Philosophy of Love

Philosophy of Love: Eryximachus vs. Aristophanes on Love

While Eryximachus and Aristophanes present compelling arguments about love, Aristophane’s assertion that “love is a union of what is the same” is more accurate because it signifies love as a process of making the soul whole. Aristophane’s argument implies that union will only occur where love abides. The separation of soul in ancient life led humans to possess one half of the soul, and union makes it whole. One objection is that some people spend their lives in solitude with no declared lovers, implying love can still exist without union. According to Aristophanes, this is possible because love does not have to be eros; it could be expressed in friendship and family. With this argument, Eryximachus’ argument that love is a harmony of opposites is less accurate because it limits to eros, while Aristophane’s description opens for all forms of love.

In explaining love, Aristophanes gives a historical account of human existence. He notes that there were three sexes, “man, woman and union of the two” (Plato Symposium). The separation of the union produced a split in souls, producing a mirror image of each, and love is an effort to search for the other half. I find Aristophanes’ argument inclined to show that one must find the mirror image of their soul to find love. In the symposium by Plato, Aristophanes noted that love exists where temperance and justice are and produce good and happiness. Thus, I find love as an effort to unite souls and create happiness.

In arguing for “love as unity of what is the same,” Aristophanes argued that when the human soul was separated, “having one side only, like a flat fish,” it went out looking for its other half (Plato Symposium). This is evident in man looking for a soul mate, which is an attempt to return to the original “whole” nature. Thus, love has become so fundamental that neuroscientists like Dr. Stephanie Cacioppo note that we cannot live without love (Lewis). Without love, life loses meaning (Stillman et al. 686).

Some people argue in favour of Eryximachus that love is the “harmony of opposites.” In his argument, Eryximachus equated love to music, which is a union of opposites (Plato Symposium). This argument implies that love can only exist among opposites. I find this argument inaccurate because it is limited to spousal love. Love exists even in individuals with no sexual relations, and Aristophanes cites Zeus saying that sex only arises as a secondary outcome (Plato Symposium). Thus, love is an effort to complete the soul and can be reflected in spousal, parental, and friendly relationships.

Aristophanes’ argument about love is more accurate than Eryximachus’. It is more compelling to view love as a pursuit to get the soul’s other half than to believe love is a harmony of opposites. Aristophanes views love as a process of humans reverting to their nature, and sex, which is implied in Eryximachus’ definition of love, comes as secondary. I find this definition relevant because it is not limited to eros.

Works Cited

Lewis, T. “‘We Cannot Live Without Love’: When Dr. Love Met Dr. Loneliness”. The Guardian, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/science/2022/may/15/we-cannot-live-without-love-what-happened-when-dr-love-met-dr-loneliness.

Plato. Symposium.

Stillman, Tyler F. et al. “Alone and Without Purpose: Life Loses Meaning Following Social Exclusion”. Journal Of Experimental Social Psychology, vol 45, no. 4, 2009, pp. 686-694. Elsevier BV, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2009.03.007

Plato’s view on perceptibles and intelligibles

Plato’s view on Perceptibles and Intelligibles

Plato’s approach to philosophy involved explaining complex concepts. In trying to explain the Body and soul, Plato assessed two concepts, perceptibles, and intelligibles. These substantially differed in meaning and characteristics. In this analysis, I will focus on the properties of the two concepts, borrowing materials from Plato’s Timaeus.

In simple terms, perceptibles can be perceived using the senses. Plato refers to perceptibles as an aistheton, a cognitive act that bears an opinion accompanied by an irrational sensation called doxa (Broadie, 2012). This explanation makes it clear that perceptibles have a property. The first characteristic of a perceptible is that it must be capable of being conceived by an individual’s cognitive sphere. This conception is in the form of doxa, opinion, and not aesthesis, sensation (Tim. 28c1, 37b8, 51d4, 51d6, 52a7, 77b5.). Other characteristics of being perceptibles include being visible and tangible. This implies that perceptibles must be capable of being perceived using physical senses, such as vision or touch, and elicit a cognitive action in the form of an opinion. These characteristics are made possible by two kinds of bodily stud, pyr (fire) and (earth) (Tim. 31b3–6.). Indeed, nothing would be visible in the absence of fire as this is the primary source of light. Even sunlight is a result of fire—gases burning at very high temperatures to yield shortwave radiation (light). Besides, nothing would be tangible without earth. These are only the fundamental components, but other naturally occurring materials contribute to the property of perceptibles.

