Love - Exam#2 Platonic Love and the Lack of the Individual...

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Exam #2 Platonic Love and the Lack of the Individual In Plato’s Symposium, the subject of love, as this powerful entity, has various meanings for different people. Throughout the discussion, three different kinds of love are presented and the distinction between the three is crucial to understanding Plato’s vision of love. The first, agape, is this version of love related closely with the Christian God’s love for his followers. It denotes a general compassion and concern for all of humanity and a spiritual and selfless love that accepts everyone for who they are. Obviously, an interpersonal connection between the loved and the lover is not necessary for this kind of love because agape fits into the overall modern notion of love as a sympathetic and expected feature of man’s character. Unlike agape, philia is a type of fraternal bond between others with a deep personal attachment. In addition, this type of love includes familial relationships and our idea of a Platonic Relationship. The third type of love, eros, is a passionate and erotic desire, longing and feeling for another person. However, with Diotima’s “Ladder of Love”, the individual seems to drop after attaining the highest embodiment of love, the Form of Beauty. There are some instances where the interpersonal relationship is presented as an important aspect of Platonic love; however, once Beauty itself becomes the highest Form at the end of Diotima’s “Ladder of Love”, which is completely separate from the individual, Platonic love does not require any personal commitment or attachment after ascending past the first stage. The vision of love given by Socrates, from the priestess, Diotima, in his speech provides a controversial idea about love, its purpose, and the effects it has on people. One important facet of Plato’s love involves the idea that eros is the type of love described by Socrates. A basic summary of Diotima’s mystery, is as follows: a youthful lover first loves beautiful bodies, and once the lover realizes the beauty in that body, he understands that the beauty in that body is the same beauty in all other bodies; then, he will love the beauty of the souls, following with the beauty in laws, customs,
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Kaklamanos institutions and activities, ending with a distinct knowledge, which is Beauty itself (Cohen 318). This transcendence to the highest form of love, Beauty, requires that the lover completes each stage of love, before “stepping” to the next tier on this ascension. With this process of attaining and loving Beauty, the philosophical peak of love and the embodiment of one kind of knowledge, pros and cons exist questioning the workability of this systematic process, specifically the lack of importance of the interpersonal relationship, which is the typical how love is perceived, accepted and understood in today’s modern world. To begin, Diotima discusses with Socrates and decide that the object of love is to want to
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Love - Exam#2 Platonic Love and the Lack of the Individual...

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