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The Oxford Handbook of the American Musical yRating 2 of five all for Aristophanes s way trippy remix of the Book of GenesisWhile perusing a review of Death in Venice dreadful taleet another fag must die rather than love piece of normative propaganda written by my good friend Stephen he expressed a desire to read The Symposium before he eventually re reads this crapulous homophobic maundering deathless work of art As I have read The Symposium with less than stellar results I warned him off Well see below for what happened next Stephen wrote Damncan When Students Turn to Terror: Terrorist and Extremist Activity on British Campuses you do a uick cliff notes summary or maybe a video lecture I would much rather take advantage ofour previous suffering than have to duplicate itTHE SYMPOSIUMSo this boring poet dude wins some big ass prize and has a few buds over for a binge They re all lying around together on couches which is as promising a start to a story as I can think of when the boys decide to stay sober boo and debate the Nature of LuuuvPhaedrus subject of a previous Socratic dialogue by Plato gives a nice little speech dry as a popcorn fart about how Love is the oldest of the gods and Achilles was Mommys Little Dunce younger than Patroclus and Alcestis died of love for her husband and some other stuff I don t remember because I was drifting off and so I got up to see if I would stay awake better on the patio It was a little nippy that daySo next up is the lawyer I know right Ask a lawyer to talk about love Like asking a priest to talk about honor or a politician to talk about common decency So he pontificates about pederasty for a while which made me uncomfortable so I got up to get some coffee I may have stopped by the brandy bottle on the way back out I can t recallSo after the lawyer tells us when exactly it s okay for a grown man to pork a teenager the doctor chimes in that luuuuuv is the drug it s everything man the whole uuuuuuuniiiiiveeeeeeeeeerse is luuuuv Who knew they had hippies in those days I needed brandy I mean coffee and the text of my ancient Penguin paperback was getting smaller and smaller for some reason so I went to look for the brandy get the magnifying glass so I could see the footnotesThen comes Aristophanes Now seriously this is a good bit Aristophanes in Plato s world tells us why we feel whole complete when we re with our true love Once upon a time we were all two bodied and two souled beings all male all female or hermaphroditic When these conjoined twins fell into disfavor Zeus cleaved them apart and for all eternity to come those souls will wander the earth seeking the other half torn from usNow being Aristophanes Plato plays it for laughs but this is really the heart of the piece Plato uite clearly thought this one through in terms of what makes us humans want and need love It s a bizarre version of Genesis don cha thinkSo there I was glazed over with brandy fog admiration for the imagination of this ancient Greek boybanger and I was about to give up and pass out take my contemplations indoors when the wind riffling the pages a bit caused me to light on an interesting line I continued with the host s speechNow reallyis there anything on this wide green earth boring than listening to a poet bloviate Especially about luuuuv Blah blah noble blah blahouthful Birth Control Abortion in Islam yakkity blah brave snoreThen it s Socrates s turn and I was hoping Plato gave him some good zingers to make up for the tedium of the preceding sixteenears of my life I mean the previous speech It was a little bit hard to hold the magnifying glass for some reason and it kept getting in the way of the brandy bottle I mean coffee thermos COFFEE THERMOSI m not all the way sure what Plato had Socrates say but it wasn t riveting lemme tell a what I woke up I mean came to ummm that is I resumed full attention when the major studmuffin and hawttie Alcibiades comes in late and drunk and proceeds to pour out his unreuited lust for older uglier Socrates He really gets into the nitty gritty here talking about worming his way into the old dude s bed and still Socrastupid won t play hide the salamiVarious noises of incredulity and derision were heard to come from my mouth I feel sure though I was a little muzzy by that time and it is about this point that the brandy bottle COFFEE THERMOS slid to the ground and needed picking up As I leaned to do so I remember thinking how lovely and soft the bricks lookedWhen I woke up under the glass table top the goddamned magnifying glass had set what remains of the hair on top of my head on fireThe moral of the story is reading The Symposium should never be undertaken while outdoors This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 30 Unported License In this book Socrates argues that it is not always a good idea to have sex with boys and Aristophanes explains we were once co joined creatures of three sexes either malefemale malemale or femalefemale and were shaped like balls How could anyone not find this a book worth reading I Never Met a Physician Who Wasn t Descended from a GreekThis might just be the work that put the meta at least the metafiction in metaphysicsPlato s name is attached to it but its principal focus is Socrates And guess what Socrates doesn t so much elaborate on his own views as 1 recount the views of others especially those of the female philosopher Diotima and 2 indirectly reveal his views by his conduct and his