"Platonic"

I am really intrigued with this word as to what plato had got to do with this particular word. google dint help me much in finding the relation to plato…:(

it just said

“Plato did not invent the term or the concept that bears his name, but he did see sexual desire as the germ for higher loves. Marsilio Ficino, a Renaissance follower of Plato, used the terms amor socraticus and amor platonicus interchangeably for a love between two humans that was preparatory for the love of God. From Ficino’s usage, Platonic came to be used for a spiritual love between persons of opposite sexes. In our own century Platonic has been used of relationships between members of the same sex. Though the concept is an elevated one, the term has perhaps more often been applied in ways that led Samuel Richardson to have one of his characters in Pamela say, “I am convinced, and always was, that Platonic love is Platonic nonsense.” ”

Th elast senetence is interesting though..:D

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9 thoughts on “"Platonic"

  1. Platonic love in its modern sense is an affectionate relationship into which the sexual element does not enter, especially in cases where one might easily assume otherwise.

    The term amor platonicus was coined as early as the 15th Century by Marsilio Ficino, as a synonym for “amor socraticus”, referring to the affection between Socrates and his pupils. This type of love dictates a non-sexual relationship between an older member and younger member of the same gender.

    The English term dates back as far as Sir William Davenant’s Platonic Lovers (1636). It is derived from the concept in Plato’s Symposium, of the love of the idea of good which lies at the root of all virtue and truth. However it is not clear that Plato’s own concept of love was as non-sexual as that which later generations of Platonists thought to derive from his works.

    A simple example of platonic relationships is friendship between two heterosexual people of the opposite sexes.

  2. Blog Search( http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch?hl=en&q=platonic+love) might be helpful in this case but you may have to dig through ;)…Plato’s association was perhaps coz of his conventional rigid philosophy though I don’t remember it well but it wasn’t a very convincing reason for sure.

    I feel the root cause is the tendency to associate word “Love” to every relationship, which in true sense is so different for relationships between sibling’s, parents and children, friends and a couple. It’s only the last case where you seek to fulfill your romantic and also so called non platonic desires too. Though the amount of platonic and non-platonic component may differ for different people and different stages of their life. Generally the platonic component increases as the time passes by. Also its definitely not a zero sum game i.e. an increase in one component does not witness corresponding decrease in other. Osho had very good observations in this matter.

    Though I guess it’s a similar case of creating a word riddle and fighting to solve it. Keeping the context in mind while using word “Love” would obviate the need of using word “Platonic”.

  3. A very controversial term ” platonic love” can be used in various context and has many interpretations in the modern sense. a few that i can contribute as comments.

    1. A pure, spiritual affection, subsisting between persons of opposite sex, unmixed with carnal desires, and regarding the mind only and its excellences; — a species of love for which Plato was a warm advocate.

    2.Spiritual love between persons of opposite sexes. It is the friendship of man and woman, without mixture of what is usually called love. Plato strongly advocated this pure affection, and hence its distinctive name.

    Back ground on neoplatonism: a little digression

    Neoplatonism is a modern term used to designate the period of Platonic philosophy beginning with the work of Plotinus and ending with the closing of the Platonic Academy by the Emperor Justinian in 529 CE. This brand of Platonism, which is often described as ‘mystical’ or religious in nature, developed outside the mainstream of Academic Platonism. The origins of Neoplatonism can be traced back to the era of Hellenistic syncretism which spawned such movements and schools of thought as Gnosticism and the Hermetic tradition. A major factor in this syncretism, and one which had an immense influence on the development of Platonic thought, was the introduction of the Jewish Scriptures into Greek intellectual circles via the translation known as the Septuagint. The encounter between the creation narrative of Genesis and the cosmology of Plato’s Timaeus set in motion a long tradition of cosmological theorizing that finally culminated in the grand schema of Plotinus’ Enneads.

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