Symposium by Plato

Love in the Passions

There exists a debate between Rousseau, Plato and the philosophers of the Encyclopedia over the experience of the passions. While Plato and the philosophers choose to philosophically debate over the reasons behind love and sexuality, Rousseau, who insists that "imagination wreaks so much havoc," unfastens philosophy from the passions and argues that they are independent ideas that need not be interconnected. One could delve in to this dispute from two sides; one being that love is a difficult concept who's reasons need high levels of inquiry to achieve understanding, or that the passions are straightforward and do not need an in-depth exploration. These two opposing sides are not only battling for and against segregation of thought and reason, they are also at odds on the definition of love itself.

In Rousseau's "The Basic Political Writings," he claims that "the more violent the passions are, the more necessary the laws are to contain them." Noting that the passions are 'violent' already offers them a negative overtone, which is only enhanced by Rousseau's insistence that "even if [the laws] were capable of repressing [the passions], the least one should expect of them...

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