notes_symposium

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plato_symposium

and when you say, i desire that which i have and nothing else, is not your meaning that you want to have what you now have in the future? he desires something which he has not already, and which is future and not present, and which he has not, and is not, and of which he is in want, these are the sort of thing which love and desire seek.
[p.254]

is not good also the beautiful?
yes.
then in wanting the beautiful, love wants also the good? [p255]

Diotima [wise woman]

love was neither fair nor good.

do not then insist she said, that what is not fair is of necessity foul, or what is not good evil: or infer that because love is not fair and good he is therefore foul and evil; for he is in a mean between them. [p.256]

and u admitted that love, because he was in want, desires those good and fair things of which he is in want? yes , i did. but how can he be a good who has no portion in what is either good or fair? p257

what then is love? i asked is he mortal? no what then? As in the former instance, he is neither mortal nor immortal, but in a mean between the two. what is he, diotima? he is a great spirit. and like all spirits he is intermediate between the divine and the mortal. [p.257]

he is in a mean between ignorance and knowledge. [p.258]

for wisdom is a most beautiful thing, and love is of the beautiful; and therefore love is also a philosopher of lover of wisdom, and being a lover of wisdom is in a mean between the wise and the ignorant. and of this too his birth is the cause; for his father is wealthy and wise, and his mother poor and foolish. [p.259]

what is the use of him to men? when a man loves the beautiful, what does he desire? i answered her that ‘the beautiful may be his.’ still she said, the answer suggests a further question: what is given by the possession of beauty? to what you have asked, i replied, i have no answer ready. then she said, let me put the word good, in the place of the beautiful, ….the possession of good. i said, and what does he gain who possesses the good? happiness. i replied…there is a mortal principle in the mortal creature, and in the inharmonious they can never be.
for love, socrates, is not as you imagine the love of the beautiful only? what then? the love of generation and of birth in beauty.

what is the object which they have in view?
the object which they have in view is birth in beauty; whether of body, or soul.

love is of the everlasting possession of good, all men will necessarily desire immortality together with good:wherefore love is of immortality. [p.262]