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Philosophy and LoveFrom Plato to Popular Culture$
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Linnell Secomb

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748623679

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623679.001.0001

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Sapphic and Platonic Erotics

Sapphic and Platonic Erotics

Chapter:
(p.10) 1 Sapphic and Platonic Erotics
Source:
Philosophy and Love
Author(s):

Linnell Secomb

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623679.003.0002

This chapter reviews the aspects of Plato and Sappho's reflections on love, pointing to similarities and differences between their visions of Eros. Love is a lacking and a reaching for more that mediates and moves between opposites. Diotima's love is a mediation moving between opposite terms but never reaching a static conclusion and always in a process of becoming. Alcibiades provides his own account of love. His speech is generally regarded as light comic relief following the more profound and serious Socratic image of philosophy as love of knowledge. Plato's Phaedrus like the Symposium speaks of love — though in the form of a conversation between two friends, Phaedrus and Socrates. Alcibiades' simultaneous passion for Socrates and for his wisdom, and the games of seduction and obstruction that Alcibiades and Socrates both employ indicate that seeking knowledge is not antithetical to, but rather facilitated by, erotic passions.

Keywords:   love, Plato, Sappho, Eros, Alcibiades, Phaedrus, Symposium, Socrates, erotic passions

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