Plato’s cosmological medicine in the discourse of Eryximachus in the Symposium. The responsibility of a harmonic techne

  • Laura Candiotto Ca' Foscari University of Venice. Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage.

Abstract

By comparing the role of harmony in Eryximachus’ discourse (specifically in Symposium 187 a 1-188 a 1) with other Platonic passages, especially from the Timaeus, this article aims to provide textual evidence concerning Plato’s conception of cosmological medicine as “harmonic techne”. The comparison with other dialogues will enable us to demonstrate how Eryximachus’ thesis is consistent with Plato’s cosmology — a cosmology which cannot be reduced to a physical conception of reality but represents the expression of a dialectical, and erotic cosmos, characterized by the agreement of parts. Arguably, Eryximachus’ discourse is expression of the Platonic tendency to translate onto the philosophical plane the implications of a model peri physeos. Harmonic techne is thus always linked to the theme of moral responsibility: the philosopher is also doctor, musician and demiurges in his harmonizing activity. The speech of Eryximachus can be approached as a Platonic step which is fundamental for establishing the need for a “medicine” to cure disorder, with a view to obtaining a cosmos ordered according to the harmonic principle.

http://dx.doi.org/10.14195/2183-4105_15_5

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Author Biography

Laura Candiotto, Ca' Foscari University of Venice. Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage.
Post-doctoral Fellow in Philosophy at Ca' Foscari University of Venice
Published
2015-12-30
How to Cite
CANDIOTTO, Laura. Plato’s cosmological medicine in the discourse of Eryximachus in the Symposium. The responsibility of a harmonic techne. PLATO JOURNAL: The Journal of the International Plato Society, [S.l.], v. 15, p. 81-93, dec. 2015. ISSN 2183-4105. Available at: <http://impactum-journals.uc.pt/platojournal/article/view/2202>. Date accessed: 24 oct. 2017.
Section
Articles

Keywords

Plato’s Symposium; Eryximachus; harmony; cosmological medicine; techne; education