In simple terms, intelligibles are attributes capable of being understood. According to Plato, intelligibles result from reasoning and the pattern of thoughts. This process is a realm of mathematics and involves logical deduction (Karfik, 2021). This means that it happens in the absence of visual and sensual signals, which often confuse the mind and hinder the deduction process. From this definition, it is sound to argue that perceptibles have properties that intelligibles lack. They have doxa and rely on aesthesis, which is not the case for intelligibles.

Form as a conceived idea about something. As an intelligible, form results from logical reasoning and a thoughtful process. Besides, it is universal and implies the knowledge of things that change. For instance, the “Form” of cows is abstract and does not change anywhere in the world. From the property of intelligibles, this form would not change even if all cows in the world were to vanish. This is different from perceptibles. Perceptibles rely on signals from the external world. Thus, the perceptibles of cows are different in Africa from the United States, which also differs in Asia. The differences are inspired by signals obtained through vision or touch. For instance, a cow may be big, black, and humped in semi-arid regions, but the hump disappears for those reared in highlands.

Memory and Recollection

Plato tried to explain human existence from the physical and intellectual realms. The critical areas of focus that reflect intellectuality are knowledge and learning. Plato discussed the concept of memory in his dialogue Theatetus and recollection in the dialogues Meno and Phaedo. In this part, I will explain how memory and recollection connect with the past, focusing on learning and knowledge and drawing from Plato’s dialogues.

Memory is an imprint of what we perceive or conceive. The dialogue presents one of the most exciting analogs, where the mind is equated to a wax block where whatever is impressed is remembered (Theatetus 191d-e). This illustration is simplistic yet insightful of how memory exists. One remarkable part of memory is that something must be perceived, such as through the senses, or conceived through thoughts for it to be remembered later. Time is a critical aspect of memory. The association between exposure and duration influences memory. This has been a critical point of concern in judging evidence in courts (Theatetus 189c). As time passes, the recall of a mental imprint fades because new memories are formed every day.

Recollection can be simply termed as remembering something. This implies that what is stored in the mind, described as memory, is selectively retrieved to fit the needs of a particular situation. This can be as simple as remembering the answer to a set of questions that were asked previously (Meno 82b) or drawing from one’s knowledge to respond to a similar situation (Phaedo 78b). Plato describes recollection as anamnesis in his theory. From his perspective, he noted that learning and seeking are entirely recollection (Meno 81e).  He also introduces an interesting argument that incarnation put facts and information in us and learning is being reminded what we already knew in the past life. Thus, anamnesis becomes an integral component of Plato’s explanation of recollection.  

Both memory and recollection connect in that they rely on mental imprints formed in the past. However, memory is just a mental imprint and can only be expressed in a recollection. For instance, when an individual views the image of a loved one, their mind is filled with thoughts of moments they have had together, which depicts recollection. Learning aims at creating memory and forming knowledge. This knowledge can then be retrieved in a recollection process, where an individual experiences a sensory trigger by sight, hearing, or touch and uses their knowledge to respond to the trigger adequately.

Memory is related to the past in that perception or conception is stored in the mind as time passes. Recollection is connected to the past by relying on knowledge and memory to respond to an active situation, like in the case when an individual is presented with a set of questions. The two are interconnected in that recollection cannot exist in the absence of memory. This has been demonstrated in witness situations, where courts have discredited witnesses on the account that their state of mind affected their memory and what they recollect is not an accurate profile of an incident that happened in the past.

References

Theatetus 189c, 191d-e

Phaedo 78b

Meno 82b

Tim. 28c1, 37b8, 51d4, 51d6, 52a7, 77b5.

Karfík, F. (2021). What is Perceptible in Plato’s Timaeus? Plato’S ≪I≫Timaeus≪/I≫, 213-227. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004437081_012

Illustrative Biography

Illustrative Biography

[WLO: 4] [CLOs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

Prior to beginning work on this assignment, review all of the illustrative biographies presented in the textbook. Also review sections 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, and 1.5 in Chapter 1 for detailed descriptions of the organizational constructs to be used in the development of this assignment. Pay close attention to table 1.2. Review the feedback given to you by your instructor for the Week 3 outline and contact your instructor if you have any questions.

