Background Info – Plato

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  • Citizen of Athens (5th c.b.c.e)
  • Rich, baking family
  • Name means “broad shoulder one”
  • Subject to the rule of the 30 tyrants
  • Political life was corrupt
  • To lead people back to eudaimonia → happiness or human flourishing
  • Logon didonai – give account to what you say and do

Dialogues – have a method


  • question to be investigated
  • key terms are defined
  • possible answers given
  • some answers are accepted, others rejected
  • aporia (aporetic) – an impasse, you are unable to give an answer
    or you come to a specific answer


  • elenchus – a way of questioning or dialoguing

i.      collect

ii.      divide

iii.      bring together again

  • you move from particularity to more general and abstract ideas

Myth -> mūthos

  • story or a tale
  • translated into Latin as fictio meaning fiction = BAD
  • a structure whereby individuals construct a sense or idea about themselves
  • myths help present what is essential about selves

Liberal Myth

  • atomic individuality
  • rational
  • free
  • inherent dignity
  • right to life
  • equal


Greeks had Two Types of Love

Eros Philia
Erotic Friendship
Sexual Not sexual

First Question:

Is it better to be in love or not in love?

Lysias and Socrates say: Not in love because when one is not in love, they are more rational, more self possessed, feels freer, less boastful, and less painful.

Great Expectations Themes: Love, Redemption, Isolation

Defending Love (Socrates and Plato)

What is love?

  • Love is psychological; it occurs in the psyche
  • Psyche = principle of motion and also that which moves all things
  • Love is mania – you have no control
  • Four kinds of mania
    • Divination and prophecy
    • Purification by mystery
    • Poetry and the muses/poetic inspiration
    • Love
  • Love is a particular mania that is different from poetic and religious mania
  • Love is a mania because the psyche(soul) is conflicted
  • Soul is divided into two kinds: Human and Diving
    • Human – soul/psyche is immortal; body is finite and temporal – it dies
    • Divine – immortal
  • Psyche/soul – reason gives one direct and one has desires which are good and bad
  • Love can go in two directions – heaven (good) or earth (bad/ugly)
  • True love ascends to seeing that love is concerned with living according to what is good and beautiful
  • Stages of Love (mania -> struggle -> idea of good and beautiful)
  • Infatuation/begins as a mania – you’re overcome by furies, you’re beside yourself
  • One reflect inward about mania
  • One must struggle – decide based upon what you see between the divine or base; where you want to go with this love

Cite this article as: William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team), "The Art and Psychology of Love," in SchoolWorkHelper, 2019,
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