Philosophy of Love - a Brief Introduction

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Marta Adaśko

Plan of presentation:

1. Introduction to the philosophy of love.

2. Ancient conceptions - Plato.

3. Thought of Middle Ages – St. Augustine.

4. Modern ideas – chosen examples.

5. Contemporary consideration => summing up .

Philosophy of love

How to speak about love if there is no clear certain definition of this feeling or even precise description? Nevertheless libraries all over the world are full of books written about it. And people will write about love as long as they exist. Since it is the most important and inseparable part of our humanity, ingrained in every human action. Wellspring of music and word, temples and cottages, paintings and sculptures. Source of insanity in operas and concerts, words of poets and philosophers, tragedies and comedies, celebrations and anguish of everyday life. Cause of bread and vine. Once in a while unseen, ruined, oppressed, covered by hatred, greed - irregardles - love is always what everyone is all about. What everyone yearn for, dream of, struggle to. Target to which people cut through the stumbling, falls, own and others’ foolishness, weakness and imperfections. As long as they live – they live and breathe love. Beget by love and extinguished by love.

As the topic of love is extremely broad and deep, I would like to focus on the most characteristic thinkers. The best-known ancient philosopher of love is Plato, who is especially famous for his theory of Forms, according to which the world we know through the senses is only an imitation of the pure, eternal, and unchanging world of the Forms. But what I want to concentrate on is platonic idea of love. In “Symposium” and “Phaedrus” Plato shows us that searching for the ideal, for beauty itself, is what love is all about. Love is what leads from appearances to reality, love is what connects the immediate to the ultimate. He defines love as "eros," the powerful desire for what we lack. One person...
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