The Classical Quarterly (New Series)

Research Article

Love and the Individual in Plato's Phaedrus

F. C. Whitea1

a1 University of Tasmania

There are two basic objections to Plato's account of love in the Phaedrus, both raised by Gregory Vlastos, both metaphysically important in their own right, and both still unanswered. The first is that the Phaedrus sees men as mere images of another world, making it folly or even idolatry to treat them as worthy of love for their own sakes. The other is that it considers the love that we bear for our fellow men to be the result of human, temporal deficiency. If only we could be free of this deficiency, the objection runs, we would have no reason to love anything or anyone except the Forms: seen face to face, these by themselves would absorb all our love.