Love and Beauty

Topics: Socrates, Symposium, Plato Pages: 3 (1217 words) Published: April 27, 2006
Love is neither wise nor beautiful, but the desire or pursuit of wisdom and beauty. Love is expressed via propagation and reproduction, as in the exchange and development of ideas. Socrates in the Symposium best expresses this belief. Socrates' view of Love and Beauty was that one is the pursuit of the other, and that other is the greatest of all knowledge. Love is a driving force, a compulsion forward to a goal. Much as a moth is drawn to light, for its heat, people are lured to Beauty by Love. Love is an emotion, and like all emotions, we are compelled to an action by it. As Anger might drive us to violence, against that which is hated, Love does lead us to adore that which is Beauty. Love has many forms as well. There is physical love, the attraction and appreciation of something for it's physical characteristics. This applies to both love for another person's physical beauty, or to other physical forms as well. A good example is one's love for a particular view of scenery in nature or, someone's love for a specific food. These things represent an aspect of Beauty, they are beautiful, and therefore incite love in the minds of those who behold them. Emotions contribute to another form of Love. This is love for a person's inner beauty, the beauty of their person on an emotional level. This form is more limited, for example, it's difficult to form an emotional attachment to a painting or to a bagel. This form is also not as common as physical love in that it cannot be developed in an instant, but more it requires extended contact and familiarity. For this reason, emotional love is usually accompanied by physical love, for physical attraction to a person would allow for the time and experience required to develop a basis for emotional love. Socrates believed that Love's goal was to reproduce itself in beauty. That is, a form of beauty in either an intellectual form or a physical form should be passed on and perpetuated, and things beautiful are things that are...

Bibliography: Plato. "Symposium." Classics of Western Philosophy. Ed. Steven Cahn. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2002. 82-112
Levy, Donald. "The Definition of Love in Plato 's Symposium." Journal of the History of Ideas 40.2 (1979): 285-291.
White, F.C.. "Love and Beauty in Plato 's Symposium." The Journal of Hellenic Studies 109 (1989): 149-157.
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