Plato and platonic relationship

platonic love | Meaning & Origin |

plato and platonic relationship

The definition of the platonic relationship has evolved throughout history. Plato, the famous Greek philosopher, first came up with the term. He believed that a. non-sexual relationship between heterosexual friends. As the concept of Platonic love is far from doing justice to. Plato's complex theory of love and sex, French. Plato discusses love (erôs) and friendship (philia) primarily in two dialogues, . His account in the Symposium of one such relationship—that with the .. rather than frustrate love, in other words, is the theory of Platonic Forms.

When Socrates finally does arrive in propria person, Agathon says: Socrates replies with an obviously sexual simile, which acknowledges, so as later once again to invert, paiderastic norms: What actually happens, however, is the very reverse. Love and the Ascent to the Beautiful Socrates is adept at some parts of the art of love but cannot take his beloveds all the way. So he is clearly in need of further instruction in the art of love. And what she teaches him, in a nutshell, is Platonism.

What the elenchus needs if it is to satisfy rather than frustrate love, in other words, is the theory of Platonic Forms. What Socrates needs—and so ought to love—is Plato! The story of Platonic love is, one might say, the story of the Platonizing of Socrates. If what Socrates learned from Diotima was about all love, however, it would be refuted by the very fact of Alcibiades, whose love for Socrates has not led him to love the beautiful itself. It would be equally refuted, indeed, by all the other symposiasts, none of whom has been led there by his love.

To many, it has seemed both incredible and distasteful, because it seems to say that beautiful individuals have only instrumental value. When one has climbed the ladder, of which they are merely the first rung, one should kick it—and them—away.

What we all love, according to Diotima, is the good—that is to say, we want good things to be ours forever. But because we are mortal, the closest we can come to satisfying this desire is to initiate an endless cycle of reproduction in which each new generation has good things.

plato and platonic relationship

What does this mean? Like Athenian paiderasteia, Diotima recognizes two fundamentally different kinds of love, two fundamentally different varieties of the desire to give birth in beauty. Homosexual lovers, however, are a different story. Giving birth to virtue and giving birth to accounts of it are obviously different. But some of the other phrases Diotima uses show us how to mitigate the difference.

What is intended to insure that they will not is their openness to reality—an openness guaranteed by the fact that in the course of his ascent the lover must study the beauty of ways of life and laws c3—5 and the beauty of the sciences c6—7. What he gains from these studies are the conceptual resources needed to see the world, including the human world, aright—to gain knowledge of it. This is not the project an analysand takes up in psychoanalysis.

Nor is it the one that we less formally undertake when we reflect on our own love stories in hopes of understanding them often a project provoked alas by an unhappy ending. It is instead the project of philosophy, as Plato conceives of it.

The terms or concepts we use to tell our love stories must themselves be coherent if the stories we use them to tell are themselves to be coherently livable. If they are not, they will be incoherent and the lover who employs them will find himself embroiled in a love story he does not understand, a love story whose incoherence the elenchus, or psychoanalysis, or just plain critical scrutiny will reveal. It is this incoherence, indeed, encountered at lower stages in the ascent, that leads the correct lover, under pressure from his rational desire for truth and consistency, and the pain of inconsistency, to climb to the next stage.

plato and platonic relationship

We can see Diotima, then, not only as revealing the other more abstract loves that a true lover of boys must have, but also as exploring the conditions concepts must meet if they are to figure in genuinely coherent love stories.

Like Diotima herself, we have been concentrating on what other things a lover is led to love by his love for his beloved boy. We have said nothing about the changes explorations in this enlarged erotic field effect in the desires and feelings of the lover himself.

But these, too, help us to see what happens to his love for his boy in the course of his explorations. What hooks the lover to begin with is love for a particular body: At this stage, what the boy engages in the lover is his sexual desire for physical beauty, albeit one which, in firm keeping with the norms of Athenian paiderastia, is supposedly aim-inhibited: Here the beauty at issue is, in the first instance, the boy who represents beauty itself to the lover. And this initially cognitive discovery leads to a conative change: But valuing appropriately is still valuing.

