Eros (philosophy)

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The expression Eros ( ancient Greek ἔρως érōs [ / ěrɔːs / ]) can be rendered in German with, among other things, “love” or “desire”. In ancient Greek literature and in the philosophical tradition it denotes a form of strong desire or desire, which is defined and described in different ways, which seems to seize people like a superhuman power and was therefore mythically attributed to the influence of the deity Eros . In philosophy, the questions have been discussed since antiquity, how a striving driven by eros is to be ethically judged in individual cases , what role it can play in ontology and in religious contexts as a motivating factor in the search for truth and which objects it relates to in the framework a hierarchical order of values.


Eros must be distinguished from the terms philía (φιλíα) and agápē (αγάπη), which are also translated in German as “love”. At philia , the aspect of friendship and amicable love is in the foreground. With agape a loving in the sense of goodwill is meant not rooted (or primarily) in desire, therefore, is not aimed at satisfying needs of the lover, and requires not necessarily a friendship relationship or is intended to create. In contrast to this, Eros is characterized by the fact that the "erotic" lover strives for himself with great vehemence to obtain his love object or to establish a connection with it. The object of eros need not be a human; For the philosopher it can also be something purely spiritual (an idea, a virtue).

A feature of the ancient Greek understanding of Eros is the frequent reference to political conditions. Eros wasn't just a private affair between two lovers. The term was also used to describe the love of the country, patriotic aspirations and political ambitions to which one indulged with "erotic" passion. In addition to love of freedom and ambition, political "eroticism" also included lust for power, which the historian Thucydides presented as a manifestation of eros. Seen in this way, tyranny appears as an erotic phenomenon.

Ancient mythology and poetry

Main article: Eros (mythology)

The colloquial and mythological use of the term precedes the philosophical use. In Hesiod's theogony , Eros has no parents; after the initial chaos, he emerged together with Gaia and Tartarus . He is the most beautiful of the immortal gods and able to assert himself against reasonable deliberations; all gods and all people are at the mercy of his power.

In Orphics , Eros is equated with the winged god of light Phanes , a main deity of the Orphics.

In the tragedy Antigone des Sophocles , Eros causes Haimon , the son of King Creon , who is engaged to the heroine of the title, to rebel against his father, who wants Antigone's execution. With this the poet addresses a conflict between erotic desire and the duty of loyalty to the father. Eros turns out to be stronger. He is addressed by the choir as Eros, undefeated in battle ; With this famous verse, the poet expresses his conviction that man is wholly at the mercy of the power of eros that seizes him. In the tragedy of the wreathed Hippolytus des Euripides , the choir turns to Eros as the ruler of men and describes him as a destroyer and doombringer, but who can also be benevolent.

In the Hellenistic literature and art a different picture of Eros is familiar. There he is usually a playful, wanton boy, the son and companion of the goddess of love Aphrodite . In Roman literature and art he plays this role as Cupid or Cupid . In addition to this seemingly harmless side, it also has dangerous traits: its impact on people is feared because of its violence and its often destructive character. In the entire history of ancient literature one comes across the idea that erotic obsession should be understood as a disease and that the person affected needs a cure.

Ancient philosophy

In ancient philosophy, eros was considered from two different perspectives: on the one hand as a cosmic divine entity involved in the creation of the world ( cosmogony ) ("cosmogonic eros"), on the other hand as a factor that has a powerful effect on the human mind. Many philosophers, as well as poets and myth-tellers, considered this factor to be superhuman (divine or demonic).

Cosmic eros among the pre-Socratics

The pre-Socratics Parmenides stated that the female creation deity, the ruler of the world, had "invented" (thinking generated) Eros as the first of the created gods subordinate to her. His younger contemporary Empedocles († around 435 BC) also dealt - as is usual with pre-Socratic thinkers - with the question of the circumstances of the creation of the world. He started from an eternal cycle, which is driven by two opposing moving forces, one attracting and uniting and one repelling and separating. They ceaselessly strive to oust each other. All processes in the universe, including human destinies, result from their endless, changeable struggle. Empedocles called the unifying force "love", the separating "strife". However, he did not use the word Eros, but called the attractive force philótēs (love in the sense of friendship). In a distant past, when the power of argument was even less, the goddess of love Kypris (Aphrodite) ruled the world according to Empedocles' portrayal.