responses to the views of others especially the taunts of AlcibiadesEven the concept of Platonic Love could possibly be accurately attributed to Socrates but likely to DiotimaIn fact I wonder whether this work proves that the Greek understanding of Love as we comprehend it actually owes to women than menThe Epismetology of the Word SymposiumDespite being familiar with the word for decades I had no idea that symposium or less literally means a drinking party or to drink togetherIn Socrates time it was like a toga party for philosophersIt s great that this learned Socrates time it was like a toga party for philosophersIt s great that this learned was reinvigorated by Pomona College in 1953 How appropriate that Pomona was the Roman goddess of fruitful abundance Of course many of us will remember our first experience of a toga party from the film Animal HouseMore recently perhaps in tribute to the film the concept has transformed into a frat party notice the derivation from the mas Symposium PlatoThe Symposium Ancient Greek is a philosophical text by Plato dated c 385 370 BC It depicts a friendly contest of extemporaneous speeches given by a group of notable men attending a banuet The men include the philosopher Socrates the general and political figure Alcibiades and the comic playwright Aristophanes 1984 1385 160 9642575000 1381 1386 1389 469 399 385 It s been less than three ears that I ve been Socrates companion and made it my job to know exactly what he says and does each day Before that I simply drifted aimlessly Of course I used to think that what I was doing was important but in fact I was the most worthless man on earth as bad as ou are this very moment I used to think philosophy was the last thing a man should do In Praise of Love An Encore This is a dialogue about the human aspiration towards happiness and how that desire is best satisfied Plato s overriding concern as a teacher is how to achieve eudamonia or how to live the good life However this is as difficult a topic to capture in teaching as it is to achieve in action Hence he approaches the topic by defining many peripheral topics by showing various aspects of the good lifeIn The Symposium too the same ultimate uestion is approached this time through the uestion of how to love perfectly Many wonderful explanation of Love are given but in the end it boils down to how to live the good life through the uestion of what should one love to do and hence what should one do in life The answer that emerges is simple love only things that are ends in themselves do only them Ends in themselves are not to done for any further end to achieve something else And most importantly they should be eternal Symposium The Setting Plato s dialogues are fictional and often richly dramatic snippets of philosophical imagination The Symposium is a particularly dramatic work It is set at the house of Agathon a tragic poet celebrating his recent poetic victory Those present are amongst the intellectual Elite Of The Day Including of the day including exponent of heroic poetry Phaedrus an expert in the laws of various Greek states Pausanias a representative of medical expertise Eryximachus a comic poet Aristophanes and a philosopher Socrates And the political maverick alcibiades towards the endthe symposiumthe symposium consists mainly towards the endThe SymposiumThe Symposium consists mainly a series of praise speeches encomia delivered in the order in which these speakers are seatedThey begin with the discourse of Phaedrus and the series contains altogether eight parts divided into two principal seuences The Speeches 1 Phaedrus Love makes us noble and gods honor it Love is the greatest god Love is nobility This is the simplest of the speechesAn unconditional praising of Love and this from the same Phaedrus who unconditionally condemns it in his own eponymous dialogue 2 Pausanias perhaps the most interesting of these speeches for this reviewer Wants to define Love before praising it Love is not in itself noble and worthy of praise it depends on whether the sentiments it produces in us are themselves noble Differentiates between Common Love Divine Love How hasty vulgar lovers are and therefore how unfair to their loved ones Love is like everything else complex considered simply in itself it is neither honorable nor a disgrace its character depends entirely on the behavior it gives rise to The common vulgar lover loves the body rather than the soul his love is bound to be inconstant since what he loves is itself mutable and unstable The moment the body is no longer in bloom he flies off and away his promises and vows in tatters behind him How different from this is a man who loves the right sort of character and who remains its lover for life attached as he is to something that is permanent Pausanias goes on from this to provide a theory on the origins of Social Customs of courtship etc We can now see the point of our customs they are designed to separate the wheat from the chaff the proper love from the vile That s why we do everything we can to make it as easy as possible for lovers to press their suits and as difficult as possible for oung men to comply it is like a competition a kind of test to determine to which sort each belongs This explains two further facts First why we consider it shameful to ield too uickly the passage of time in itself provides a good test in these matters Second why we also consider it shameful for a man to be seduced by money or political power either because he cringes at ill