We have heard definitions of love through our lives that have been passed
on for decades. Some of us have felt love, and some of us have been in love. But
no one ever seems to question what love is, as if it is something that just plainly is.
People tend to just go with it, and think that what they are feeling is really
complete and substantial love. In Plato's The Symposium, the reader is confronted
with some very different views of love as brought to us by Agathon, Phaedrus and
Socrates, to name a few. Each man at the dinner party has a different point of
view on the issue of love. Some of the men are old lovers, and some are just
friends, and each puts in his thoughts of love as the evening wears on. Socrates'
theories of love are a little different than everyone else's'. Being the great
philosopher that he was, he had quite a different take on the issue. Socrates strove
to find the truth in love. He was the "ideal lover of wisdom", never allowing
himself to divert from the real pursuit of beauty: Since beauty is one of the true
and ultimate objectives of love. Socrates states that, "Love is the consciousness
a need for a good not yet acquired or possessed." In other words we want what
we do not have, and at times cannot have. Love for Socrates is a superficial
occurrence and only based on the things in life that seem to be pleasing to the eye.
But in the times when The Symposium was written that tended to be the case more
often than not.
No one is in need of what they already have. To possess something to its
fullest is to have it, and therefore there is no need to ever have it again, or anymore
for that matter. What we don't think of when we hear a statement like that is that
in the future we may not experience what we did in the past. Having something,
and loving it makes us feel like it will always be there for us and that we will have
it at all times. Socrates believes that even if you have all you... [continues]
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