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Emotion and Cognitive Life in Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy$
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Martin Pickavé and Lisa Shapiro

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199579914

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199579914.001.0001

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The Philosopher as a Lover: Renaissance Debates on Platonic Eros

The Philosopher as a Lover: Renaissance Debates on Platonic Eros

Chapter:
(p.133) The Philosopher as a Lover: Renaissance Debates on Platonic Eros
Source:
Emotion and Cognitive Life in Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy
Author(s):

Sabrina Ebbersmeyer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199579914.003.0008

The paper deals with the reception of the Platonic theory of love during the Italian Renaissance. Plato's theory offers a specific conception of love, in which personal love is understood only as a part of a broader concept of love, which has specific relevance to the philosopher. In particular, this love figures as a means to acquire self-improvement and self-perfection. After outlining the Platonic theory of love to show how the erotic attraction to another person based on the perception of the beautiful is linked to the philosopher's desire for wisdom, the paper explores the reception of this theory by three well-known Renaissance philosophers, i.e. Marsilio Ficino, Leone Ebreo, and Giordano Bruno, and their appropriation of it to different ends.

Keywords:   Plato, Marsilio Ficino, Leone Ebreo, Giordano Bruno, beautiful, platonic theory of love, renaissance, self-improvement, self-perfection

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