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Published: 17-10-2019

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Analysis of Pausanias’ and Socrates’ Speeches in Plato’s ‘Symposium’

In Plato’s Symposium, Socrates’ eulogy, even though delivered with the stated intent of praising adore, is not truly about really like at all. Instead, Socrates claims that the typical definition of love does not exist and as an alternative praises wisdom. In saying that adore is need, and that you can't want what you currently have, Socrates asserts that the idea of enjoy among individuals is fallacious given that someone’s desire, and as a result really like, for a person or some thing fades as he or she acquires precisely that object of affection. According to Socrates in his speech, the only factor that one can genuinely adore is wisdom, given that it can never ever be fully acquired. It is, following all, not possible to know every thing. As a result, the theme of Socrates’ eulogy is the condemnation of enjoy in the way that the other people present in the symposium define it, and the praise of wisdom as the only really enjoy-worthy factor. This conception has particular parallels to Pausanias’ speech, some in agreement and some directly contrasting. Pausanias also condemns the certain variety of really like wherein an individual is attracted to an individual for solely physical motives. Even so, the speeches of Pausanias and Socrates differ distinctly, considering that Pausanias identifies a type of really like from 1 individual to yet another that is praise-worthy, whilst Socrates fails to acknowledge this variety of adore and condemns all love from one person to one more. These two arguments are in direct disagreement, and in several respects Pausanias’ argument shows Socrates’s argument to be wrong.

Initial, it is necessary to investigate the meaning of Socrates’ speech. The fact that Socrates’ eulogy is not about really like, at least as the other philosophers present defined it, is evidenced in numerous techniques. Unlike all the other philosophers, Socrates does not use the word “love” to refer to the bond in between lovers in his speech. Rather, he utilizes adore to imply the wish for anything, as opposed to making use of love to imply the bond among lovers. Furthermore, from the quite starting, Socrates indicates that the notion of adore lacks beauty, considering that 1 cannot need that which 1 has, and lovers enjoy appealing factors. Nonetheless, it follows in his argument that expertise can be loved whilst one’s really like for a individual decreases as the two turn into closer, the desire for understanding can never be quenched. Right here, Socrates is belittling the love of people, as it is short-term, and praising knowledge, as it can be pursued eternally.

The theme of the worth of knowledge is further emphasized when Socrates discuses 1 of the main purposes of adore: procreation. Socrates asserts that one of the purposes of loving one more individual is the production of offspring, and the goal of procreation is to leave a legacy. However, according to him, biological procreation is not the only kind of procreation. When two individuals exchange suggestions, the mind can turn into pregnant, resulting in the birth of knowledge (209a). Socrates’ claim that the legacy left behind by this information is much higher than the legacy left behind by physical procreation supports the notion that the theme of his speech is the condemnation of enjoy and the admiration of understanding. Evidently, Socrates does not believe that permanent love between individuals exists.

The content of this speech has a number of parallels to that of Pausanias’ oration, despite the reality that that the speakers’ opinions on really like differ substantially. Firstly, Pausanias as well emphasizes the significance of wisdom. This priority is demonstrated by this belief that older males should “have affairs with young boys” “before the age intelligence beings to form” (181d). Secondly, Pausanias and Socrates each disparage a variety of really like for the very same cause. Pausanias states that widespread Aphrodite, in which the attraction is purely physical, is inferior to celestial Aphrodite, in which the attraction is to someone’s mind. Pausanias even says that there must even be a law against getting sexual relations with boys younger than the age of mental maturity, given that it is a sign that the older lover will has the intention of “scornfully abandoning” the boy rather of getting “ready to enter a lifelong relationship” (181d). From this, it can be discerned that the explanation typical Aphrodite is much less acceptable than celestial Aphrodite is since a relationship based on physicality, rather of a mental and emotional connection, is not permanent. This is a direct parallel to the Socrates eulogy, since Socrates also claims condemns enjoy for its fleeting nature.

