Socrates' Daimonic Art: Love for Wisdom in Four Platonic Dialogues

Socrates' Daimonic Art: Love for Wisdom in Four Platonic Dialogues

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Elizabeth S. Belfiore
Cambridge University Press, 3/8/2012
EAN 9781107007581, ISBN10: 1107007585

Hardcover, 324 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.9 cm
Language: English
Originally published in English

Despite increasing interest in the figure of Socrates and in love in ancient Greece, no recent monograph studies these topics in all four of Plato's dialogues on love and friendship. This book provides important new insights into these subjects by examining Plato's characterization of Socrates in Symposium, Phaedrus, Lysis and the often neglected Alcibiades I. It focuses on the specific ways in which the philosopher searches for wisdom together with his young interlocutors, using an art that is 'erotic', not in a narrowly sexual sense, but because it shares characteristics attributed to the daimon Eros in Symposium. In all four dialogues, Socrates' art enables him, like Eros, to search for the beauty and wisdom he recognizes that he lacks and to help others seek these same objects of erôs. Belfiore examines the dialogues as both philosophical and dramatic works, and considers many connections with Greek culture, including poetry and theater.

overview of the Erotic Dialogues
Part I. Socrates and Two Young Men
1. 'Your love and mine'
Eros and self-knowledge in Alcibiades I
2. 'In love with acquiring friends'
Socrates in the Lysis
Part II. Eros and Hybris in the Symposium
Introduction to Part II
the narrators of the Symposium
3. In praise of Eros
the speeches in the Symposium
4. 'You are hubristic'
Socrates, Alcibiades and Agathon
Part III. Love and Friendship in the Phaedrus
Introduction to Part III
the erotic art in the Symposium and Phaedrus
5. The lover's friendship
6. The lovers' dance
charioteer and horses