treatment and will not endure it or because once he has tasted the benefits of wealth and power he will not rise above them None of these benefits is stable or permanent apart from the fact that no genuine affection can possibly be based upon themOnly in this case we should notice is it never shameful to be deceived in every other case it is shameful both for the deceiver and the person he deceives Suppose for example that someone thinks his lover is rich and accepts him for his money his action won t be any less shameful if it turns out that he was deceived and his lover was a poor man after all For the oung man has already shown himself to be the sort of person who will do anything for money and that is far from honorable By the same token suppose that someone takes a lover in the mistaken belief that this lover is a good man and likely to make him better himself while in reality the man is horrible totally lacking in virtue even so it is noble for him to have been deceived For he too has demonstrated something about himself that he is the sort of person who will do anything for the sake of virtue and what could be honorable than that It follows therefore that giving in to our lover for virtue s sake is honorable whatever the outcome And this of course is the Heavenly Love of the heavenly goddess Love s value to the city as a whole and to the citizens is immeasurable for he compels the lover and his loved one alike to make virtue their central concern All other forms of love belong to the vulgar goddess Makes one wonder if we should really be proud of ou. The Symposium is a complex piece which is perhaps as widely read as any of Plato's works apart from the Rep. ΣυμπόσιονR modern methods sans the niceties of elaborate courtship 3 Eryximachus Differentiates between Healthy Unhealthy Love doctor that he isEverything sound and healthy in the body must be encouraged and gratified Conversely whatever is unhealthy and unsound must be frustrated and rebuffed that s what it is to be an expert in medicine 4 Aristophanes Bases Love on the conception of Longing Completion beautifully illustrated in his famous Myth of Soulmates We used to be complete wholes in our original nature and now Love is the name for our pursuit of wholeness for our desire to be completePlato also uses this occasion to make fun of Aristophanes by painting whims lewd and bawdy man given to sensual pleasures and fits of hiccups There are even direct references to Aristophanes s irreverent clouds Aristophanes do ou really think A French Star in New York The French Girl you can take a shot at me and then escape Useour head Remember as ou speak that ou will be called upon to give an account Though perhaps if I decide to I ll let Freezing Point you off 5 Agathon Decides to stop the praising of Love and focus on the ualities of Love For every praise no matter whoseou must explain what ualities in the subject of Folk og røvere i Kardemomme by your speech enable it to give the benefits for which we praise it So now in the case of Love it is right for us to praise him first for what it is and afterwards for its gifts He goes on toe elaborate on the perfection of Love s ualities about the god s justice moderation bravery and wisdom and how Love confers all these ualities to its devotees Thus Love is the source of all good according to Agathon 6 Socrates Enough with the Eulogies Socrates sets out with a series of uestions in an attempt to pin down Love You have beautifully and magnificently expounded his ualities in other ways tell me this too about Love Is Love such as to be a love of something or of nothing He proceeds through the same arguments as in Phaedrus and arrives at No one is in need of those things he already has Wheneverou say I desire what I already have ask Pure Excitement yourself whetherou don t mean this I want the things I have now to be mine in the future as well Socrates Conclusion Love is a lack and desire to fill that It is a desire for something lacking or a desire for preservation of what has been acuired What constitutes eudaimonia is not to be had in a moment in time In a word then love is wanting to possess the good forever If this is the objective of Love The next uestion is how to pursue this objectiveAnswer Seek Love in Beauty and Reproduction and Birth in Beauty The argument does not deviate much from that in Phaedrus readers will want to compare this speech on Love with those of Socrates in PhaedrusSocrates account thus moves from an analysis of the nature of such desire to an account of knowledge and its acuisition for if we all have a desire for our own good and happiness the issue becomes how to identify correctly the nature of this good He defines intellectual activity to be the best good and central to human happiness than any other activity 7 Alcibiades An almost pointless speech does not contribute much to the dialogue directly and Auksaviriai I d yet it does by adding to the context Plato s Political Intent Praise Socrates Distance Socrates from the follies of thisoung manAlcibiades account reveals that although he desires the wisdom he perceives in Socrates there is a competing value pulling him away Yet when I leave him I am eually aware that I am giving in to my desire for honor from the public so I skulk out of his sight like a runaway slave This conflict between the attractions of wisdom and the sort of excellence that earns honour from the people is the very one argued out theoretically in Socrates speech Alcibiades choice to organize his