Raoul Mortley

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“Platonic Love” -Raoul Mortley talks

A discussion of the origins and meaning of this term, and its general implications for the nature of Love.

The first comprehensive discussion of love in Western literature was provided by Plato, who using the Greek word eros, left us a book called the Symposium, which featured a number of speakers at a drinking party, each of whom gave a speech about the nature of love.

Plato seems to say that love starts as a sexual passion and that it gradually transforms itself into a union in beauty, or to quote him in “the vast ocean of the beautiful”.

The term Platonic Love was never used by him, but was coined by a Platonist almost 2000 years later, Ficino.

Unlike eros in Plato, Platonic Love is asexual, but equally involves the idea that the object of love is some kind of mystery. Its purpose is in the end a negation of eros.

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