Diotimaand Socrates’ Views on Love
Thehuman description of love appears to be one of the indulgences thatphilosophers engaged in with each having a divergent opinion of whatit entails. Although Socrates was famed for having independentthoughts on various themes in the society, he was influenced byDiotima who taught him about the nature of love. In fact, Socrateswas moved to share Diotima’s view on love during the symposium. Hisviews were differing to those expressed by others in the symposium.Diotima’s opinion on love creates a picture of a feeling that is inbetween happiness and sadness, life and death and good and bad.
Accordingto the lessons that Diotima gave to Socrates when he was still ayoung boy, love is the desire to possess something that one lacks(Gallagher 14). The rationale given by the thinker is that one cannotyearn for something that they already have. People also tend to lovethat which is beautiful. However, since the views on such anattribute vary among individuals, Socrates concludes that love doesnot fully possess beauty (Gallagher 15). The rationale for this isthat it cannot desire what it possesses. This attribute is also usedby the Diotima to explain why love is not a god. According to her, itis generally agreed that gods and goddesses are happy and beautiful.They cannot, therefore, desire beauty. She describes love as one ofthe spirits that act as intermediaries between people and the gods.
Diotima,in her lessons, also points out that human beings love and desirehappiness that is obtained through the possession of good. Therefore,they love that which is modest to them. Additionally, since peoplewould love to possess fruitful things forever, Socrates explains thatlove is the desire for immortality (Gallagher 15). Individuals lookfor ways of being immortal through reproduction. Furthermore,Diotima observes that love is the companion of one’s desire to liveforever through the conception of good. The creations that humanbeings come up with are conceived in the presence of beauty. Thedesire for such fruits elevates people in the ladder of beauty.
Socratesoutlines that people fall in love to embrace that which is good andto ensure their immortality. Through love, people bear and raisechildren who carry their names and biological similarities in future(Gallagher 17). This is a way of ensuring immortality. In addition,love can also be directed towards wisdom. The lovers of philosophy,art and music express their love by passing on the knowledge toothers.
Theunique nature of love as taught to Socrates by Diotima can be used toexplain why people fall in love. As the philosopher points out, lovedesires beauty and goodness. The attraction that an individual hastowards another triggers love. Additionally, the need to immortalizeoneself through that which is good and beautiful leads people to bearchildren. The same can be said about the love of wisdom and art sincethey trigger individuals who reproduce them by teaching others(Gallagher 21). Since love in neither mortal nor immortal, itexplains why it can die and rise repeatedly. People can have negativefeelings towards their desires and later develop affection towardsthem.
Conclusively,Socrates version of love appears to be the most logically thought inthe symposium because it describes the behavior towards beautifulobjects and people. Diotima taught her that love seeks goodness andimmortality. It drives people to look for ways to continue living byimparting their skills and ideas to others and bearing children. FromDiatom and Socrates teachings, it is evident that love drives most ofthe activities that people engage in to make their lives better.
Gallagher,Michelle. "An Unconventional Symposium on Love."ComparativeHumanities Review2.1 (2014): 13-23. Print.