Plato's Erotic World

Plato's Erotic World : From Cosmic Origins to Human Death

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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.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 113953453X
  • 9781139534536

About Jill Gordon

Jill Gordon is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Philosophy at Colby College. She is the author of Turning Toward Philosophy: Literary Device and Dramatic Structure in Plato's Dialogues (1999).
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Table of contents

Introduction; 1. Cosmos; 2. Questioning; 3. Courage; 4. Matchmaking; 5. Self-knowledge; 6. Memory.
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Review quote

"...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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Rating details

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