life around the pursuit of personal honor exonerates Socrates from any association with the terrible events that resulted from his choices Socrates was not responsible for the corruption Plato s Philosophical Intent Also show how even Socrates teachings are not flawless Even Philosophy is dependent on good students to produce results Symposium A Conclusion The Symposium belongs with the dialogues concerned with Education especially the moral education of the oung Its discussion of the nature and goals of loving relationships takes us to the heart of Plato s concern with the good life and how it is achieved That Education and Desires are seen to play such an important role in moral development draws on a theme elaborated in the Republic and is concerned with the development of character and how that contributes to the good lifeThough Plato leads us to the lofty heights of the Forms as the true end of our desire for good things and happiness his account is nonetheless one that resonates beyond such abstractions The Symposium does not contain a fully developed theory of the self although it outlines with considerable care the dimensions of concern which preoccupy human beings Its achievement is a rich and unitary image of human strivingThrough this conception even if narrow of a flourishing life where certain things are advocated to the oung as valuable the dialogue explores the nature of eudaimonia which may be translated as happiness or flourishing This is ultimately why a dialogue devoted on the surface to the nature of erotic relationships is an ethical work at its core which culminates in the specification of the life which a human being should live And it is this concern that relates the Symposium to a fundamental uestion that informs a variety of Platonic dialogues How should one liveThus Plato s concern with desire and its role in the good life leads to his conclusion One s ability to act well and to lead a worthwhile and good life depends in part on desiring the right kinds of things and acting on that basis What or whom one desires determines the choices one makes and thereby affects one s chances of leading a worthwhile and happy lifeIt is by prompting us to reflect deeply on the relationship between our desires and their real end and the role that our lovers might play in helping us to achieve it that the Symposium really makes its mark The Symposium holds the key to ancient psychology One has but to compare post Freudian psychology s understanding of the drives with Plato s discourse on human longing here in order to measure the distance between the ancient and modern orientations to reality It is strange for us to conceive this in the post Darwinian POST FREUDIAN ERA BUT PLATO GENUINELY Freudian era but Plato genuinely that the longing to know is the fundamental human drive with sexuality the modern candidate foundational drive being derived therefrom What a different psychology this basic belief reveals And with this alternate psychology Plato reveals an orientation to the world that opens up horizons entirely other to those we are accustomed toPlato has shown a concern for the way that our pre rational orientation to the real feeds into and constrains our capacity to reason already in other dialogues such as The Republic One gets the feeling that the arch rationalist becomes progressively haunted in each dialogue by the realization that what we love determines in advance the direction our rationality can take in its approach to the real Nietzsche commented admiringly on Plato s psychological acumen evinced by his discovery that our strongest longing is the true but hidden master of our reason Already with the Symposium we see that the structure of reasoning crystallizes itself around this primordial pre rational engagement with the real Early on in the dialogue Socrates makes the rather cheeky claim that it is only the philosopher who can understand the real meaning of desire only the genuine philosopher who can understand real meaning of desire further proposes to the incredulity of others present that indeed philosophy is somehow connected with the pursuit of the fulfillment of this deepest desire And what better setting could Plato choose to prove the power of Socrates s insight into the human drives than a drinking party Here Socrates proves his superior capacity to harmonize and rein in his whole human capacity for feeling not merely by displaying his superior discursive prowess but also by drinking every last one of his companions under the table by banuet s end The banuet setting thus seems like a mock ordeal which allows Socrates to reveal his deeper mastery over his animal nature It is the depth of his transformation of his pre rational nature that makes him the better philosopherWhat Socrates shows us is that our longing is the hunger for completion awakened by our growing awareness of finitude It is a drive to transcend the boundaries of our finitude through an effort to establish a relationship to a reality that is registered as being complete than that possessed by the finite self Socrates famous speech on the real nature of love in this dialogue attests to the fact that our desire for sexual love is an offshoot of this primordial drive which is part and parcel of the structure of consciousness itself to find our fullest orientation to reality in an act of knowing that relates all that we are to a world which is for the first time experienced as a unity In the growth of our consciousness we first learn to