Eros in human life

From the time of Socrates and Plato , the question of the meaning of eros in human life - especially in philosophical life - came to the fore. Eros is not seen as something specifically human. It retains the character of a cosmic force that also prevails in the animal kingdom and enables the continuation of animate nature.


The judgments of the ancient philosophers about eros and their views about the correct handling of it are different, sometimes they are conflicting. The power of eros, which seizes and forces man and robs him of reason, prudence and self-control, represents a challenge for Greek philosophy. Such an influence on the mind is the pursuit of unshakable equanimity ( ataraxia ) - an important ideal of ancient philosophers - opposite. Erotic desire impairs or prevents the rational individual's inner independence from foreign and irrational influences. Therefore it is considered problematic in the philosophical literature. Because of its perceived power as superhuman, Eros also demands respect. The behavior of the person seized by erotic desire appears as manía (frenzy, madness). The peripatetic philosopher Theophrastus describes Eros as the excess of a certain irrational desire . On the other hand, it is recognized as a positive aspect that (homoerotic) eros develops an educational effect, in that the lover strives for virtue in order to imitate the beloved and to increase his own attractiveness. The educational value of an erotic connection between teacher and students is recognized. The task for the philosopher is to grasp the nature of eros and to tame it by means of reason.

Plato's ascent model

Main article: Platonic love

In terms of the history of ideas, Plato's interpretation of Eros and love theory achieved the strongest and most lasting effect. Plato discussed Eros in several of his dialogues , especially in the Symposium and in Phaedrus , but also in the Politeia and the Nomoi ; he dealt with the Philia in the Lysis . In the symposium (“Banquet”), the participants in the discussion present different theories about eros, thus showing the reader the diversity of philosophical opinions. Plato's own view can only be inferred indirectly from his dialogues.

According to the Platonic theory, one of the main characteristics of eros is that the lover feels a serious deficiency in himself. Therefore he strives intensely for something that could compensate for this lack and for this reason becomes the object of his love. He wants to acquire the love object, he wants to connect with it or to acquire it.

But if the lover is a philosopher, he is not satisfied with the single person who initially aroused his erotic desire, but tries to grasp what really matters here. He realizes that his longing is ultimately not for the individual as such, but for something more general, which is embodied in individual loved ones and makes them erotic attractiveness. According to Plato's teaching, this common good is beauty. The loving philosopher comes to the conclusion that the sensually perceivable physical beauty is only a certain form of beauty, namely the lowest in the order of values. He discovers that there is also a higher-ranking psychological beauty (virtues, “beautiful” actions) and above that an even higher spiritual beauty that can be experienced in philosophical knowledge. In this way the philosophical erotic succeeds in directing the erotic urge to ever more comprehensive, more general, higher-ranking and therefore more rewarding objects. His ascent leads him from the sense objects to the purely spiritual ideas . Ultimately, the most general reality attainable in this way, which Plato defines as the beautiful in itself, proves to be the most worthy object. There the lover's search ends, because only there he finds the perfect fulfillment of his striving according to this teaching.

Non-Platonic Evaluations of Eros

Outside of the Platonic tradition, some philosophers fundamentally rejected Eros. Others discussed the circumstances under which erotic relationships are compatible with a philosophical way of life. Compatibility was only advocated on the assumption that love does not result in an inner dependence on another person. Impairment of the philosopher's emotional autonomy should not be accepted. In this sense, the pre-Socratic Democritus already expressed himself : It is legitimate love to strive for beautiful (men) without indulging in one's own desires.

