Read Plato's Erotic Dialogues: Symposium/Phaedrus (Ancient Greek Philosophy) by Plato Free Online
Book Title: Plato's Erotic Dialogues: Symposium/Phaedrus (Ancient Greek Philosophy)|
The author of the book: Plato
ISBN 13: 9780791416181
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 12.26 MB
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Reader ratings: 6.5
Edition: State University of New York Press
Date of issue: July 1st 1993
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On the Symposium:
First things first, the reason I found this translation so smooth and entertaining is the language, this is by far the easiest English book I've read.
In the Symposium, Agathon holds a supper with his friends (writers and philosophers) and they all decide to make their devotions and praises to the god Eros/Cupid (god of love). Phaedrus (an idealist) states that an army made up entirely of lovers would be the ultimate force against a state's foes, because a lover wouldn't dare to abandon his boyfriend in battle or even dare to show cowardliness, lest being unworthy of the love. Pausanias (a realist) says that there are two Aphrodites, heavenly and common. The one Heavenly is associated with the love of the soul and the common, the love of the body. He also adds that there "isn't one single form of love" and that "love is neither right not wrong in itself" and "It is wrong if you satisfy the wrong person". He defines the wrong person as the one who loves what isn't lasting, the body, rather than the mind. According to Pausanias, the right kind of love is to love the goodness in your lover in order to learn from him and his wisdom. Socrates defines Eros as the love of something you desire and obviously what you desire, you lack and that a wise man can't desire to be wise, since he is wise already and a foolish man can't desire what he doesn't value. So, it must be one of the intermediate class who desires something, because he is neither ignorant nor in possession of what he wants. He also says that man is capable of producing physical and mental offsprings. Physical offspring is ordinary children. Mental offspring is our achievements in life, and both are produced in pursuit of immortality. This was just a quick review of what happened on that splendid supper and I would happily read the Symposium again in the future.
On the Phaedrus:
A conversation between Socrates and his friend Phaedrus on love, speech-making, the soul, reincarnation and writing. Socrates despises desire as a form of excess and that it brings ruin to men in different aspects of life including love and food. Socrates' picture of the soul is a winged form in the heavens with a chariot and two horses following whatever a god it prefers, and that whenever a soul descends to the earth and posses a body it begins to imitate the god it has followed before its earthly birth. On the writing matter, Socrates doesn't approve of whatever is written because in his mind, writing produces forgetfulness and "disuse of memory" and that people would rely on what is written to acquire knowledge rather than experiencing things themselves. Finally, the scientific way of speaking or writing according to Socrates is to know the truth of what you say, to be able to define everything you say and to know whom to address this speech to.
I really find the Symposium to be more entertaining. The Phaedrus is just so rich with different topics and I guess I will have to read it again to ensure my full understanding.
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Read information about the author(Greek: Πλάτων) (Arabic: Platón, Platone)
Plato is a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and science.
Plato is one of the most important Western philosophers, exerting influence on virtually every figure in philosophy after him. His dialogue The Republic is known as the first comprehensive work on political philosophy. Plato also contributed foundationally to ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology. His student, Aristotle, is also an extremely influential philosopher and the tutor of Alexander the Great of Macedonia.