Commonplace 2

“For that universal love and interest is for the sake of immortality.” I personally find that taking quotes from the texts I am reading for other classes seems like the best way to gain a sense of applicability from the Commonplace assignments. This week’s quote is from Plato’s Symposium, an assigned reading for my newly enrolled course: western philosophy. The quote being hailed as a keystone for understanding modern philosophy means that the quote carries inherent significance, but given the nature of the subject has the ability to be interpreted in today’s world rather than being pinned in the past.
From the scholarly point of view, it can be inferred that the author is trying to boil down the essence of humanity into a single characteristic in an effort to make love, a normally fluid term, slightly more definable. Saying that immortality is a focus for human beings is not incorrect in the slightest. It can be used as an argument for the growth of ancient empires as well as self-interest on the level of the individual. Love as a means of connection to achieve the goal of immortality is an interesting path to traverse. WHile love is typically thought of as wholesome and a goal in itself, Plato seems to see love as a tool to achieve opportunity on a grander scale. Seldom are we exposed to an outright statement that claims humans do not realistically care about one another and are in fact more wrapped up in self interest.
Part of the allure of Plato’s work in addition to other great philosophers is the timeless nature of the focus of their writings. Humans still exist and continue to spread the discourse of universal love and human connection. However, as stated earlier the opposition to this idea is few and far between. I think that if the global community could take a step back and accept the reality of self interest, the idea of radical personalities would diminish. The claims of ignorant radicalism would be replaced with an acceptance of human nature to further one’s individual cause: immortality.

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