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Open Access Why is Socrates’ ‘Absurd Question’ Absurd? (Plato, Symposium 199 C 6-D 7)

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Why is Socrates’ ‘Absurd Question’ Absurd? (Plato, Symposium 199 C 6-D 7)

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The form of beauty is the ultimate correlate of love in Socrates’ account of Diotima’s teaching in the Symposium. To arrive at this insight, Socrates aims to show the ‘absurdity’ of adopting any more specific correlate as a definition of the very nature of love. Were love defined as love ‘for a father or a mother’, we could never love anyone who was not our father or our mother. An obvious absurdity.

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Affiliations: 1: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Paris France


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