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Diotima's path of Love in Plato's Symposium

An exploration of the teachings of Diotima, and her place in Plato's philosophic outlook.

In his dialogue the Symposium, Plato places one of his most important accounts of the nature of philosophy into the mouth of a woman called Diotima (whose teaching Socrates relates in his speech), who is characterised as a prophetess and priestess as well as a philosopher. Socrates relates that Diotima describes philosophy as a path of love and cognitive ascent. In this session we will consider Diotima’s speech and its implications for philosophy. Why does Diotima connect philosophy with love, desire and beauty? How does her speech relate philosophy and the search for wisdom to our relationship with other human beings and the world around us? Why does Socrates relate Diotima’s teaching rather than making his own speech on the nature of love (or erōs)? How significant is it that Plato places this teaching on the nature of philosophy in the mouth of a woman and a prophetess-priestess?

We'll begin the evening with a short introduction to the dialogue and its themes, and then read extracts from it. We aim to have an hour after this for the group to discuss and explore the ideas which the dialogue has thrown up.

No previous experience of formal philosophy is required.

Entrance in free, but donations between £3-5 will be welcomed.

A PDF download of the extract we will be reading is available on our website together with further details of this and other Prometheus Trust's activities: www.prometheustrust.co.uk (the PDF is on the "London Monday Evenings" page.)


Dr Crystal Addey | talks | www


Date and Time:

26 February 2018 at 8:00 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Cecil Sharp House
2 Regent’s Park Road

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Organised by:

The Prometheus Trust
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