Wednesday January 12, 4:00PM GMT

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Plato’s theory on Eros and the political implications

by Panos Eliopoulos

University of Ioannina, Greece; Open University of Cyprus; Erasmus Visiting Scholar, University College Cork, Ireland (2022).

ABSTRACT: In most of the platonic dialogues, it is emphasized that proper pleasures and likings comprise prerequisites for the exercise of the political art. Despite Plato’s insistence on the view that passions are enemies both for the individual and for the Polis, Eros takes on a dimension which is only partially detached from the realm of desire but also from a singular ontological-metaphysical reference. According to Plato, Eros is more than an emotion or some form of knowledge: it acquires an apocalyptic significance, as it points to the secret beauty, the hidden harmony, which leads the human being to the perfect end, the sighting of the Good. In the Republic, Plato allows its political management. Thus, Eros becomes political as well. Beyond the propriety in erotic ethos, in the general political phenomenology of the Republic, the philosopher does not overlook the physical view of love but also recognizes for Eros a particular mission within the Polis in relation to the political governance and the laws.

KEYWORDS: Plato, political, Eros, passions, pleasure


SHORT CV: Dr. Panos Eliopoulos is a Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Ioannina (Greece). He is also a visiting professor in Bogazici University, in Istanbul, as well as a special professor and consultant in the Open University of Cyprus. His main research interests are Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy, History of Philosophy, Moral and Political Philosophy. He is currently conducting his postdoctoral research at the Complutense University of Madrid. In 2019 he received the Orlyk Award from the National Dragomanov University of Kiev and in 2021 the Award of the Moral and Political Sciences from the Academy of Athens. He has authored five monographs: Moral Philosophy in the Work of Seneca, Political Philosophy in the Work of Seneca, Heimarmene in Ancient Philosophy, Aristotle and Nietzsche on Euripides’ Medea, Business Ethics as Applied Ethics, and more than ninety articles. He is the co-editor of a collective volume on Nationalism (under publication by Routledge, London 2022).

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