According to her love between man and woman is divine and very beautiful. ‘It is immortality in a mortal creature.’ (“Symposium” page 49) Diotima opines that the real object of sexuality is to give birth. Sexual love is the medium which Nature uses for this same purpose. Thus the purpose of love is very noble and that is the reproduction. While describing about the difference between physical beauty and intellectual beauty Diotima argues that intellectuality plays a vital role. The person who realizes the importance of beauty can give birth to the beautiful and reasoning and thinking. Naturally whatever he produces is virtuous. Love is beautiful and its beauty lies not in physical things but it is immortal. ‘Not beauty tainted by human flesh and coloring and all that mortal rubbish, but absolute beauty divine and constant?’ (Symposium page 55, 56). According to Diotima love and sexual intimacy between man and woman is always beautiful, harmonious and divine. One of the modern feminists, Luce Irigaray has criticized the Platonic ideas. In her book, ‘Sorcerer Love,’ she explains that Diotima’s thoughts about love were not dialectical from modern point of view. Irigaray here tells that love is the means of knowledge. Diotima has told that love is the offspring of plenty and poverty. Naturally it is the combination of both good and bad thing. Love’s aim is to realize the immortal in the mortal between lovers. According to Irigaray Diothima’s teaching seems to be dialectical but not from modern point of view. while criticizing platonic love Irigaray asserts that in stead of living the child to ripen in the milieu of love between man and women Diothima seeks the cause for love in the animal world that is procreation and leads love split between mortality and immortality. ( page 27, ‘Ethics of Sexual Differences)While differentiating the love of woman to that of man, Beauvoir points out that the love of woman is always more intense than that of man. This intensity according to Beauvoir comes out of her insecurity and incompleteness. It has been the psychology of the woman that she cannot be a completed person without man’s help. In the childhood everybody feels safe and secure. Due to the feeling of dependability she constantly tries to find the same security and safe life of her childhood and according to Simone de Beauvoir the obsession for love in case of the woman comes from
Second Sex – Chapter 23, “Woman in Love” Originally written by Simone De Beauvoir published in French in 1949, translated by H.M. Parshley in English in 1952.
Luce Irigaray - “Sorcerer Love”: Reading of Plato, Symposium “Diothima’s Speech in “Ethics of Sexual Differences”
Symposium – Originally written by Plato; translated with an introduction and notes by Robin Waterfield. Oxford University Press, 1974. Reissued as an Oxford World’s Classic paperback in 1998.
Luce Irigaray. - Ethics of Sexual Differences, translated by Carolyn Burke & Gillian Gill.
A Place for love – Vintges, Karen (Philosophy as passion : The thinking of Simone Beauvoir, Bloomington & Indiana University Press, 1996.
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