relate body to human body immersing ourselves in the physical continuum of interchanges in a game of self forgetful clinging to outward shadows At this level of self development according to Plato s account of the levels of understanding in the Republic our relation is merely to the shifting outward images of being Because we cannot conceive the unity of things at this level we fall short of that supreme mark of reality which is the knowledge of the unity of things Our love at this level thus remains a game of hide and seek played with ourselves as much as with one another But as the power of our minds grows we cannot fail to realize deeper dimensions of our longing to relate We now come to long for a relationship to the real established on the basis of our most characteristic capacity We long to relate to the world on the level of mind and we find that this relation to the world not only takes us deeper into the heart of the real Our deepest desire is realized in the perception of the world on the level of form This level of perception also takes us deeper into ourselves as well as revealing the true basis for relating to one another Our real community is a communion of mindsSocrates proposition to us is that we are selves and lovers to the extent that we realize our true nature as knowers And we attain realization as selves to the extent that we progress from being driven by our shadow loving sexual love to that comprehensive love in us that is wisdom itself The rest of Plato s philosophy is arguably built on this psychology of self realization Plato s identification through Socrates of Love the Good the Beautiful and the True is really the best definition of the most consummate philosophic vision In our highest reasonings Plato s Socrates claims these four things become one Their union in the actuality of an experience is what we call wisdom the end goal of the whole search that structures our lives from the first awakening of consciousness in infancy Modern philosophy would be different if we operated under the same definition of reason The greatest proof of its power to me is that even Nietzsche who was its most serious critic nonetheless pined for the loss of it It seems that Plato s description of the goal of human development was accurate after all even if it remains only an inescapable regulative ideal for philosophic inuiry without ever becoming a stable humanly realizable realityThis dialogue is worth reading if only for Alcibiades drunkenly revealing speech expressing Socrates effect on those poor souls like himself whom he manages to convert to his way of life Surely there has been no greater portrait of the psychology of a great philosopher anywhere nor of the effect that such a figure inevitably will have on natures less in tune with the original drive to know that structures human nature But Alcibiades nonetheless proves himself to be Socrates truest disciple even as he expresses his frustration at his inability read unwillingness to follow him to the end Alcibiades poignantly shows what s in store for all of us as soon as we start to take this gig serio. Ublic However the existing standard commentaries in English do not offer much by way of help to any reader. .

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Usly the way that Socrates represents will cleave us into two warring parts so that we become strangers to our old desires and attachments and strangers in the world awaiting a new birth Plato s Symposium is one of the most loved classics from the ancient world a work of consummate beauty as both philosophy and as literature most appropriate since the topic of this dialogue is the nature of love and includes much philosophizing on beauty In the spirit of freshness I will focus on one very important section where Socrates relates the words of his teacher Diotima on the birth of Love explained in the context of myth Following the birth of Aphrodite the other gods were having a feast including Resource the son of Invention When they d had dinner Poverty came to beg as people do at feasts and so she was by the gate Resource was drunk with nectar this was before wine was discovered went into the garden of Zeus and fell into drunken sleep Poverty formed the plan of relieving her lack of resources by having a child by Resource she slept with him and became pregnant with Love So the reason Love became a follower and attendant of Aphrodite is because he was conceived on the day of her birth also he is naturally a lover of beauty and Aphrodite is beautiful Diotima continues but let s pause here as according to many teachers within the Platonic tradition there are at least two critical points to be made about this passage The first is how love is conceived in the garden of Zeus and that s Zeus as mythical personification of Nous or true intellectual understanding In other words for one seeking philosophic wisdom love is born and exists within the framework of truth and understanding thus in order to have a complete appreciation of the nature of love one must be committed to understanding the nature of truth The second point is how within the Platonic tradition truth is linked with beauty Two of my own Plato teachers were adamant on this point citing how modern people who separate beauty from truth can never partake of the wisdom traditions Incidentally these exact two points are made elouently by Pierre Grimes in this video Although I am not a strict Platonist I tend to agree When I encounter people who have sharp minds