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Dalhousie University
PHIL 2170
Samantha Copeland

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 Aristophanes: love as the search for metaphysical union • The god, Eros, helps us to seek and attain the union we desire – ‘would like to be as joined together as the original humans’ – not a concept of what a long-term relationship would look like • Love is an end in itself? (in so far he hasn’t developed a ‘relationship’ – seeking a union becomes part of the union – no longer the original people, what we have in love is the closest we’ll get to that union) – suggestion that other speakers/Socrates love as a means to an end, Nozick/Aristophanes suggests love is an end in itself – union is the end that Aristophanes refers to; we should love because it is natural, good and restores us to our original, happy state of being (union). Worth seeking out even though we can never reach the means to the end o Halwani offers a critique of Aristophanes  points out a specific aspect • We desire this union because we descend from the original, united humans o How does that work? Problem: Would seek out other half: originals’ would seek out other half, but I wasn’t born like an original human; don’t have the history. Somehow the desire has to be passed down from generation to generation. If it’s passed on, and I don’t have another half, what is it that I’m seeking? It’s not physical reunification. Halwani suggests that Aristophanes means natural state of being and mind; happiness, completeness; seeking what would come with the other half o Aristophanes also explaining different sexual orientation – ex. Men, women and hermaphrodites – how does the next generation continue this? Is it passed down? Inevitably my parents are heterosexual, how is homosexuality passed down? (Meant to explain metaphysical human nature, not history; myths can tell us something about ourselves – or a cultural history; because he’s Greek, coordinating what he thinks with the Greek culture/context – or it’s just a nice story) o Creation of family union, but also having a child creates another form of union o How can we unite with people without becoming that ‘single person’?  Marriage brings people together in a emotional/commitment for life  Share perspective – unified perspective/share opinions about the world  Lawrence – church is what marriage built upon, however there are more divorces and common law marriages – assume the church is withering away?  Lawrence – Two become one under the law for tax purposes; metaphorically  Aristophanes – single commitment; do I need a union with someone special, or can I choose just anyone? Nozick: We seek out the ‘lived’ experience of the union • Talking practically about love, not romantically • Nozick suggests what we find in our intimate relationships we also find
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