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Plato's Erotic World: From Cosmic…

Plato's Erotic World: From Cosmic Origins to Human Death

by Dr Jill Gordon

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Plato's entire fictive world is permeated with philosophical concern for Eros, well beyond the so-called erotic dialogues. Several metaphysical, epistemological and cosmological conversations – Timaeus, Cratylus, Parmenides, Theaetetus and Phaedo – demonstrate that Eros lies at the root of the human condition and that properly guided Eros is the essence of a life well lived. This book presents a holistic vision of Eros, beginning with the presence of Eros at the origin of the cosmos and the human soul, surveying four types of human self-cultivation aimed at good guidance of Eros and concluding with human death as a return to our origins. The book challenges conventional wisdom regarding the 'erotic dialogues' and demonstrates that Plato's world is erotic from beginning to end: the human soul is primordially erotic and the well-cultivated erotic soul can best remember and return to its origins, its lifelong erotic desire.


"...The book provides a clear interpretation of the role of eros in these dialogues; additionally it helps to situate the place of homosocial relations and activities such as war and gymnastics in relation to Plato's conception of philosophy. This is a well-written analysis and interpretation that brings together the cultural and philosophical dimensions of eros in Plato's thought.... Recommended..."
--C. R. McCall, Elmira College, CHOICE

Book Description

This book examines the fundamental importance of eros in Plato's writing, which views the human soul as primordially erotic. Challenging the traditional designation of specific dialogues as the "erotic dialogues," Jill Gordon argues that eros permeates Plato's fictive world, including the metaphysical, epistemological, and cosmological conversations in Timaeus, Cratylus, Parmenides, Theaetetus, and Phaedo.
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  GalenWiley | Mar 30, 2015 |
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