that through this most mysterious thing called love, men are able to realize their ultimate good and according to Diotema, it’s only at this point that human beings find their true meaning. This paper discusses the nature and forms of love according to Plato in The Symposium. Nature of Love Diotema uses the mortal and divine to explain the nature of love and claims that it is the bridge separating the two worlds. She agrees with Socrates that love adores beautiful things and therefore it cannot be divine since one does not go after what he already has and gods are already good and beautiful. She claims that love springs from a state of absolute poverty but it has the possibility of achieving the greatest in human beings. She compares love to philosophy which is a struggle between what is and what is to become. Diotema clarifies Socrates argument to conclude that those who use love to pursue the good will eventually attain happiness to the highest degree of fulfillment where all desires are satisfied. This ultimate fulfillment is the ideal, the real meaning of good and since there are many ways to pursue this, it is only one of them that will bring this satisfaction. The only way to pursue this ultimate satisfaction is to create it both in body and soul. This desire to create is a natural desire in every being which comes about when one comes across beautiful things but can also be destroyed by ugly things encountered. She claims that love is not in itself the end but rather a process, a bridge across the two worlds and the only pathway to becoming immortal. All other avenues of pursuing the good will not result into eternal happiness. The Different Views on Love According to Phaedrus, that love is the oldest of all gods and has no parents and it works to inspire a man in love to achieve greatness so as to impress the one he loves. Such an inspired man could conquer the world or even give away his life for the sake of love. He gives an example of Alcestis who was ready to die for her beloved husband Admentus and because of that, she was saved the atrocities of Hades unlike Orpheus who did not make any such sacrifice. Achilles also fought bravely when his lover Patroclus died even though he knew he was endangering his own life by doing so. For Phaedrus, love is one of the oldest gods, most noble and is powerful in helping men become honorable and blessed and if one sacrifices himself for love then he will get an ultimate reward from the gods. For Pausanias, he goes a step further and introduces the dualism phenomenon. He claims that on one side, love is just ordinary and physical, works at random and is aimed at procreating. But on the other hand, love is heavenly, lovers come together for companionship and it entangles lovers both mentally and spiritually and it produces virtue. For heavenly love, it does not happen by coincidence or by chance but the lovers must have made a conscious decision to be together. He is of the opinion that this is the love that should be encouraged among individuals as it is responsible for a healthy society. But he also adds that it can be disastrous if the motive of the ‘lovers’ is to exploit each other for selfish gains. He however does not favour either the physical or heavenly love claiming that the love itself ...Show more


Name: Instructor: Institution: Course: Date: The Origin, Purpose and Nature of Love In the Symposium, Plato tells us about the nature of love as described by seven men attending a symposium. In the drinking party, every man is expected to deliver a speech about how wonderful love is…
Author : glennaframi
Plato Symposium: Origin, Purpose and Nature of Law essay example
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