A.The ancient Greeks drew a distinction between eros, physical, sensual, or sexual love, and philia, fraternal love – the kind of manly love that one Spartan warrior feels for another.
B.Plato’s disquisition on love in the Symposium initiated a way of thinking about love that is simultaneously aesthetic (in that it holds that love is fundamentally the love of beauty) and ascetic (in that it recommends that we restrain our erotic urges and contemplate instead the pure idea of love incarnated in physical form).
C.Philosophers tend to come over chaste when they talk about love.
D.Plato distinguished true love from eros, arguing that love is defined by a desire for ideal beauty – a desire that can never be satisfied in physical form. Ultimately, the highest purpose of love is to become a philosopher, a lover of wisdom.
E.The Greeks, as we know, were notorious for blurring theoretical distinctions in practice, but let’s leave this aside.
F.What is interesting about the philosophy of love in ancient Greek times is the relationship that philosophers took to truth.