Eris and Eros: a Study of Love, War and the Struggle for Immortality

This paper will examine Plato's conception of eros in the Symposium by looking to his predecessors. Overall, I will argue that through his understanding of eros, Plato participates in an ongoing debate about the examination of human motivation. In particular, we can chart the development of a philosophical ideal that was constituted in contrast to a poetic ideal found most notably in Homer. This research will demonstrate that Plato's eros reflects the understanding of strife in Heraclitus and Hesiod's works. Moreover, we can also gain a better sense about the development of ethical thought and come to a clearer understanding about the content of works of these philosophers and poets. The conclusions of this paper hope to illustrate some of the ancient thought about the constructs of the internal psyche and how they reflect an attempt to build a means to achieving internal harmony.
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