Love in Socrates (and Plato), is Eros or desire. In the Symposium, Socrates claims that spiritual love is better than physical love. In this vein he distinguished between the heavenly Aphrodite who represents spiritual love, friendship and the beauty of goodness, from the worldly or vulgar Aphrodite of carnal and physical love. In explaining why spiritual love is better than physical love, Socrates says that the lusts of the body wish only to be temporarily satisfied and fade away soon after while the soul which tends towards spiritual love becomes increasingly lovable as it progresses towards wisdom. Spiritual love is more stable and does not change or alter when physical appearances change. Socrates used the analogy of the farm to elucidate the distinction between spiritual and physical love.
When one rents a farm, one tries to get as much return from it as possible, that is physical love. However, when one owns the farm, one sees to it that it is well taken care of, that is spiritual love. One cares for it not for any advantage one hopes to derive from it. If the farm were a human being, it would trust the one who ...
While Socrates claims that spiritual love is better than physical love; and that the ultimate aim of love is to move into the universal truth of beauty and goodness. Aristotle, on the other hand, thinks that love, or philia, consists in seeking the good of the concrete other. These different ideas of love is manifest in how both philosophers see friendship.
Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle Matrix
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