Additionally, both Pausanias’ and Socrates’ speeches address the enjoy of the thoughts, and each males worth it over attraction to a body. In his speech, Pausanias puts forward the idea that enjoy for an individual based on quality of mind and with no concern for physical beauty is good and everlasting. Socrates also references celestial Aphrodite in his eulogy, although not by name. Recounting Diotima’s speech, Socrates states that the second state in falling in love is coming to “regard the beauty of all bodies as totally identical” and to “value mental beauty so significantly far more than physical beauty” (210b). Clearly, this description of the second stage of enjoy really closely resembles Pausanias’ description of celestial Aphrodite. Even though the two thinkers both acknowledge the existence of this kind of attraction, their interpretations of its significance are in direct opposition. Even though Pausanias suggests that celestial Aphrodite can lead to everlasting really like, Socrates says that celestial Aphrodite merely provides way to the next stage of adore until all there is left to really like is information.

One more parallel connection between the two speeches is that Pausanias straight speaks out against the condemnation of adore among people in basic, as Socrates does. Significantly like Phaedrus did just before him, Pausanias notes that the strength of the bond between lovers can motivate them to do awe-inspiring items. Therefore, he claims, tyrants condemn adore so that their subjects can't overthrow them (182c). Socrates completely and straight goes against this construct throughout his whole eulogy. In stating that all the types of love amongst people give way to the love of information, he totally denies the existence of that bond.

Clearly, both Pausanias and Socrates had some similarities in their speeches but disagreed drastically on matters of the existence of really like. Considering that they arrive at opposite conclusions on the query of regardless of whether permanent adore between folks can exist, a single must be appropriate and the other wrong. I think that Socrates’ argument is shown to be flawed by Pausanias’ argument in several techniques. First of all, Socrates contradicts the major reason why permanent adore among men and women can not exist in his own speech. He claims that the wish for one thing is fulfilled and goes away after it is acquired. Even so, he also admits that it is possible to want to have in the future what you at present have (200d). As a result, it would be attainable for a lover to desire a person even when he is in a partnership with that individual by wanting that particular person to be in his future as properly as in his present. This signifies that it could be achievable for folks to have permanent really like.

Secondly, Socrates’ argument shown to flawed by Pausanias’ argument since he fails to recognize adore as more than wish. Socrates only ever refers to really like as the attraction of a individual to an additional person or thing, rather than as a bond amongst two men and women. Even if the initial attraction from one particular lover to an additional does go away over time, by not seeing adore as anything more than need he fails to take into account the powerful bond that remains. On the other hand, Pausanias acknowledges that the mutual need can lead to a bond, and that the bond of adore can be incredibly robust. He supports this notion with the evidence that the neighborhood Athenian tyrants had been brought down by the love of Aristogiton and Harmodius (182c).

Pausanias’s speech also shows that Socrates must be incorrect simply because it supplies evidence of lengthy term relationships. Because Socrates indicates that really like for a individual cannot be permanent, and will eventually lead to the really like of expertise itself, it ought to be impossible for to folks to continuously adore each and every other. Nevertheless, Pausanias says otherwise. The instance that he gives is that of Aristogiton and Harmodius, but considering that he is passionate that the only good kind of connection is a lifelong one, it is fair to assume that they are not the only lengthy term couple. If this is the case, then Socrates’ argument can not be completely true.

Clearly, Socrates denies the existence of permanent love among people and alternatively praises the love for wisdom in his eulogy. He sees really like as only need, and states that it is not possible to desire anything when you currently have it. For that reason, love of a person’s physique is replaced by a enjoy of that person’s wisdom, which is replaced by the ultimate enjoy, the enjoy of wisdom in common. There are similarities in the amongst the speeches of Socrates and Pausanias, such as the truth that Pausanias praises wisdom, as well as that the two men recognize and talk about both kinds of attraction, common Aphrodite and celestial Aphrodite, valuing the latter over the former. Nevertheless, that is about the extent of their similarity, as Pausanias believes and convincingly argues that love between two folks can be everlasting.
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