A) Platos Symposium is a story about a party in which the guests were so sick from continuous parties that instead of drinking at this one party they decide to give stories about love. With the permission of Phaedrus, Socrates has an interesting discussion Agathon instead of a monologue-styled story. Socrates actually starts by giving Agathon a series of questions about love. Socrates goes on to ask Agathon if a father must be father to something in order to be called a father.
Then Socrates asks Agathon whether the same principle applies to mothers and brothers; one must be a brother or mother to someone or something else. Agathon agrees with all of these examples, but then Socrates asks Does Love love nothing or something?, and Agathon replies He loves something, of course. With love established to love something or someone, Socrates then asks Agathon that when you love something, do you desire it? Agathon answers yes. Once again Socrates asks another question concerning that if you desire and love something then it is something you dont necessarily have.
Agathon answers back that it is highly probable. Socrates says Never mind probability,and believes that it would be a surprising for a person not lacking a quality, to desire that quality. From there both Agathon and Socrates agree that if someone was tall then that person would not desire to be tall. Then Socrates continues to state that people who are healthy still desire to be healthy in the future, and in cases such as this people desire qualities that they already have. But what Socrates wants to explain exactly is that what you desire is to keep that quality that you have in the future, which is a desire that you do not have total control over. Hence one desires something that they do not have at the present time, or if they do have that quality then they desire control over the future, something that they do not have. So Socrates and Agathon come to two conclusions: One is that love is the love of something; Secondly love is something that a person does not have at that time. Socrates then points out that earlier in Agathons speech he stated that the gods concerns became organized due to their love of things of beauty, because it is impossible to love undesirable things. Agathon agrees that love brought the gods goodness and beauty. Socrates then asks Agathon if his speech is his true belief then, he also believes that love loves beauty and not ugliness. Agathon trying to uphold his speechs integrity agrees that love and desire are one in the same and the same goes for goodness and attractiveness. Socrates then states that they have both concluded that love is the desire for that which someone lacks. Socrates then states that love lacks beauty and is therefore ugly itself. Socrates goes on to question Agathon if something is good it is also beautiful. Agathon agrees that love is not good in order to desire goodness. Subsequently Socrates says that love loves beauty and goodness and therefore lacks beauty and goodness. Agathon sees his defeat and tells Socrates that he cannot refuse the great Socrates argument. Socrates then says that he himself is a pushover, and what Agathon cannot refuse is not his argument, but the truth is what he cannot refuse.
Cite this Platos Symposium1
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