Opinions differed among the Stoics . Leading authorities - the school founder Zeno of Kition and Chrysippos of Soloi - believed it right that a wise man should turn his love to young men when they show a tendency towards virtue. They called such a love eros , but did not define it - as in normal usage - as passion ( pathos ), because affects were assessed negatively in the stoic doctrine. The goal of the Stoics was apatheia (equanimity through freedom from emotions that create addiction and disturb peace of mind). Therefore, they could only affirm Eros if they did not see it as affect. According to their doctrine, a sharp distinction must be made between the eros of the desireless wise man and that of the lustful fool who strives for sexual pleasure. They defined the love of the wise as the impulse to befriend someone, caused by the appearance of visible beauty, the aim being friendship and not sexuality. Such eros is not a desire ( epithymia ), but a matter of friendship ( philia ) and therefore not to be criticized, but to be assessed positively, because it can spur on virtue.

However, there was no unanimity among the Stoics on this matter; the influential Stoic Epictetus , who advocated general philanthropy, disapproved of erotic relationships. He said that true, non-discriminatory love presupposes an inner distance in the lover that is incompatible with an emotional bond with individual individuals; the latter could turn into hatred.

The Epicureans had a strictly negative attitude towards erotic ties. Sexuality was suspect, but was considered reasonably acceptable if it only served to satisfy a sexual need and did not lead to emotional entanglements. The cynics who rejected sexual modesty and advocated the immediate satisfaction of sexual needs, but wanted nothing to do with erotic love affairs, thought similarly .


Plotinus , the founder of Neoplatonism , placed emphasis on the cosmic role of Eros. He assigned it to the world soul and thus inserted it into the Neoplatonic model of the world order, the hypostasis theory .

With regard to the erotic love of man, Plotinus distinguished two types: a purely contemplative love, which aims at contemplation of the primordial beauty and intimacy with him, and a productive love, which wants to beget or produce in the beautiful. Plotinus considered contemplative eros to be more important. He attributed the power to the erotic impulse to lead the philosopher's soul, rising to higher hypostases (levels of reality), not only to the beautiful itself, but also to the highest principle of the Neoplatonic world order, the One .

For Plotinus, the path of ascension is a path inward. His eros seeks and finds fulfillment not through the attainment of an external object, but in the retreat of the individual to himself, where he can find the divine within himself. The transcendent beauty meets the soul when it contemplates its own transcendent nature. But the soul is not satisfied with that; beyond that she wants to get to the one. All external love objects do not awaken love through their own being, but only because and to the extent that they depict the one thing, which for man is at the same time the absolute good. Thus, all erotic striving ultimately aims at the one and can only find full satisfaction when it is achieved. The highest goal, union with the one ( henosis ), is attainable because the one resides in the soul; in itself it can have direct access to it.

The late antique Neo-Platonist Proklos saw the ultimate goal of erotic striving in achieving the beautiful itself. When this goal is achieved, Eros will come to rest. The erotic impulse could not lead the seeker further. On the one hand, the highest level, one reaches only in the last step of the ascent, whereby instead of Eros the “certainty” ( pístis ), a transcendent form of knowledge, is the decisive factor. For this step the urgent desire characteristic of Eros could not come into consideration.

From the Renaissance to the Enlightenment

During the Renaissance , the works of Plato, which had previously largely been lost in the West, including the Symposium , and the writings of the ancient Neoplatonists were rediscovered. They were translated into Latin and made available to a broad, educated public through the printing press. A new interest in the Platonic Eros concept awoke in humanistic circles. Thinkers like Marsilio Ficino (1433–1499), Jehuda ben Isaak Abravanel (Leone Ebreo, † after 1521) and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola († 1494) dealt intensively with the theory of love. In doing so, they dealt with the relevant ideas of Plato and the ancient Neo-Platonists. Pietro Bembo (1470–1547) wrote a dialogue about love with which he placed himself in the Neoplatonic tradition. Since these authors wrote their works not in Greek, but in Latin or in modern languages, they did not proceed from the special meaning of the Greek term Eros. Rather, they used the Latin words amor and caritas or their equivalents in their languages. In the language used at the time, these terms were also associated with ideas that originate from the Christian ( New Testament ) world of thought (Christian love of God and love of neighbor ). Christian ideas mixed with the eros theories of ancient philosophy.

