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Plato: Love and other Matters

The Nature of Love

In other dialogues, Plato exhibited greater interest in elements of human nature that are strictly subordinate to the rational soul in Phaedo and The Republic. Sharing the same general theory of human nature, the Φαιδρος (Phaedrus) treats love as a (divine) madness, a natural, if not wholly desirable, emotional imbalance. But the diverse speeches delivered in Plato's Συμποσιον (Symposium) offer several more favorable accounts of human emotion in general and of love in particular. The Ion grants some value to the role of art as a copy or imitation of sensible things, which are themselves merely copies of the immutable forms.

Other Platonic Dialogues

Finally, Plato continued his exploration of the fundamental issues of metaphysics and epistemology. He developed a thorough and even-handed critical examination of his own theory of forms in Παρμενιδης (Parmenides), anticipating much of what would later persuade Aristotle to reject it completely. Θεαιτητυς (Theaetetus) considers the origins, nature, and reliability of human knowledge in much more sophisticated terms. And in the Τιμαιος (Timaeus) Plato offered a comprehensive account of cosmology.

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Last modified 12 November 2011.
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