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Erôs in Ancient Greece$
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Ed Sanders, Chiara Thumiger, Christopher Carey, and Nick Lowe

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199605507

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199605507.001.0001

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Challenging Platonic Erôs: The Role of Thumos and Philotimia in Love

Challenging Platonic Erôs: The Role of Thumos and Philotimia in Love

Chapter:
(p.95) 7 Challenging Platonic Erôs: The Role of Thumos and Philotimia in Love
Source:
Erôs in Ancient Greece
Author(s):

Olivier Renaut

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199605507.003.0007

This chapter discusses the way thumos (spirit), the intermediary function of the tripartite soul, and the kind of desire traditionally associated with it, philotimia (love of honour), is central in the platonic conception of love. As an emotive centre of the experienced love, closely linked with the sense of honour and shame, thumos is depicted by Plato both as a as a dangerous challenge for philosophical love, but also as an opportunity to use the energy expended by philotimia in order to serve philosophical goals. Despite a violent critique of philotimia both in the Symposium and the Phaedrus, Plato nevertheless leaves open a way of using thumos' force in giving it a proper object of value.

Keywords:   love, spirit, tripartite soul, sense of honour, shame, values, Plato, Symposium, Phaedrus

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