In Week 3 you chose a famous person and the theory you want to apply to this person. For your final paper/presentation you will choose to either create a recorded webinar or a final paper. Effective time management is encouraged to ensure a quality product no matter which option you choose.

As a reminder, the purpose of this paper or presentation is to clearly and concisely create an illustrative biography using your chosen person and theory.

As a student of psychology, you may be interested in presenting concepts or research to organizations or at academic conferences. Even at the University of Arizona Global Campus, there will be opportunities for you to present your knowledge (i.e., at Psych Club symposiums, the UAGC Teaching and Learning Conference (TLC), and research symposiums) and hence, developing this skill will help you both academically and professionally. Although using technology can be a bit daunting, in this age, it is imperative that you become more comfortable with this mode of communication. In addition, if you continue your education towards a doctorate at an online institution you may have to defend your dissertation or applied project online; starting your development now, using these technologies, is helpful. This is why Option B for this assessment is a recorded webinar or presentation.

Need an example of a webinar? Growing Up Online (Links to an external site.) and Enhancing Online Schooling Experience Through Intentional Connections And Participation (Links to an external site.) are student UAGC Psych Club symposium presentations and are examples of how to present recorded information. (There are many ways to do this. Consider also looking at other examples online to assist you.) If you have questions, please ask your instructor.

If you do not currently have the technology to complete this option successfully, or you prefer writing, Option A is a written final paper.

You should use the theory and person you chose in Week 3. Each of the final assignment options have requirements. Be sure to review these requirements prior to completing.

Both options:

Your paper or presentation must include the following sections. (For the written paper option, use section headers, or, if doing a recorded webinar, use clear visuals denoting the following sections):

Introduction

Description

  • Describe the basic assumptions of the chosen theory using information about the subject’s life as context.
    • This can be a very brief overview.

In the subsequent sections, be detailed in your discussion of how theoretical concepts apply. There is no need to reexplain the theoretical concepts. (You may presume that the reader knows the theories.) Focus on how the theoretical concepts apply to the one person you are trying to understand. Cite specific details from the biography to support your interpretations.

Adjustment

  • Describe what the theory says about healthy and unhealthy adjustments in personality.
  • Explain how this is illustrated in the subject’s life.

Cognition

  • Describe what the theory says about the role of cognitive processes in the development of personality.
  • Explain how that is illustrated in the subject’s life.

Culture

  • Describe what the theory says about the role of culture in the development of personality.
  • Explain how that is illustrated in the subject’s life.

Biology

  • Describe what the theory says about the role of biology (including epigenetics).
  • Explain how that is illustrated in the subject’s life.

The Illustrative Biography final paper/presentation

Option A: The final paper

  • Must be eight to 10 double-spaced pages in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA Style (Links to an external site.) as outlined in the Writing Center’s APA Formatting for Microsoft Word (Links to an external site.) resource.
  • Must include a separate title page with the following:
    • Title of paper in bold font
      • Space should appear between the title and the rest of the information on the title page.
    • Student’s name
    • Name of institution (The University of Arizona Global Campus)
    • Course name and number
    • Instructor’s name
    • Due date
  • Must include a separate references page that is formatted according to APA Style as outlined in the Writing Center. See the APA: Formatting Your References List (Links to an external site.) resource in the Writing Center for specifications.

Option B: The recorded webinar

  • Must include a URL link to the presentation in the “Submission Comment” section of Waypoint.
  • Must include audio and visual text (i.e., your voice and slides with clear, readable text).
    • PowerPoint slides only or audio embedded in slides only will not be accepted.
    • See an example of a success webinar:
  • Must be a minimum of 20 minutes in length (i.e., approximately 20 slides).
  • Must include an introduction slide with the following clearly identified:
    • Title of webinar in bold font
      • Space should appear between the title and the rest of the information on the title slide.
    • Student’s name
    • Name of institution (The University of Arizona Global Campus)
    • Course name and number
    • Instructor’s name
    • Due date
  • All information should be paraphrased and well-cited.
  • Must include a reference slide or text overlay of your references formatted in APA Style (7th ed.) at the end of the webinar. (For example, if you present using yourself rather than slides, overlays can be added to it through programs such as screencast-o-matic (Links to an external site.); see Tutorials/Overlays (Links to an external site.) for help.)
  • Audio must be clear and easily heard.
  • Optional

Outline of the Illustrative Biography [WLO: 2] [CLOs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

Outline of the Illustrative Biography

[WLO: 2] [CLOs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

This week we will begin work on the Week 6 Illustrative Biography final paper/presentation, the primary assignment in this course. For the final assignment, you will be identifying a famous person and creating an illustrative biography using one of the theories presented in this course. If you would like to look forward to the final assignment, you can preview the requirements in the PSY615 Course Guide 

Download PSY615 Course Guide.

