Project #1318 - Responses on Philosophical thesis


My argument:

What is more important form of love, whether it is sexual desire or emotional outburst or pure form of representation of god? Love can assume a different expression like common love or Heavenly love and form according to situation and condition. The discussion of Plato’s symposium and different views are presented in the form of  Phaedrus and Pausanias conversation, the whole text is full of irony and situation based examples.

Plato compiled many of Socrates' speeches and conversations and his own writing. There are many examples and instances where Socrates and other participants' in these conversations seem to produce their argument and contradict each other, or at least muddle their arguments. Example of contradictory occurrence of this is in Plato's Symposium and Plato's Phaedrus. The texts had discussion about love in its physical sense. The texts also describe love and its after effects. Discussion further expanded on how it is best realized in this material world. The method of realization would involve different fashions, and for reasons for expression would also be different.. 

Plato's Phaedrus is a conversation between Socrates and Phaedrus. During Plato’s conversation with the young Phaedrus is pleased to inform Socrates of the speech that he had just heard Lysias, "The best living writer", tell. In this speech Lysias uses his rhetorical skills to establish the view that material/Physical love without emotional attachment is preferable to physical love with having emotional attachment. Men are men, in their life time they change their characteristics according to change in their beliefs. In this case the change in ideas came from the context; different goals were trying to establish with the arguments. This does not mean that either of text assume more importance then other or one view is more important than other.

Pausanias present a best way to think about Love. He argues that love can be separated into two types, like of Common and Heavenly love. The example of common love is that when a man and a woman meets only to satisfy their respective sexual desires. On the other hand the heavenly love is the type that when people are attracted toward’s each other and deep attachment from deep within the soul. Plato also presents examples of the two forms of loves with having the normal or common love which happen between a man and a woman and the heavenly love happening between a man and a man, but in the text enough proof is not presented that common people of Athens also practice this theory in their day today life or not.

Lust is looked as vulgar and immoral in the symposium. This was the type of love was filthy with sin "since all they care about is completing the sexual act.". This produce due to only because of the desire of the body not from the soul. This common love was originated from the younger Aphrodite born from Zeus and one of his many mistresses.Zeus did not create this child with his wife. It was due to affair full of lust and desire of the body only.  

Phaedrus argues in his speech: There is no other god older than the god of Love. God is so great and loved by all, the speakers of the symposium agreed with Phaedrus when he said, AI cannot say what greater good there is for a young boy than a gentle lover, or for a lover than a boy to love.Instead of thinking love is pure and delicate Diotiama  thinks love is tough... always lying in the dirt without a bed... brave, impetuous, and intense.

In conclusion we can say love can assume different form according to time period and situation.

Do you agree with the evidence presented above?


Response that I got:

   I will have to disagree with your conclusion because the evidence you have presented is insufficient. As far as I can tell, you have demonstrated that multiple people have different opinions on love in Plato's Phaedrus and Symposium. From this, you have concluded that there are many, context dependent forms of love . If I have misunderstood your point then please correct me.

            As Socrates says in the Phaedrus at 265d, one should begin with a definition and proceed from there. Lysias has failed to do this, what exactly is he discussing then?

            Phaedrus reads Lysias' speech, which spews forth reasons attempting to convince someone to 'give their favour' to the speech giver. It does not follow that Lysias has actually touched on the concept of love or said anything of substance.

            You claim that Pausanias gives the best account of love but you do not give reasons to support this. At 180d, Pausanias does claim there are two goddesses of love and thus two forms of love. At 202e, Diotima recounts that love is a great spirit, between god and mortal. Rather than give a heavenly and bodily dualistic account of love, Diotima presents her ladder. The ladder moves from bodily love to a love of wisdom and virtue (209).  These views do oppose each other, yet why is Pausanias' view the best?

            It is somewhat difficult to figure out if you are referring to different sections when you state, "Pausanias presents" and "Plato also presents". The description of "heavenly love happening between a man and a man" is still Pausanias' speech.

            It seems you have quickly summarized a few sections of the Phaedrus and Symposium, but have not argued anything. You do present a clear thesis statement. It is not clear what you are arguing for and the "in conclusion" is quite a surprise. 

            I hope my criticism can be put to good use. I will be happy to clarify anything if needed and to continue the discussion if you'd like.


Please respond to the above comment, either agreeing or disagreeing with supported evidence. It should be about 200words.





Justice and Immortality of the Soul

Throughout Plato’s written dialogues, Plato often illustrates Socrates as expressing certain views through the telling of myths to make a point. An example of this is found near the end of the Gorgiaswhere Socrates tells Callicles a myth from Homer about how souls are judged in the afterlife (523A-527E). I assert that the main philosophical views that Plato presents through Socrates in this myth are justice and the immortality of the soul.


According to Socrates in the Gorgias, Homer has a myth which states that humans who have lived just and pious lives will have their souls sent to the Isles of the Blessed by the Gods (523A-B). However, those who have lived unjustly bad lives will be sent to the depths of Tartarus by the Gods to suffer punishment (523B). The problem with this was that the humans were judged while living, right before they were going to die, and the judges that the Gods set up were also still alive, and this meant that the images of their bodies covered up the true natures of their souls (523B-E). Zeus noticed this and decided that the judges as well as the judged should be stripped of their bodies and have the judgments take place after they are dead, so their bodies will not affect their decision (523E-524A). Socrates then explains that as bodies remain in the same state long after death, he thinks that this also goes for souls in the sense that if a soul was bad, it would be shown as distorted as if a body was injured after death (524C-525B). Thus, when the judges see distorted souls, they know that those souls have committed some injustice and sends those souls to Tartarus (525A). Souls that have done little injustice will only be punished until they become better, and those who have done great injustice will suffer forever and be shown as examples for other souls to become frightened and improve on their own (525B-526A). Therefore, Socrates says that humans should act justly so they would be sent to the Isles of the Blessed after death, or else their injustice would result in punishment and discipline (526B-527C). 


This myth described in the Gorgias corresponds to some statements presented on the injustice and immortality of the soul from Plato’s other written works. 

For instance, in the Phaedo, Socrates argues that the soul is the indestructible part of a mortal being that separates from the body after death to dwell in the underworld (106E-107B). This assertion ties in with the myth in Gorigias that human souls are stripped of their bodies upon judgment after they die. In addition, in Republic X, Socrates also argues that the soul is immortal (611A-C), and later notes that upon the soul’s judgment by the Gods after death, justice and injustice can never be hidden from the Gods (612B-D). Also, Socrates mentions in Republic X that souls being loved and rewarded by the Gods for being just is the best thing possible for a soul compared to being punished (612D-613B). These arguments illustrated within Republic X are similar to the myth above, since they both present the thought of the soul’s exposed distortion due to injustice, punishment of unjust souls, and rewards for souls that are just. 


Do you agree or disagree? Is there anything that you would like to further add to the arguments presented?


Please respond to the argument provided above with supported evidence. The response should be about 200words.

Subject Philosophy
Due By (Pacific Time) 11/25/2012 12:00 am
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