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The Symposium - Jaclyn Burke PHIL 203 Paper#1 The Symposium...

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Jaclyn Burke PHIL 203 9/16/11 Paper #1 The Symposium Based in ancient Athens, the symposium was a forum for men of stature to discuss politics, debate, or just think aloud to each other. Several men presented views of love, which eventually led to Socrates’ speech. From sexual views of love to love only concerning knowledge and beauty, all philosophers hit on various views. Phaedrus touched on love as a god, and Pausanias noted a distinction between a heavenly and common love. Eryximachus touched on the orderliness of love and Aristophanes used his comedy to turn love into a myth. Agathones told of a young, beautiful love, while Socrates followed with a version told to him by Diotima, a wise woman. In referencing their speeches in his own, Socrates implies that he couldn’t have put his thoughts together without their help. Socrates’ perceives love as a tangible feature until he reflects upon his conversation with Diotima. In his often questionable nature, Socrates guides Agathon towards the idea that love is a “love of something other” (Rouse 97). Through comparison of a brother to a sister, and a father to a son, love must be in relation to something else. However, love isn’t tangible like a father and son. This agrees with Diotima’s opinion in referring to love as a spirit. Love is also found to be immortal in Diotima’s description saying, “He was born neither mortal nor immortal; but on the same day, sometimes he is blooming and alive, when he has plenty, sometimes he is dying; then again he gets new life through his father’s nature” (99). Diotima later describes the path that one
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