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How does Diotima criticize this understanding of love?

November 10, 2021
Christopher R. Teeple

1. In the Symposium, Diotima rejects the idea that love is about finding your
soulmate: “Now there is a certain story…according to which lovers are those
people who seek their other halves” (Symposium, 488). How does Diotima
criticize this understanding of love? Specifically, what does she think this
understanding of love leaves out or is lacking?
2_ Provide, and explain, your own example of what Plato calls “poetry”
3_ Explain what the sun is supposed to represent in Plato’s Allegory of the
Cave (see especially Republic, 1135). This would mean referencing and
explaining the specific feature of Plato’s metaphysics at issue in this image.
4_ Regarding the prisoners in the cave from the Allegory, Socrates says,
“They’re like us” (Republic, 1133). What does Socrates mean here? How,
specifically, are the prisoners “like us”?
5_ Consider the paragraph (#28) on 232 of Augustine’s Confessions
(beginning: “When at last I cling to you with all my being…”). Explain how
the Christian worldview described in this passage is reminiscent of Plato’s
metaphysics. What are the fundamental, specific similarities between what
Augustine is saying here and the view of reality described by Plato?
6. Pick one of the three metaphors we discussed from section 1 of Thus
Spoke Zarathustra (121-122) that shows how Nietzsche is inverting Plato.
Explain how, exactly, Nietzsche is taking one of Plato’s particular images or
metaphors and flipping Plato’s metaphysics on its head.

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