Love and Friendship in Plato and Aristotle

By A. W. Price | Go to book overview

2
LOVE IN THE SYMPOSIUM

I

What is love (erōs)? The answer that Socrates reports to the company at Agathon's dinner-party from the priestess Diotima is far from Feste's ('What is love? 'tis not hereafter', and so on): 'Love is for possessing the good oneself for ever', or (more literally) 'for the good to belong to oneself always' (206a11-12). The definition is extended and stipulative (cf. 205a5-d8); it is, in effect, a statement of the final goal of all desire.1 Diotima offers a disarming analogy: all makers are 'poets' (from poiein, 'to make'), though only some are so called (205b8-c9). However, what lends the definition point is less that analogy than its application in defining what is idiomatically called 'love'. Diotima defines its characteristic activity as generation, mental or physical, in beauty (206b7-8). It is not elementary to work out how the two definitions relate.

There are clearly two ways in which the 'beautiful' (kalos) is integral to love: within generic eros, the lover desires to possess beauty (which is love's goal); within specific eros, the lover is inspired by someone else who already possesses beauty (and is love's occasion). Within the definition of specific eros, there are two possible senses of the phrase 'generation in beauty': it might mean begetting upon a beauty, or else bearing or bringing to birth in the presence of beauty. Bearing is indicated by the recurrent description of the lover as 'pregnant' (first at 206c1), and by the mention of a personified Beauty as a goddess of childbirth and not conception (206d2-3). Yet it is inescapable that begetting, and indeed impregnating, is man's role in sexual procreation; Plato will touch on that as quickly and vaguely as he can (208e1-3), blurring the distinction by effectively subsuming begetting under bearing, as if sperm were a kind of foetus, and orgasm

____________________
1
The extension was doubtless helped by poetic usage, cf. Jurgen Wippern, "Eros und Unsterblichkelt in der Diotima-Rede des Symposions", in Helmut Flashar and Konrad Gaiser(eds.) Synusia ( Pfullingen, 1965), 148, n. 41; also by a verbal fashion in Socrates' circle passing from the playful into the habitual, cf. K. J. Dover, GH, 156-7.

-15-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Love and Friendship in Plato and Aristotle
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS vii
  • Contents ix
  • NOTE TO THE READER x
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • 1 - Friendship and Desire in the Lysis 1
  • 2 - Love in the Symposium 15
  • 3 - Love in the Phaedrus 55
  • 4 - Perfect Friendship in Aristotle 103
  • 5 - Aristotle on the Varieties of Friendship 131
  • 6 - The Household 162
  • 7 - The City 179
  • Epilogue 206
  • Appendix 1 - Homogeneity and Beauty in the Symposium 207
  • Appendix 2 - Psychoanalysis Looks at the Phaedrus 215
  • Appendix 3 - Plato's Sexual Morality 223
  • Appendix 4 - Aristotle on Erotic Love 236
  • Afterword (1997) 250
  • List of Modern Works Cited 273
  • Index 281
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 286

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.