January 2nd, 2014
Episode 345 of 552 episodes
Plato's Symposium is one of the Greek philosopher's most celebrated works. Written in the 4th century BC, it is a dialogue set at a dinner party attended by a number of prominent ancient Athenians, including the philosopher Socrates and the playwright Aristophanes. Each of the guests speaks of Eros, or erotic love. This fictional discussion of the nature of love, how and why it arises and what it means to be in love, has had a significant influence on later thinkers, and is the origin of the modern notion of Platonic love. Melvyn Bragg is joined by Angie Hobbs, Professor of the Public Understanding of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield; Richard Hunter, Regius Professor of Greek at the University of Cambridge and Frisbee Sheffield, Director of Studies in Philosophy at Christ's College, University of Cambridge.