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    Generating in beauty for the sake of immortality: personal love and the goals of the lover

    Price, Anthony W. (2017) Generating in beauty for the sake of immortality: personal love and the goals of the lover. In: Destree, P. and Giannopoulou, Z. (eds.) Plato's Symposium: A Critical Guide. Cambridge Critical Guides. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 176-193. ISBN 9781107110052.

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    This paper discusses two debated questions about how best to interpret the contribution to the Symposium that Socrates pretends to derive from Diotima: (i) Within the Lesser Mysteries, is the erōs that is being defined and characterized, with appeal to the notion of “generation in beauty”, a generic erōs that is equivalent to Socratic desire in general, or a specific erōs that is erotic in our sense? (ii) Within the Greater Mysteries, is interpersonal erōs maintained, or supplanted? I find that neither answer to (i) unproblematic, but argue that either can be reconciled with the text, and suggest that both leave open the really interesting questions. I then, in answer to (ii), concede that there are radical shifts of focus, but conclude that it is most likely that interpersonal erōs has a continuing role in, eventually, making the lover worthy of “becoming dear to the gods and, if any man can, immortal himself also” (212a6-7). Here I appeal especially to the phrase “ungrudging philosophy” (210d6), taking it to signify an activity that is not kept to oneself, but shared with another (or others).


    Item Type: Book Section
    Additional Information: This version is free to view and download for personal use only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © Cambridge University Press
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Professor A. W. Price
    Date Deposited: 19 May 2017 08:43
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:20


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