Compare And Contrast Diotima And Socrates

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Plato claims that human beings desire beautiful things and that they desire beautiful things so much that they want to make beautiful things their own. This is because beautiful things, such as the five steps of beautiful things on the staircase of beauty, make human beings happy. Kant claims that personal happiness is not a good incentive for human behavior because it is too uncertain. A better incentive is the highest good, which is the marriage between duty and universal happiness. In Plato’s The Symposium Socrates goes to talk to Diotima, who explains what happiness is with five stages of beauty. Diotima asks Socrates, “what will he get when beautiful things become his own?” (Plato 1999, 41) Socrates did not have an answer to her question…show more content…
This dialogue between Socrates and Diotima shows that by acquiring good or beautiful things you become happy. To achieve this kind of happiness Diotima says you need to experience beauty and this will bring you happiness. To experience beauty you must ascend the staircase of beauty or good, which Diotima breaks into five steps. The first step is finding a beautiful trait in one person or object. The next step is to “realize that the beauty of any one body is closely related to that of another, and that, if he is to pursue beauty of form, it’s very foolish not to regard the beauty of all bodies as one and the same” (Plato 1999, 48). Diotima is telling Socrates that once you find a beautiful trait in one person you will find that same beautiful trait in multiple people or objects. “Like someone using a staircase, he should go from one to two and from two to all beautiful bodies, and from beautiful bodies to beautiful practices, and from practices to beautiful forms of learning” (Plato 1999, 49). Here Diotima is saying that these first two steps of beauty are purely physical steps on the staircase of beauty, the next three steps are regarding the beauty
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