De structuur van liefde in Plato’s Symposium | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 53, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0165-8204
  • E-ISSN: 2667-1573



This article investigates the internal structure of ἔρως, as it is conceptualized in Plato’s . The analysis first focuses on the three constitutive elements of love on the lover’s side: a lack, a consciousness of it, and the perceived worth of what is lacking. It explores these in relation to the rest of the and to the Socratic . The second part of the analysis turns to the beloved’s end of the relation. By means of a comparative reading with the it explores possible ways of understanding the idea that something is loved for the sake of something else. On the reading offered here, the lover’s love of beauty is always for the sake of immortality, even if this beauty be the Form itself. Finally, considerations about narrative framing and the characterization of Diotima should prompt us to see some distance between this conception and Plato himself. The ’s primary aim is not doctrinal but protreptic.


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