Symposium – they decided not to get drunk and have sex, rather make a speech or a serious of
speeches about love. Plato spends a lot setting up the dramatic scenario, he tells us that
apolodorus meets aristudemus, and says, “i hear you are present”, will you tell me what
You get a perspective on a perspective about love. An image of an image, of an image of a
bunch of images of love.
Socrates speech is about what atidadema said.
Plato is making a call to us to not take on authority on anything that is said in the text, but rather
understand them as a perspective that will give us insight on what the truth is. But we will
ultimately have to be the ones to determine what the truth is.
So we are getting traces of the reality of love. Important to take it as a trace, NOT the reality, be
open to questioning what people say. A coherent defensible vision of what love is.
“Yes let’s principle” helps us arrive at a fuller answer
What you see in this text is an ascent towards a fuller truth / reality
Phaedrus– claims that Love = a kind of God, to talk about love is to talk about all the gifts that
God gave us. An aspiration to become better people. When you are in love with someone, you
care about what they think about you, you care about how you appear to them, makes you want
to be good (excel at whatever it is you think it matters to be a person)
Feel motivated and inspired to do great things for them. Self-sacrifice for their loved
ones. Inspires virtue (good character – courage, just, moderate, wise)
Pausanias – honorable, heavenly love & the common/disgraceful love (lust) – if you look around
you, you can see two forms of love takes. Interested in talking about relationships between older
men and younger men.
Aristoph – had the hiccups (calls into question Pausanias) because you cannot pay
attention....Socrates set this up.
Erixymachos – he claims it happens as a universal power, not between 2 people. Makes things
harmonious with each other, medical tradition – a healthy body, is a body that is in harmony with
itself. Our bodies only work b/c love makes it work, like plants grow because love makes them
grow. As a doctor you implant love so that bodies are harmonious with each other. No tension.
No room for learning and growth when there is a union.
187A – important read – its harmony that makes the world go around, that makes the world
What makes a guitar a guitar is the tension that exists between strings, the tension between the