Please organize your outline using the following sections: description (individual differences), adjustment, cognition, culture, and biology. These topics are discussed in detail in Chapter 1 of your text. This also reflects the organization of the illustrative biographies provided in the text. You may choose to write a paper or create a presentation. Need an example of a webinar? Growing Up Online (Links to an external site.) and Enhancing Online Schooling Experience Through Intentional Connections And Participation (Links to an external site.) are student UAGC Psych Club symposium presentations and are examples of how to present recorded information. (There are many ways to do this. Consider looking at other examples online to assist you.) If you have questions, please ask your instructor.

Prior to beginning this assignment, please read the 15 illustrative biographies provided at the beginning of each chapter in your textbook. These subjects cannot be used in your paper:

  • Chapter 2: Freud: Illustrative Biography: Adolf Hitler
  • Chapter 3: Jung: Illustrative Biography: Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Chapter 4: Adler: Illustrative Biography: Malala Yousafzai
  • Chapter 5: Erikson: Illustrative Biography: Mahatma Gandhi
  • Chapter 6: Horney and Relational Theory: Illustrative Biography: Marilyn Monroe
  • Chapter 7: Allport: Illustrative Biography: Mother Teresa
  • Chapter 8: Two Factor Analytic Trait Theories: Illustrative Biography: Sonia Sotomayor
  • Chapter 9: Biological Theories: Serena Williams
  • Chapter 10: The Challenge of Behaviorism: Tiger Woods
  • Chapter 11: Kelly: Richard Nixon
  • Chapter 12: Mischel: Frida Kahlo
  • Chapter 13: Bandura: Barack Obama
  • Chapter 14: Rogers: Illustrative Biography: Maya Angelou
  • Chapter 15: Maslow and His Legacy: George Harrison
  • Chapter 16: Buddhist Psychology: Illustrative Biography: The Dalai Lama

This week you will begin to craft your final assignment by creating an outline. The outline must address the following sections. Please use the following section headers.

Introduction

  • Identify the famous person you have chosen to feature in your illustrative biography. (For additional information about the final paper/presentation, see Week 6.)
    • Identify at least one additional credible source—not your textbook—that you will use to develop this section.

Description

  • List the basic assumptions of the theory you have chosen to base your final paper/presentation.
    • The table of contents for your textbook will help you to identify the main concepts. You can focus your writing on certain concepts in the theory, but please include at least five key concepts in this list.
    • Identify at least one scholarly source that is not your textbook that you will use to develop this section.

In the subsequent sections, your focus will be on connecting the characteristics and life events in the chosen subject’s life to the theoretical concepts. The outline can just be a brief list that will be fleshed out in the final paper. Cite specific details from the biography to support your interpretations.

Adjustment

  • List what the theory says about healthy and unhealthy adjustment in personality.
  • List the elements of the subject’s life that are explained by this theory.
    • Identify at least one scholarly source that is not your textbook that you will use to develop this section.

Cognition

  • List the concepts from the theory that address the role of cognitive processes in the development of personality.
  • List the elements of the subject’s life that are explained by this theory.
    • Identify at least one scholarly source that is not your textbook that you will use to develop this section.

Culture

  • Describe what the theory says about the role of culture in the development of personality.
  • List the elements of the subject’s life that are explained by this theory.
    • Identify at least one scholarly source that is not your textbook that you will use to develop this section.

Biology

  • Describe what the theory says about the role of biology including epigenetics.
  • List the elements of the subject’s life that are explained by this theory.
    • Identify at least one scholarly source that is not your textbook that you will use to develop this section.

The Illustrative Biography Outline

Carefully review the Grading Rubric (Links to an external site.) for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment.

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