Saturday, April 18, 2015
Hailey Hall Section 8, Post #1: Plato's Symposium
During 385-370 B.C. Plato wrote a philosophical text entitled the Symposium. In this a group of men are to present a speech, or an encomium, on their personal definition of love. In my three blog posts I will discuss three different speeches that interested me, Eryximachus (because he was a physician and I’m going in to the medical field), Aristophanes, and Socrates.
Eryximachus claims that love is not limited to humans, he believes that love extends to the animal kingdom and even plants, which he learned in the field of medicine. During his speech he brings in his knowledge that he has learned throughout medicine to draw in additional information.
He believes that the body manifests two different types of love: health and disease. Medicine shows the effects of this love and how it flows in and out of the body. It is a physician’s job to determine whether this source love is good and up to standards or whether it is harmful; once determined the Physician is to create harmony within the body.
Love ultimately needs to improve the person not destroy it and if love helps to build a person up it is encouraged. However, if it is a disgraceful kind of love that destroys a person it is not to be encouraged.
This proper, encouraging love, is what creates harmony within an individual. This sort of love is also connected to the Health side of his speech. The destructive side is the diseased side which causes the need for this “medicine” he speaks of.