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Plato's SymposiumThe Ethics of Desire$
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Frisbee Sheffield

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199286775

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199286775.001.0001

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Socrates' Speech: Concern for Others?

Socrates' Speech: Concern for Others?

(p.154) 5 Socrates' Speech: Concern for Others?
Plato's Symposium

Frisbee C. C. Sheffield (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses a controversial issue that arises from Socrates' speech. If the human good — the highest virtue — is contemplative activity, then is there room in this account for other persons and, if so, in what form? This question has become a central one for the Symposium. Gregory Vlastos argued that the ascent to the form of beauty instrumentalizes other persons as unworthy of love for their own sake, and nowhere indicates that the philosopher's creative activity will enrich the lives of others. This chapter argues that Socrates' account is still firmly anchored in an account of interpersonal relationships and their role in a flourishing human life.

Keywords:   interpersonal love, the human good, Gregory Vlastos, loving the Form

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