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Plato's entire fictive world is permeated with philosophical concern for eros, well beyond the so-called erotic dialogues. Several metaphysical, epistemological, and cosmological conversations – Timaeus, Cratylus, Parmenides, Theaetetus, and Phaedo – demonstrate that eros lies at the root of the human condition and that properly guided eros is the essence of a life well lived. This book presents a holistic vision of eros, beginning with the presence of eros at the origin of the cosmos and the human soul, surveying four types of human self-cultivation aimed at good guidance of eros, and concluding with human death as a return to our origins. The book challenges conventional wisdom regarding the “erotic dialogues” and demonstrates that Plato's world is erotic from beginning to end: the human soul is primordially erotic and the well cultivated erotic soul can best remember and return to its origins, its lifelong erotic desire.Read more
- Provides completely original readings of 'technical' dialogues on metaphysics as erotic dialogues
- Demonstrates the importance of Eros among Plato's philosophical concerns
- Argues that Plato's interest in Eros is not limited to the so-called erotic dialogues, but permeates his entire oeuvre and worldview
Reviews & endorsements
"...The book provides a clear interpretation of the role of eros in these dialogues; additionally it helps to situate the place of homosocial relations and activities such as war and gymnastics in relation to Plato's conception of philosophy. This is a well-written analysis and interpretation that brings together the cultural and philosophical dimensions of eros in Plato's thought.... Recommended..."
--C. R. McCall, Elmira College, CHOICE
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