Alcibiades Views On Love, And Plato's Theory Of Love

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What is love? All humans, especially philosophers, have pondered this question for millennia, and have reached different conclusions as to what love is and how humans truly achieve it. Through all of this debate, people have engaged in interpersonal love since the beginning of time; even today, a vast majority of Americans will marry, and a vast majority of those who are married describe their marriage as happy. For all of these people. interpersonal love is not used as a means to acquire more happiness; it brings happiness in and of itself. This is the fatal flaw of Plato’s theory of love in his Symposium, as his theory assumes that those in interpersonal relationships love their partner only because their partner possesses beauty, which causes …show more content…
Plato’s theory of love views interpersonal relationships as no more than a means to another end; he relies on the assumption that those in interpersonal relationships love their partner only because their partner possesses “good” characteristics, like beauty, not because they love their partner as a person. This causes Plato to arrive at the conclusion that interpersonal relationships are only the first step in a progressive ladder of love; since people only love the beauty of their partners, they will then begin to love the beauty of all humans generally, and they will finally simply love beauty in general. However, this not accurate for a vast majority of people, such as those who are happily married, who have made a commitment to love only one person and are satisfied in doing so. Alcibiades provides a strong example of this: he loved Socrates, and his love was based on far more than Socrates’ beauty; as a result, he was unable to move on from loving Socrates and begin loving the beauty of all humans, which he would have done if Plato’s theory of love were applicable to him. Although Plato’s theory of love is applicable to concepts that are a means to another end, like learning, Aristophanes’ theory of love is much more applicable to Alcibiades and to a vast majority of people. His theory states that all people have a matching half, another person whom they desire to be with so much that they would literally want to be welded together. However, the impossibility of this is a deficiency in human nature, which causes people to turn to other actions, such as sexual intercourse, in order to form a bond with their matching half. This is what Alcibiades desires, and this is the theory that is applicable to a vast majority of humans; most people do not use interpersonal relationships as a means by which to end in loving beauty

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