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date: 21 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Given the prodigious amount of scholarship on Platonic love, this article explores a different question: the nature of Plato’s love for Socrates as expressed in two dialogues, the Symposium and Phaedo, in which Plato depicts Socrates as surrounded by his lovers and disciples. By paying attention to the “outer frames” of the dialogues, that is, the relationship between the text and the reader, it is argued that Plato’s love for Socrates is displayed not only in his loving depiction of Socrates but also in Plato’s doing philosophy through the character of Socrates; Plato thereby shows what genuine love for Socrates would be like. Moreover, contrasted with the words and actions of other characters in these dialogues, Plato shows himself to be not just one among many of Socrates’ lovers, but in fact the best.

Keywords: Plato, love, Socrates, Symposium, Phaedo, Platonic love

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