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The Nature of LovePlato to Luther$
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Irving Singer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262512725

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262512725.001.0001

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Platonic Eros

Platonic Eros

(p.46) (p.47) 4 Platonic Eros
The Nature of Love

Irving Singer

The MIT Press

This chapter elaborates on how all of Western philosophy can be treated as a series of footnotes to Plato, even on theories about love. To some, Platonism may seem to be a critique of the lack of creative originality of later philosophy, but it must be the starting point of every discussion of the philosophy of love because courtly love, Romantic love, and religious love all take root in Plato. Even the involvement and influence of Christian dogma, popular folklore, and Moorish idealism can be traced to Platonic origins: Christian dogma via St. Augustine, popular folklore via Hellenistic fables reproduced by Ovid, and Moorish idealism via Avicenna and Plotinus. In fact, most of Plato’s theories and ideas about love occur in what is considered one of the greatest works of philosophy and literature: the Symposium.

Keywords:   Western philosophy, Plato, Platonism, courtly love, Romantic love, religious love, Christian dogma, popular folklore, Moorish idealism, Symposium

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