The symposium

Author(s) : Plato

The symposium

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'Perhaps the most entertaining work of philosophy ever written ... the first really systematic and serious attempt to say what love is' John Armstrong, The Guardian.

In the course of a lively drinking party, a group of Athenian intellectuals exchange views on eros, or desire. From their conversation emerges a series of subtle reflections on gender roles, sex in society and the sublimation of basic human instincts. The discussion culminates in a radical challenge to conventional views by Plato's mentor, Socrates, who advocates transcendence through spiritual love. The Symposium is a deft interweaving of different viewpoints and ideas about the nature of love - as a response to beauty, a cosmic force or a path to goodness.

Translated with an Introduction by Christopher Gill.

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