In Symposium, what is Socrates’s view of human nature in terms of love? Diotima says, “Now, this desire for happiness, this kind of love—do you think it is common to all human beings and that everyone wants to have good things forever and ever?” Could you elaborate on Socrates’s stance on human nature in terms of love?

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Socrates agrees with Diotima that it’s human nature to express love through childbirth and art. In Plato’s Symposium , Socrates and Diotima debate love. The two discuss the acquisition of beautiful things. Socrates says people love beautiful things. The love of beautiful things becomes synonymous with the love of...

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Socrates agrees with Diotima that it’s human nature to express love through childbirth and art. In Plato’s Symposium, Socrates and Diotima debate love. The two discuss the acquisition of beautiful things. Socrates says people love beautiful things. The love of beautiful things becomes synonymous with the love of good things since beauty brings joy, which is good. People desire to possess good things. Once they have good things, they have happiness.

Diotima asks Socrates, “Now, this desire for happiness, this kind of love—do you think it is common to all human beings and that everyone wants to have good things forever and ever?” Socrates answers in the affirmative. Diotima then rephrases her question into a statement. “In a word, then, love is wanting to possess the good forever,” she says. Once again, Socrates agrees.

Diotima elaborates on her stance. She sees love in the drive to give birth. For Diotima, pregnancy is automatically beautiful because it cannot take place “out of harmony.” It’s human nature to want to make beautiful things like babies. Through birth, humans continue to possess beautiful things forever and ever. In a sense, humans show their love and desire for one another by indefinitely reproducing their species.

Diotima also sees immortality and reproduction in the context of art. She highlights Homer and Hesiod. These two poets left behind “offspring” via their poetry. Just as creating a child is an act of love, so is making art. Both revolve around Socrates’s and Diotima’s ideas about possession, beauty, and immortality. Socrates is “persuaded” by Diotima’s stance on love and human nature. Her stance can reasonably be called his stance.

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