PHIL 225 Final 1

PHIL 225 Final 1 - Plato, St. Augustine and Dante share...

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Plato, St. Augustine and Dante share similar views on love, that is, the love of a higher being other than an earthly being is the highest and truest form of love whereas love for an individual is the lowest and artificial form of love. These three thinkers all connect the concept of love to God or higher state of spirituality. Plato, through the words of Diotima in the Symposium , explains Love in a form of a “spirit, ” a being between God and a mortal. He thinks that the highest form of love lies in the love for wisdom. St. Augustine believes that the love for God is the highest form of love, proclaiming, “My love is my weight; by it I am carried wheresoever I am carried.” His spirit will be lifted up towards the heavens as he dedicates his love towards God, a perfect higher being. Dante, similarly, expresses that if he loves an individual as a reflection of God, his love becomes more pure and beautiful and powerful. In Dante’s epic poem the Divine Comedy, Dante’s object of affection Beatrice becomes more beautiful in Dante’s eyes, as she guides him through the higher Heavenly Spheres, moving closer to God. However, these influential thinkers differ in their approaches and representations of their views. Plato expresses his view on love through the personification of Love as a spirit, and the symbolism of the Love Ladder . According to Socrates, who has acquired his knowledge of love from his encounter with Diotima, Love is in a form of a spirit, son of Resource and Poverty, a cross between an immortal and a mortal. In contrary to common belief, Love himself is neither beautiful nor wise; he however is a lover of the beautiful and the wise. Another intriguing perspective offered by Plato in the story of the
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This note was uploaded on 04/06/2011 for the course PHIL 225g taught by Professor Mc cann during the Fall '10 term at USC.

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PHIL 225 Final 1 - Plato, St. Augustine and Dante share...

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