Plato's idea of what we love, how we love

In this paper, I will agree with Plato’s account of the dynamic and indeterminate nature of romantic love. For his account of romantic love in the Symposium, Socrates’s speech, states the real elements of love and what it represents in a person’s life. This type of love may seem irrelevant to those not pursuing it, yet Plato demonstrates how our willingness to find this love is our perseverance to thrive. Making this type of love an unconscious goal or idea we wish to acquire.

These are not set goals one has due to morals or virtue duties, this type of goal is one where you decide how far it goes.

What exactly do we love, Plato argues we love what is beautiful. He begins with demonstrating physical beauty, there are certain physical aspects and characteristics we are drawn towards. Plato thinks that long legs and full lips are things we love, but he also believes that love is in the eye of the beholder.

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He explores the beauty of the soul, how a noble character and moral virtues can easily be considered beautiful. The highlighting definition of beauty he presents in that beauty is knowledge, the wisdom and intelligence presented upon oneself, therefore the knowledge within our obtained experiences dominates the definition of the word beauty. Plato explains how we love through the admiration of beauty. One loves what is beautiful, this does not necessarily mean all that we admire due to it being beautiful is good. For we each have our definition of what is beauty, thus making love open and possible to everyone.

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We do not all express admiration in the same way, the differences between the actions of demonstrating admiration do not restrict the ability to express love. The act of admiration is regarded as being worthy of respect at the level that is associated with your definition of beauty. An example of this is an abusive relationship, the dominant partner admirers the abused partner for being a pitiful creature. Because the dominant partner’s idea of beauty is having a pitiful creature that respects their worthiness as the submissive partner, the dominant partner loves the sense of authority granted by the abused partner. When describing why do we love I must agree with Plato’s narrative, we love to feel complete. Plato believes dating is trial and error, in which you develop expectations throughout time which can also be reflected by a want for beauty.

To further explain Plato’s idea of what we love, how we love, and why we love are as followed:

Premise 1: People love through physical admiration of beauty (long legs, luxurious hair, etc).Premise 2: If a person ought to admire another, then they could describe what they love (Principle that “everything is done for a reason”).Premise 3: If a person is in fact in admiration of someone, then it is not the case that he or she would keep loving them once that thing they admire ends (losing their figure through time). Conclusion (from 2 and 3): People will never continue with what they admirer, unless the reason they admirer eventually changes. Here, the conclusion contradicts the first premise. If Plato’s account is logically valid, it shows that the three premises of romantic love cannot all be true. As I have shown clearly in my reconstruction of Plato’s idea, the word “beauty” as it appears in Socrates speech (meaning physical beauty) must be interpreted differently from the word “beauty” as it appears later in Plato’s narrative (meaning knowledge and/or wisdom) – Making all of those premises highly plausible. It might be objected that I have interpreted Plato’s narrative as a hopeless romantic. I can think of only one other reasonable interpretation of Plato’s idea. It uses the same first two premises but has a different third premise when speaking upon a long time action. When one has found love the desire for more beauty (knowledge ) transforms not to love for another with more beauty or with more knowledge, but for extended external factors. I understand this to decide to have children. Moving in together and creating a lifestyle where this beauty has now been expanded. The process of transforming one beauty to a sort of impulse for another beauty, usually, for one that is viewed as “higher” or more value comes from the narrative of Plato’s cave analogy.

In Plato’s cave analogy where he differentiates reality from what your idea of reality is. The men who are tied up to chain in the back of the cave settle for what they know. Because they have not experienced anything out of their environment their idea of reality is nowhere near to the true reality. For example, mommy and daddy love and living at home with your parents. For those who were able to escape from the chain and made it to the fire where they see shadows, they have experienced out of their comfort zone and pleased with what they have seen and do not want to keep going. For example, those who settle for their 1st and only relationships. For those who make it out of the cave they see reality, they understand there was much more to be explored and that reality is not comfortable. For example, long-time marriages last because they see the reality of the person.

A foreknown side effect of the misinterpretation of the need for love is an event or state of affairs that one does not aim at the future, but that one knows will (likely) result from one’s fall out. For example, I decide to stop dating because my last boyfriend cheated on me. I know that my life needs some sense of love, I receive ‘beauty’ from my family and friends, therefore, I think I have reached my needed sense of love.Distancing myself from dating will leave my intimacy for beauty empty. The empty intimacy is a foreknown side-effect of my action: I don’t aim at it, because my aim is only to get myself to love differently · To help explain my understanding of Plato’s narrative about the difference in permissibility between beauty and love, I will use the following hypothetical example: Jamie decides to propose to his girlfriend Amy. Jamie knows that asking for her hand in marriage will be a nerve-wracking experience and that Amy most likely would want to wait for after she finishes college to get married. But marrying her will allow Jamie to demonstrate how serious he is about their relationship. This will then lead to adapting a mature lifestyle when moving in together. Jamie’s action, I contend, may be permissible. Now I’ll just alter the case slightly: Jamie decides to propose to his girlfriend, the mother of his daughter. Jamie knows that due to falling pregnant at a young age Amy wants to recover for lost years and finish college. In fact, by marrying Amy and moving in together is the best way to help Amy finishes college. (It will also have a side effect of showing his maturity for the relationship). I contend that Jaime’s action is impermissible on the bases of Plato’s narrative. The level in which one endures fulfillment of mind, soul, and spirit is when platonic love adheres to romantic love.

I’ve come to understand that Plato’s narrative does show the dynamic of romantic love. We search for love in the form of wisdom or beauty, once we find it we feel content and therefore do not act out for attention to be given love. One ‘settles’ for the found love, found love is lost because of its lack of preservation, One falls back to needing love. It’s a process of disclosing and pushing your boundaries, for me, this has been the most realistic viable description of romantic love provided by a philosopher.

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Plato's idea of what we love, how we love. (2019, Nov 29). Retrieved from

Plato's idea of what we love, how we love

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