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In this essay, I approach the question of comedy and tragedy, as well as their relation to philosophy, in the Platonic dialogues through a focus on the comic poet Aristophanes’ speech in Plato’s Symposium. I elicit both the positive contribution of the poet’s speech as well as its limitations for an understanding of comedy, tragedy, and philosophy.
Poetry and philosophy can be seen as coming into competition in various ways in Plato’s Symposium. This confrontation notwithstanding, poetry and philosophy appear in this dialogue as cooperative rivals that are fundamentally at peace with each other
This paper contends that Plato’s Symposium makes a powerful contribution to an understanding of the aims, methods and the value of the dialogue form, the latter being conceived as an “art of philosophical writing”. Through analysis of the first three eulogies of Eros reported in the Symposium, I shall argue that Plato aims to establish a dialogue with his readers by inviting them to grasp the theoretical and practical import of the ideals of beauty, education and philosophical progression. I will show in what ways many of the qualities attached to Eros may be referred to the philosophical writing itself.
What is the relationship between virtues and values? Plato investigates this question in the Symposium. He does this, however, in a rather oblique way, by means of narrative and rhetoric. This paper claims that Plato criticizes one of Athens’ most cherished values, honour, and that he in general maintains that values should be subordinated to the virtues.
In this paper I investigate the understanding of eros expressed in the speeches of Phaedrus and Agathon in Plato’s Symposium, two speeches often neglected in the literature. I argue that they contain crucial insights about the nature of eros that reappear in Diotima’s speech. Finally, I consider the relation of Socrates and Alcibiades in light of these insights, arguing that the figure of Alcibiades should be seen as a negative illustration of the notion of erotic education described by Diotima.
There are some indications within the Symposium that Socrates will learn and describe the real truth about Love from his wise mentor Diotima. This leaves unclear why Plato decided to include the other speeches developed within the dialogue’s elaborate structure. Can we take anything seriously from these other speeches? This paper examines the doctor Eryximachus’ speech with the general hypothesis that we can actually learn from his medical metaphors about love as a healthy harmony
This article emphasizes Diotima as a figurative element within the Symposium in order to highlight the philosophical significance of this figure. My argument is that such an accentuation of the poetical opens up the possibility of bringing forth and emphasizing the philosophical impact that she carries. Furthermore, I attempt to show how accentuating the philosophical significance of Diotima in this way, opens up a specific interpretative path in relation to the dialogue. Contrary to most interpretations of the Symposium, this article spends just a little time, towards the end, looking at the content of what Diotima says. The majority of the article revolves around the figure of Diotima herself.