Please join us for our February 2020 Merlin Philosophy Read-In Group gathering on Feb. 5th (6pm-7:30pm) at Cottonwood ALC Community Center located at 322 Fuller Avenue.
To continue our exploration of last month’s topic (which we’ll carry us through to Valentine’s Day), we’ll be looking at two of Plato’s most beautiful and poetic dialogues on the themes of friendship and love: the Phaedrus and the Symposium.
In the Phaedrus, Socrates and his friend Phaedrus journey into the Athenian countryside, to consider whether it is better to love someone who also loves you, or whether (as Phaedrus’ teacher has recently suggested) it’s actually more noble to love someone who does not return your love. From there, Socrates offers his own speech in praise of Love, explaining how love purifies and elevates both the lover and the beloved to higher and more noble things.
In the Symposium, we find Socrates back in the city, attending a dinner party with a group of friends, when the subject turns to love. The six dinner guests compete to explain, and to praise, exactly what love is. Comparing and contrasting these different account, we’ll come to our own understanding of this powerful yet often mysterious aspect of human life.