Plato's SYMPOSIUM: Philosophy as Art, Drama and Comedy

ID : 80276   
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We’ll discuss passages from Plato's Symposium (c.378 BCE), citing Alexander Nehamas' and Paul Woodruff's highly readable 1989 translation. Nehamas observes that the Symposium is "the first explicit discussion of love in western literature and philosophy." Symposium is variously translated as "Dinner Party," "Banquet," "Drinking Party" or "Drinking Together." The dramatic scheme is for each participant to help slow down the drinking by making a speech on the nature of love. Speeches range from platonic meditations on beauty and love to more worldly themes that may seem provocative, comically erotic or even discomfiting to modern sensibilities. Nehamas' introduction makes clear what to expect from the outset:  "...the love discussed and praised in the Symposium is primarily homosexual," though Aristophanes' parodic creation myth is quite inclusive. We will remain mindful of the cultural setting of the Symposium in its own time and place, while anticipating a variety of views of its relevance for our own time. Enrollees can find texts online in various translations, but the 1989 Nehamas-Woodruff translation is only available for purchase. The paperback is recommended and available from, or from Amazon.

Class Details

4 Sessions
Weekly - Mon

CE South Building

Jerry Franks 

Please read: UNM Tuition Remission eligible, under Personal Enrichment



Registration Closes On
Monday, April 3, 2017 @ 11:59 PM

Schedule Information

Date(s) Class Days Times Location Instructor(s)
4/3/2017 - 4/24/2017 Weekly - Mon 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Albuquerque, CE South Building  Map, Room: 106 Jerry Franks