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

By Laurence D. Cooper

People are stressed souls, ever pushed by means of an insistent internal strength not just to have extra yet to be more-to be infinitely extra. numerous philosophers have emphasised this kind of ceaseless striving of their bills of humanity, as in Spinoza's inspiration of conatus and Hobbes's id of "a perpetual and stressed hope of strength after power." during this new booklet, Laurence Cooper focuses his realization on 3 giants of the philosophic culture for whom this internal strength used to be a massive preoccupation and whatever cut loose and bigger than the will 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 lifestyles. He concentrates in particular on what those thinkers percentage of their figuring out 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 forms of fanaticism. yet he isn't neglectful of the diversities between their interpretations of the phenomenon, both, and particularly highlights those within the concluding bankruptcy.

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

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Notice that, when desires force someone contrary to the calculating part, he reproaches himself and his spirit is roused against that in him which is doing the forcing; and, just as though 34. This bipartition is foreshadowed in book 2’s discussion of the nature of the guardiansto-be (375a–76c). the republic as prologue 37 there were two parties at faction, such a man’s spirit becomes the ally of speech? But as for its making common cause with the desires to do what speech has declared must not be done, I’d suppose you’d say you had never noticed anything of the kind happening in yourself, nor, I suppose, in anyone else (440a–b).

14 There is a strong suggestion in the Republic that the basis of the kinship between the philosopher and the tyrant, their shared eroticism—or at least the capacity for it—is inborn. Everyone has a certain degree of eros or eroticism within him- or herself. This is implied by the application of the tripartite structure to all souls and by Socrates’ claim that everyone experiences the lawless—which is to say, undeniably erotic—desires (572b). ’’ What seems to distinguish especially erotic individuals from unerotic ones is quantity: the former have more eros, or greater desire, than the latter.

But perhaps a tentative answer can be found even now by considering the selfnegating character of eros and indeed all desire. A person who had grasped the Good and made it his own would have transcended human nature. Such a person’s eros would be completely satisfied; he would enjoy the perfection and self-sufficiency of a Platonic god. Now in my view Socrates is not portrayed as such a one; indeed, there is ample evidence to the contrary, as noted above. ) Nor is it clear that the total fulfillment of eros is held out even as a possibility.

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