Platonic Love

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Category: Philosophy and Psychology

Date Submitted: 09/24/2012 10:34 PM

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‘Platonic love is’ described as “a close relationship between two persons of the opposite sex in which sexual desire has been suppressed or sublimated.” However the definition of ‘platonic’ is “not sexual but purely spiritual” and “of or associated with the idea’s of the Greek philosopher Plato”, while the definition of ‘love is’ “an intense feeling of deep affection.” These definitions do not support the definition given for ‘platonic love’. ‘Platonic love’ should be described as a relationship that has nonsexual desires or love according to Plato’s views. Plato’s “Symposium” gives examples that help explain what it is ‘platonic love’ should be described as. Although the dictionary definition does touch on a nonsexual relationship it is classified between a man and a woman, and even further, between people. The dictionary definition of ‘platonic love’ is not accurate and through the “Symposium” this is proven.

Although the definition for ‘platonic love’ is not completely accurate, there is some reasoning as to why it would be written as it is. In the definition it does imply nonsexual relationship, which by the definition falls under the meaning of platonic. Also it does give one view of a platonic relationship, being man and woman. But this definition only explains talks of a relationship between mother and son or friends. This definition limits the relationships people can have and does not allow ant thought outside of a male-female relationship.

Platonic love is in fact open to all types of relationships. It can describe a general friendship, a parent-child relationship, or any relationship that does not involve sex. One example of ‘platonic love’ is Plato’s “Symposium” itself. The “Symposium” is a gathering of famous Greek influences who discuss love, each giving a speech on the topic. One of the speakers, named Pausanias, describes two types of love, one being “common” and the other being “heavenly.” According to him common love is love of the body,...