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Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 9, Issue 2, Spring 2005

Special Issue: The Ancient Philosophy Society

Jill Gordon
Pages 255-278

Eros in Plato’s Timaeus

The Timaeus, a decidedly non-erotic dialogue, provides surprising philosophical insight into the role and importance of eros in human life. Contrary to many traditional readings of the dialogue, the Timaeus indicates that eros is an original part of the disembodied soul as created by the demiurge, and as such, is part of the noetic or intelligent design of the cosmos. Timaeus reveals, furthermore, that eros is the moving force behind our desire to know first causes and the noetic world, that eros, like the senses and emotions, needs to be trained and guided toward its proper objects, and that eros is distinct from appetitive desires in the mortal soul.

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