The boy is still included in the class of beautiful bodies the lover now loves. It is also important to notice that cognitive and conative change are going hand-in-hand. And that means that psychological resources within the lover—beyond his sexual responsiveness to physical beauty—are coming into play. More of the lover is now involved in his love. Hence what his beloved might be thought to lose in exclusivity he gains in richness—and no doubt in endurance and reliability—of response.

plato and platonic relationship

When his physical bloom fades, he will now still be loved. But love that is to escape frustration cannot stop with bodies. The attempt to formulate an account of love free from puzzles and immune to elenctic refutation must lead on from beautiful bodies to beautiful souls, and so to the beautiful laws and practices that will improve souls and make young men better.

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  • Platonic love
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Again this cognitive achievement is matched by a conative one. Here, it seems, the lover at last finds something worthy of the obsessive attention he had once lavished on his beloved boy d8—a7. Nonetheless, obsession is out of place even here. Here—as there—what he would do if it were possible must not be confused with what he can and does do. After all, the lover himself cannot become immortal except by giving birth in the beauty he has at last found.

He does that, however, precisely by arranging for his beloved to grow up, become truly virtuous, and be with him in the contemplation of—and, to the extent that it is possible, the possession of—true beauty. The Art and Psychology of Love Explained In the Phaedrus we find a more detailed account of the psychology and art of love than in the Symposium. This account will be our exclusive focus. Of this excess, gluttony is one species, but erotic love another b7-c4.

Eventually, in time, with consequent steps up the ladder, the idea of beauty is eventually no longer connected with a body, but entirely united with Being itself. These two extremes of love are seen by the Greeks in terms of tragedy and comedy.

Plato on Friendship and Eros

According to Diotima in her discussion with Socrates, for anyone to achieve the final rung in the Ladder of Love, they would essentially transcend the body and rise to immortality - gaining direct access to Being. Such a form of love is impossible for a mortal to achieve. This is the type of love, that, according to Socrates, is practiced by animals. The love described as the one practiced by those who are pregnant according to the soul, who partake of both the realm of beings and the realm of Being, who grasp Being indirectly, through the mediation of beings, would be a love that Socrates could practice.

One would be forever limited to beauty of the body, never being able to access the true essence of beauty. The offspring of true virtue would essentially lead to a mortal achieving immortality. Later inMarsilio Ficino put forward a theory of neo-platonic love in which he defines love as a personal ability of an individual which guides their soul towards cosmic processes and lofty spiritual goals and heavenly ideas De Amore, Les Belles Lettres, The first use of the modern sense of platonic love is taken as an invention of Ficino in one of his letters.

Plato and same-sex sexuality

Though Plato's discussions of love originally centered on relationships which were sexual between members of the same sex, scholar Todd Reeser studies how the meaning of platonic love in Plato's original sense underwent a transformation during the Renaissanceleading to the contemporary sense of nonsexual heterosexual love.

It is derived from the concept in Plato's Symposium of the love of the idea of good which lies at the root of all virtue and truth. For a brief period, Platonic love was a fashionable subject at the English royal court, especially in the circle around Queen Henrietta Mariathe wife of King Charles I.

Platonic love was the theme of some of the courtly masques performed in the Caroline era —though the fashion soon waned under pressures of social and political change. Seven types of love[ edit ] Throughout these eras platonic love slowly was categorized into different subsections, which were: Eros is a sexual or passionate love, or a modern perspective of romantic love.

Platonic love - Wikipedia

A romantic relationship is less like a rock, and more like a flower. It has to be carefully cultivated, and taken care of; it is fragile and liable like a flower to die without the proper attention.

This is when the real work begins. Platonic love is much less delicate and can weather these ups and downs. You may also like article continues below: Platonic relationships require especially in the beginning strong boundaries. These are not normally discussed or negotiated the way steps are in romantic relationships, but they hover in the background nonetheless. As time passes, you will know how far you can push those boundaries, and when you have to pull back. For example, when you travel together — do you share a room?

If you do, will that change if one or both of you gets involved with someone romantically?

plato and platonic relationship

Platonic love requires a lot of trust. This is especially true when you or your platonic bestie are in a romantic relationship. If your significant other has a platonic BFF, how would that play out for you?

What would be considered OK? Ask yourself these questions, and listen to those feelings.