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Amour et santé dans le Banquet de Platon : la notion d’harmonie

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From the journal Elenchos


The structure as well as the themes of the Symposium suggest that Eryximachus’ speech plays a fundamental role in the dialogue. The problem is that what he says in praise of love is far from clear and continues to be a subject of debate. The aim of our article is to re-examine this speech to clarify its meaning and determine its contribution to Plato’s theory of love. First, we will analyse the text of the Symposium, then we will investigate its medical back-ground, and finally we will evaluate its philosophical impact. We will argue that Eryximachus’ speech, which draws inspiration from the Hippocratic Collection and the Pre-Socratic thought, is based on the concept of ‘harmony’: a balanced and organised unity of opposites. According to Eryximachus, love – conceived of as harmony – is the key to the health and the virtue of human beings, as well as to the cosmic order and justice. Thereby the specificity of Eryximachus’ speech will become clear: Plato tries to combine science and morality by proposing, among other things, some considerations on bioethics.


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Published Online: 2019-08-07
Published in Print: 2019-08-06

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