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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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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Sapphic and Platonic Erotics

Sapphic and Platonic Erotics

(p.10) 1 Sapphic and Platonic Erotics
Philosophy and Love

Linnell Secomb

Edinburgh University Press

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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