and are keenly analytical but communicate their ideas in snide or sarcastic unbeautiful language or are in any way disingenuous or degrading of others I find such behavior very much in bad taste In a very real sense I feel these individuals have cut themselves off from the world s wisdom traditions particularly from the Platonic traditionI wanted to focus on this one paragraph to convey a sense of the richness of this magnificent Platonic dialogue One could mine wisdom nuggets from each and every paragraph And Interviewing Users yes I get a kick every time I read the speech of Aristophanes featuring those cartwheeling prehumans with four arms and four legs Also two fun facts One reflecting on Alcibiades the history of philosophy records another incredibly handsome man with a similar great head of curly hair and full curly beard a man fortunately with a much stronger character the Stoic philosopher and Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Two Diogenes Laertius reports the Greek philosopher Epicurus also wrote a book with the title Symposium Unfortunately this piece of writing is lost to us Darn OPRAH Good evening and welcome to What s the Most Spiritual Book of All Time For people who missed last week s exciting semi final round The Sermon on the Mount beat The Bhagavad Gita 4 1 while Jonathan Livingston Seagull unexpectedly lost 3 2 to outsider The Symposium Let s all welcome our finalists Applause Enter JESUS CHRIST and SOCRATES both wearing tuxedos They shake hands More applauseOPRAH And now let me introduce our jury I m thrilled to have with us living legend Paul McCartney world famous novelist EL James the beautiful and talented Lindsay Lohan controversial scientist Richard Dawkins and ever popular hockey mom Sarah Palin The crowd goes wild with some people clapping and others booing It s impossible to make out a word anyone saysOPRAH Thankou thank ou thank ou I m just going to remind Payback you of the rules before we start Each member of the jury gives us a short speech and then we count up the votes to see who our lucky winner is Over toou PaulMCCARTNEY Thank The No 1 Car Spotter and the Car Thieves No1 Car Spotter you Oprah Well I look at our two finalists andou know what I m thinking I m thinking they won that special place they have in our hearts because they told special place they have in our hearts because they told about Love And I remember back in 1966 when John gave that interview where he said no offense intended we re popular than Jesus JESUS holds up a hand to show he s cool They gave John a hard time about that but all he wanted to say was that even though Jesus had shown us the power of Love maybe at that exact moment in history we could do a better job of bringing it to the people and telling them all how amazing Love is Because it is amazing isn t it He takes out a guitarPerhaps some of Giant Steps to Change the World you remember this song we wroteThere s nothingou can do that can t be doneNothing First Light Project Five Fifteen you can sing that can t be sungNothingou can say but New Erotica for Feminists Satirical Fantasies of Love Lust and Eual Pay you can learn how to play the gameIt s easyNothingou can make that can t be madeNo one The New Roger's Profanisaurus you can save that can t be savedNothingou can do but Convicts Captive Book Two you can learn how to beou in timeIt s easyAll The power (Novela) Version en español (Spanish Edition) you need is love OPRAH That s wonderful Paul but who areou voting forMCCARTNEY Oh er well if John were here I think he d want me to vote for The Symposium He was always had a thing for Socrates George too Yes Socrates it is Applause The scoreboard shows 1 0 SOCRATES looks a little embarrassed while JESUS curiously examines MCCARTNEY s guitarOPRAH That s terrific Paul beautiful beautiful song Really takes me back So Socrates is in the lead but it s early days The Green Ghost and Other Stories yet Your turn ErikaJAMES Good evening and I m thrilled to be here Now I m sure some ofou have read the Fifty Shades books and I believe a lot of people misunderstand them It s easy just to think about the sex and the glitz and the limos and the handcuffs and the blindfolds and the whips and the OPRAH I m not uite sure what السودان المأزق التاريخي وآفاق المستقبل you re trying to say here ErikaJAMES Just let me finish Oprah What most people don t realize is that these books aren t about sex they re about Love They re a spiritual journey where Ana has to help Christian haveou ever wondered why he s called Christian find himself and discover the difference between empty eroticism and the redeeming power of OPRAH I m afraid I m going to have to cut Dune Messiah you off there Erika You ll have to tell us now whoou re voting forJAMES Well Jesus of course Really Fifty shades is an allegory a modern version of is an allegory a modern version of s OPRAH That s incredibly interesting Erika and I wish we had time to talk about it But now the score s 1 1 and we re moving on to our third member of the jury Your turn LindsayLOHAN Thank Le Destin au berceau. Ingalits et reproduction sociale you everyone and I d particularly like to thank my parole officer for allowing me to joinou tonight She said it d be good for me Laughter applause So Self-hypnosis in 48 Hours yeah Love To me love s about trying to find my soulmate I bet there s plenty ofou people who feel the same way I do there s someone out there who s like the other half of me and I have to find that person to be complete You know