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Discussion: Plato, love, and The Symposium

March 1 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

This discussion will be facilitated by Brian Berry, PhD.

It is an irony worthy of Socrates himself that one of Plato’s best-known dialogues is a philosophical approach to one of the most ephemeral of concepts: love. Does it make sense to conceive of love and beauty as platonic Forms, or is beauty merely in the eye of the beholder? Is it a topic better left in the hands of the poets? Might we more profitably read the Symposium not as a work of philosophy but as a work of literature, with Socrates as one of the great characters of the western canon?


Level 1: The Symposium

(The introduction to the project gutenberg version is optional)

Level 2: Plato’s Aesthetics

Entry from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Particularly the first section (1.1–1.3) on Beauty.

Level 3: The Figure of Socrates

Link to PDF of Pierre Hadot’s Philosophy as a Way of Life. In this chapter, Hadot considers not the historical Socrates, but Socrates as a quasi-mythical figure, particularly in the Symposium. Chapter 5: The Figure of Socrates. pp. 147–70.


March 1
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


Rendez Vous off Belmont
817 Southeast 34th Avenue
Portland, US
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