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Discuss the arguments put into the mouth of Socrates by Plato in his dialogues, Symposium and Phaedrus. What is the purpose of love What form does love initially take What does it grow into Why do we experience love In order to answer this question, - Admission/Application Essay Example

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The nature and meaning of love is a controversial topic captured in diverse works of literature in different ways. It is implicitly depicted in Plato’s dialogues; the symposium and Phaedrus, which are…
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Discuss the arguments put into the mouth of Socrates by Plato in his dialogues, Symposium and Phaedrus. What is the purpose of love What form does love initially take What does it grow into Why do we experience love In order to answer this question,
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Extract of sample "Discuss the arguments put into the mouth of Socrates by Plato in his dialogues, Symposium and Phaedrus. What is the purpose of love What form does love initially take What does it grow into Why do we experience love In order to answer this question,"

English Pla Symposium and Phaedrus Love is a prominent theme, an essential attribute of societies’ structure. The nature and meaning of love is a controversial topic captured in diverse works of literature in different ways. It is implicitly depicted in Plato’s dialogues; the symposium and Phaedrus, which are a mirror reflection of each other. He uses different characters in a dramatic way to bring out different aspects of love including Socrates to show the philosophical nature of love in the native Athenian community.
In his speech at the symposium, Socrates describes the different aspects and nature of love by systematically contradicting and invalidating the preceding arguments (Hamilton et al. 1951). Love can neither be good, beautiful or mortal as argued out by Agathan nor ugly, bad and immortal (201e); it’s an intermediate, a transitory amidst the extremes. It is a striving force based upon lack (201e, cf201b-d). Hence we experience love because we are lacking and desire to possess that which we lack. It, therefore, cannot be equated to goodness since it desires that which is good.
He argues that the ultimate purpose of love is to fulfill the need of something beautiful that we lack. Diotima associates love with pregnancy and reproduction to further illustrate the function of love as the perpetual possession which we desire in order to attain happiness either through procreation of children or intellectually by ideas (206a).
Love is the pursuit of beauty in a slow and systematic ascent as brought out by Ditioma. It initially takes the form of general beauty with sexual desire as even the most ignorant soul is drawn to the beauty at some point. It progresses to physical beauty through attraction of an individual’s beauty but not the person. It extends to moral beauty, that of the mind and structure. Love grows into the ultimate form of beauty, the absolute and divine beauty. (And the true order of going, or being led by another, to the things of love, is to begin from the beauties of earth and mount upwards for the sake of that other beauty, using these as steps only, and from one going on to two, and from two to all fair forms to fair practices, and from fair practices to fair notions, until from fair notions he arrives at the notion of absolute beauty, and at last knows what the essence of beauty) (William, 1993).
In conclusion, Plato uses Socrates to create a contrast between the aspects of love and beauty asserting firmly that the love of wisdom, philosophy, is the ultimate form of love.
References
Cobb, William S., The Symposium in The Symposium and the Phaedrus: Platos Erotic Dialogues. State University of New York Pr, 1993 Read More
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