Philosophy of love and sex

Each of the speakers in The Symposium has something to say about what love is, and in doing so they give different, though not necessarily contradictory, answers to the question, why do we seek romantic love? In other words, it is one thing to understand what love is, quite another to understand why we desire it so strongly. For example, Pausanius would argue that we seek (higher) love because it leads us to greater human excellence: The Ancient Greeks, note, valued almost nothing more than the idea of fostering human excellence or virtue. Aristophanes, on the other hand, argued that we seek love because we seek the other half of us from which we were split by the gods.

Explain why we seek romantic love according to Socrates, Augustine, Firestone, Nozick, and Frankfurt. Setting theory aside for a moment, why do you seek, or why have you sought, romantic love? Which theory (of all those we’ve considered) comes closest to the reasons you give? Explain your answer.