The Guise of the Beautiful: Symposium 204d ff

Phronesis 65 (2):129-152 (2019)
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A crux of Plato’s Symposium is how beauty relates to the good. Diotima distinguishes beauty from the good, I show, to explain how erotic pursuits are characteristically ambivalent and opaque. Human beings pursue beauty without knowing why or thinking it good; yet they are rational, if aiming at happiness. Central to this reconstruction is a passage widely taken to show that beauty either coincides with the good or demands disinterested admiration. It shows rather that what one loves as beautiful does not appear good, a proposal with ramifications for ethical psychology.
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First archival date: 2019-10-17
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