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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines Plato’s views on love. It argues that Plato was fascinated by eros. He considers it a subject from which philosophers have a great deal to learn and upon which philosophy can cast much light. His greatest contributions to the study of intimate human relationships, which are contained in Symposium and Phaedrus, have to do with eros and with philia only insofar as erotic relationships should involve philia as well. However, he does not have a robust and systematic theory about philia in its own right. Instead, he offers, in his Lysis, a series of puzzles about philia; and then, in Symposium and Phaedrus, a series of contrasting speeches about eros. The heart of his theory of intimacy, affection, and sexuality lies in those speeches.

Keywords: Plato, eros, love, Symposium, Phaedrus, philia, erotic relationships, Lysis, speeches, sexuality

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