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Symposium

Plato

Book Overview: 

The Symposium is a philosophical book written by Plato. On one level the book deals with the genealogy, nature and purpose of love, on another level the book deals with the topic of knowledge, specifically how does one know what one knows. Plato constructed the Symposium as a story within a story within a story. This architecture creates the space for Plato to build his philosophy of knowledge. The speech of Socrates points out that the highest purpose of Love is to become a Philosopher, or Lover of Wisdom.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Aristophanes. Hence he is naturally the upholder of male loves, which, like all the other affections or actions of men, he regards as varying according to the manner of their performance. Like the sophists and like Plato himself, though in a different sense, he begins his discussion by an appeal to mythology, and distinguishes between the elder and younger love. The value which he attributes to such loves as motives to virtue and philosophy is at variance with modern and Christian notions, but is in accordance with Hellenic sentiment. The opinion of Christendom has not altogether condemned passionate friendships between persons of the same sex, but has certainly not encouraged them, because though innocent in themselves in a few temperaments they are liable to degenerate into fearful evil. Pausanias is very earnest in the defence of such loves; and he speaks of them as generally approved among Hellenes and disapproved by barbarians. His speech is 'more words than matter,'. . . Read More

Community Reviews

“It’s been less than three years 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 ba...more

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 t...more

Rating: 2* of five, all for Aristophanes's way trippy remix of the Book of Genesis

While perusing a review of Death in Venice (dreadful tale, yet 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 befo...more

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 male/female, male/male or female/female and were shaped like balls. How could anyone not find this a book worth reading?

Συμπόσιον = Symposium, Plato
The Symposium (Ancient Greek: Συμπόσιον) 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 banquet. The men include the philosopher Socrates, the general and politi...more

Από τη μία, οφείλω να υποκλιθώ στο βάθος της σκέψης του Πλάτωνα και των υπόλοιπων αρχαίων φιλοσόφων, ειδικά λαμβάνοντας υπόψιν την εποχή κατά την οποία γράφτηκαν τα κείμενα αυτά.

Από την άλλη, δεν μπορώ να μην σκεφτώ ότι τελικά, απλώς είχαν βρει έναν εκπληκτικό τρόπο για να δικαιολογήσουν την - τό...more


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 focu...more

چند وقت پيش در جواب دوستم كه مى گفت دلم ميخواد عاشق بشم گفتم من اصلن نميدونم عشق چى هست ! نميدونستم كمتر از يه ماه بعد چشمم به يه همچين كتابى ميخوره و دو ساعته مى خونمش و حرفمو پس ميگيرم ..
چه كتابى ، چه توصيفاتى .. حَض كامل و ديگر هيچ .

افلاطون، در رساله ی بسیار دلکش "ضیافت" ، بحث مفصلی راجع به حقیقت "عشق" می کند.
رساله به بازگویی ماجرای یک ضیافت می پردازد. آگاتون میهمانی ای گرفته و نخبگان را دعوت کرده، از آن جمله است: سقراط استاد افلاطون. بحث به چیستی عشق می رسد و هر کس از میهمانان سخنرانی ای زیبا و غزل گونه در ستایش عشق می کند....more

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 f...more

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