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Plato's Symposium

Course Code
PHIL 3003F/G
Devin Henry

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More straightforward than Phaedrus, not mystical
Provides an ontological account of the forms, as well as epistemological account of how we come about
to know the forms
We go through a slow process to grasp the idea of Beauty
We fall in love with someone, and literally they are good looking (physically) - not
metaphorical beauty
One beautiful body
All beautiful bodies
Recognizing beautiful in the non-physical; the beauty in character
Beautiful souls
In that we recognize the importance of committing ourselves to better beauty in people's
character, through laws and institutions
Beauty of laws and institutions
Only grasped by the mind
Beauty of knowledge
Not beautiful at one time and ugly at another, not beautiful in relation in to some and ugly
in relation to others, not beautiful to some and not to others, etc. always beautiful
Beauty itself
Ladder of Love
Is the method of acquiring concepts purely rational? Through the ladder it looks like we acquire through
A to C is visible
C to E is intelligible
A to B: shadows, images; known through imagination, opinions
B to C: material particulars; known through vision
C to D: diagrams/images; known through thought
D to E: forms
The Divided Line
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
1:34 PM
Plato Page 1
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