And it s really hard to guess who that person is maybe it s a guy like The Watchmakers Lady you know maybe Justin or Ashton or Zac or Ryan and we were once this person who was half a man and half a woman and we got split apart or maybe it s a woman like maybe Sam or OPRAH Lindsay that s such a moving thought but we ve got to watch the clock Who areou voting forLOHAN Well duh Socrates of course It s all there in the Symposium The Aristophanes speech I must have read it a million timesOPRAH Lindsay thank Instinct for Freedom Finding Liberation Through Living you so much and I really hopeou find Legacy of the Heart: The Spiritual Advantages of a Painful Childhood your soulmate one day You just need to keep looking So Socrates has taken a 2 1 lead and we re going over to our next speaker RichardDAWKINS Ahes Now I ve been sitting here listening to all of とんび you and I ve enjoyedour contributions but I m a scientist and I ve got to think about things in a scientific way When I think about love as a scientist all I ultimately see is tropisms and feedback loops An organism feels a lack of something it could be as simple as an E coli needing an essential nutrient and it does what it can to get it Love is just the concrete expression of that negative feedback loop There s nothing OPRAH This all sounds like Socrates s speech I take it The Concubine you re voting for him thenDAWKINS What Oh no no not at all Jesus every time He takes off his jacket revealing a T shirt that says ATHEISTS FOR JESUS I can t stand Platonic forms and all that mystical nonsense Jesus now there s a straightforward plain speaking person with solid humanist values Just a shame he got mixed up with the religion business Boos catcalls some scattered clapping The scoreboard shows 2 2OPRAH Er right Always ready to surprise us Richard So it s up to Sarah to cast the deciding vote Over toou SarahPALIN Well Oprah I m afraid I m not as imaginative as Richard I m just a regular small town girl with regular small town values and I was brought up readin the Sermon on the Mount Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake blessed are Surfing: The World's Best Surf Breaks and Techniques (World Sports Guide) ye when men shall revileou smaller government lower taxes support Israel no to OPRAH Is that all in the Sermon on the Mount SarahPALIN Maybe not in those exact words But it s there And The Infernal you can betour boots I m not votin for a liberal type who hangs around with a bunch of guys what re openly tryin to get into his JESUS and SOCRATES exchange puzzled glancesPALIN Anyways I m votin for JesusOPRAH Ah thank The Divers' Game you Sarah Forthright as ever So that s 3 2 to The Sermon on the Mount but well done The Symposiumou were so close And thank ou everyone particularly Socrates and Mr Christ for an amazing and deeply spiritual experience it s been incredible meeting ou all thank Heart of the Night Secret Agent Series you again and we ll be back next week Credits theme music It has been a long time since I first read The Symposium That was back in university in my freshmanear course Sexuality in Literature I admit I found it all a bit shocking the open tolerance of sexual relationships between men and boys wasn t it pederasty Even now it is surprising to find that one of the most influential and foundational works on love in Western history is largely focused on relationships that have often been deemed illegal Imagine what the medieval Europeans would have thought of this work had it not been entirely inaccessible to them in Latin Maybe they would have enjoyed the notion of spiritual Platonic love but I doubt they would have liked Alcibiades intrusionWell after re reading this little dialogue I can only concur with the verdict of the crowd that this is one of Plato s most I m glad I chose this translation by Robin Waterfield and this publisher Oxford World s Classic the introduction is of great help and the text flows easily and is very understandable and doesn t feel stiff and suchThis book s subject is a series of speeches praising Love both of sexual and of mind kind the former producing sometimes children the latter creative works and learning the latter is immortal and superior in author s opinion The book ends with useful notes and a name index that shines light on the party guests and names popping up in conversations Plato wrote the book between 385 378 BC most likely around 380 BCPlato sets this imagined high society dinner part in Athens 416 BC which is told about to others just after the death of one of the guests Alcibades in 404 BC Other guests include the comic poet Aristophanes who of course gets the funny hiccups that is cured with sneezing and Plato s teacher Socrates who gets to be the giver of Plato s opinion on the subject Socrates himself gets it from not certain if existed person that is Diotima a wise womanI liked this uote On the other hand ignorant people don t love knowledge or desire wisdom either because the trouble with ignorance is precisely that if a person lacks virtue and knowledge he s perfectly satisfied with the way he is If a person isn t aware of a lack he can t desire the thing which he isn t aware of lackingSeven speeches are heard Socrates turn comes at the end but when Alcibades bursts into the part he gives one speech praising Socrates and clearly showing that Except the classicist who knows Greek; and they also tend to be light on the dialogue as a work of philosop. ,

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