Love, Madness, and Plato
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Division: The New School for Social Research
Course Number: GPHI 6124
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
- Social Sciences
- Liberal Arts
In the Symposium, Socrates is portrayed implicitly as Eros, a tough shoeless and homeless daimon, who turns his poverty into an ingenious hunt for the beautiful and the good. In the Phraedrus, we discover that prophets, poets, lovers, and perhaps even philosophers, have all gone mad. From the Republic, we learn that a philosophical nature can have tyrannical vocation—and that tyrants go mad out of unrestrained eros. Plato, however, is a philosopher who thinks that there cannot be justice without the rule of reason within the soul (psyche) as well as within the city (polis). What then do madness and eros have to do with philosophy and reason? We will read and comment on the Phraedrus, theSymposium and selections from the Republic—trying to answer the question: Can we live the life of philosophy without the black horse (in the Platonic myth of the charioteer leading the white and black horse)?
Not open to Undergraduate students.