Eros in Plato, Rousseau, and Nietzsche: The Politics of by Laurence D. Cooper

By Laurence D. Cooper

Human beings are stressed souls, ever pushed via an insistent internal strength not just to have extra yet to be more—to be infinitely extra. quite a few philosophers have emphasised this sort of ceaseless striving of their debts of humanity, as in Spinoza’s inspiration of conatus and Hobbes’s identity of “a perpetual and stressed hope of energy after power.” during this booklet, Laurence Cooper focuses his realization on 3 giants of the philosophic culture for whom this internal strength was once an incredible preoccupation and anything break away and bigger than the need for self-preservation. Cooper’s overarching function is to light up the character of this resource of existential longing and discontent and its implications for political existence. He concentrates particularly on what those thinkers proportion of their realizing of this psychic energy and the way they view it ambivalently because the root not just of ambition, energetic advantage, patriotism, and philosophy, but additionally of tyranny, imperialism, and types of fanaticism. yet he's not neglectful of the diversities between their interpretations of the phenomenon, both, and particularly highlights those within the concluding chapter.

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Extra resources for Eros in Plato, Rousseau, and Nietzsche: The Politics of Infinity

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This is the pedagogical benefit of its partiality. After showing us the soul from the political or structural perspective— precisely by showing us the soul from the political perspective and therewith 1. Compare 435c and 437d to 436a and 439d–441c; the latter is the famous demonstration that the soul is tripartite. the republic as prologue 17 the limits of that perspective—the Republic indicates what lies beyond it, what lies beyond—or better, within—the soul’s structure: namely, its erotic essence, its permeation or saturation by eros.

This emphasis on acquisition, on being-through-having, seems to be linked to the Republic’s political or thymotic perspective. As we shall see in Part One, this emphasis is offset in the Symposium by a quieter but powerful countervailing emphasis on the lover’s yielding to and even in a sense dissolving into the beloved. 21. One is tempted to say that wisdom, too, is an object of the philosopher’s eros, and perhaps it is. We are never told that it is, however; and the very term philosophos should give us pause.

38. His characterization is worth quoting in full: ‘‘The root meaning of eros is sexual desire; more broadly, eros designates other kinds of passionate desires as well. Just as the depths of human sexual desire contain more than mere lust, so that eros is often translated as ‘love,’ eros in its distinctly human forms transcends mere appetite. ’’ 18. Rosen, ‘‘The Role of Eros in Plato’s Republic,’’ p. 453; emphasis added. the republic as prologue 27 object of desire). 19 Both the tyrant and the philosopher, the two preeminent erotic types, are characterized by their longing to have more, to expand the realm of their possessions.

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