Plato (important) – 424/423BC – 348/347BC
- He wrote about erotic love
- Student of Socrates (who is the main character in his dialogues)
- Teacher of Aristotle
- The drinking party basically
- Question about how to read it
o Is Socrates the mouthpiece for Plato’s views?
o Or are all of the speakers telling us something about the nature of love?
The right view is a combo of all these views
o Or is it just a survey of the current views of the time?
- Normative sexual practice – Greek pederasty
o Notice that the dialogue is entirely addressed to man
Expect homosexuality, homonormative dialogue addressed to men (older men and
NOT talking to women
- Despite the cultural differences, we can learn from it right? If love is universal…?
- It also raises the question; what is the right way to philosophize love?
o Tell stories, dictionaries, etc.
Drinking too much previously, so they come up with the idea of discussing the god of love so
they do not have to drink anymore. – This is what’s happening in the background not what they
all agree upon or what Phaedrus is saying.
• Love is the oldest of gods
• Love gives is the greatest goods because it gives us guidance
• “A sense of shame in acting shamefully, and a sense of pride in acting well” (15)
o Going to war, wanting to run but thinking well what would me love think of me.
• It is painful to be seen to act badly by those who we love
• Love inspires us with courage • Notice the contemporary irony in the idea of an army made up of entirely gay men being
o Makes sense but does not fit with our idea of same sex love.
Pausanius – 2 kinds of love
“Considered in itself no action is good or bad, honorable or shameful.” (16)
Common Aphrodite’s Love
• Truly common/vulgar
• All about sex