The Symposium (Penguin Classics) Paperback
by Plato. Edition Date:: 04/29/2003
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In the course of a lively drinking party, a group of Athenian intellectuals exchange views on eros, or desire. From their conversation emerges a series of subtle reflections on gender roles, sex in society and the sublimation of basic human instincts. The discussion culminates in a radical challenge to conventional views by Plato's mentor, Socrates, who advocates transcendence through spiritual love.The Symposium is a deft interweaving of different viewpoints and ideas about the nature of love—as a response to beauty, a cosmic force, a motive for social action and as a means of ethical education.