In many cases, was out of the Platonism the idea assumed that erotic love is when you understand correctly and practice, a knowledge which leads to erotic to higher forms of love and ennoble him. It has a metaphysical- religious dimension and can open up a divine realm to the lover in the course of his ascent. Love conceived in this way was called “Socratic” or “Platonic”. The most influential source of inspiration for this reception of Plato was Marsilio Ficino.

An important topic in the philosophical discussions was the importance of sensually perceptible beauty and the ethical evaluation of the erotic striving it triggered. The fascination emanating from physical beauty was seen in wide circles, especially in the church environment, as suspicious or even harmful in principle. The possible sexual implications were a sensitive issue, especially because of the homoerotic expression of eros in ancient philosophical literature. Authors with a Platonic orientation tried to defuse the explosiveness of this problem through differentiating analysis, and emphasized their distance from sexual aspects of love of beauty.

Giordano Bruno published his work "From the heroic passions" ( De gli eroici furori ) in 1585 , in which he described "the passions of not ordinary, but heroic love". In doing so, he continued the tradition of the Renaissance love treaties, in which eros is viewed from a religious-philosophical perspective. He knew this literature and the Platonic love theory on which it was based and took numerous suggestions from it, but did not see himself as a Platonist or follower of another school, but developed his own concept. In contrast to traditional teachings, especially those of Aristotle , he did not advocate balance (virtue as moderation and middle ground between negatively assessed extremes). Rather, he believed that it was precisely the excess, the seeking of extremes, that could lead to knowledge.

With furore (passion) Bruno alludes to the ancient interpretation of erotic love as "madness" (Greek mania , Latin furor ). Bruno's “heroic” love shares the passion, the urge to go to extremes, with the “ordinary” love, but otherwise it differs fundamentally from her. The “ordinary” lover hopes for sensual and emotional satisfaction from a person of the opposite sex; thus its goal is limited. The “heroic” lover, on the other hand, turns to a non-sensual and limitless object: the philosophically recognizable truth. His relationship to this object, however, is not that of a calm researcher, but of a passionate, deeply erotic nature. Therefore, the metaphorical use of an expression from the world of sensual love when describing heroic love for Bruno is legitimate. But he also emphasizes that the passion he is referring to does not mean surrender to an irrational impulse, as in "ordinary" love. According to his understanding, the search for truth is a passionate activity of the intellect, which undertakes a “certain divine abstraction”.

The heroic lover in the sense of Bruno's view is a hunter on the hunt for the truth. For this he needs both a clear intellect and the ability for an intense emotional life, for violent excitation of the soul; his eros is marked by immeasurable passion. Since he knows that his love object is infinite, it is clear to him that he will never reach the goal and come to rest there, but must keep moving forward. The truth that he seeks and only partially finds is ultimately incomprehensible; It is impossible to fully grasp them. Since his heroic love is always aimed at the future, in contrast to the "ordinary" lover, he can never enjoy the presence of his love object. The eros that drives him therefore causes him never-ending pain. By recognizing this as necessary and bravely accepting it, he proves himself a hero and his eros heroic. Although the finite “hunter” can in rare cases hunt down his infinite “prey” and unite with it, whereby he is deified, but even with this he does not attain perfect, complete knowledge. The search continues.

The English philosopher Shaftesbury (1671–1713) designed an ethic and aesthetic with which he renewed the doctrine of the seer Diotima, presented in Plato's symposium, of the ascent of the soul under the influence of the beautiful. In keeping with the Platonic tradition, he emphasized the crucial importance of eros and enthusiasm for the realization of virtue. With regard to the hierarchical order in aesthetics, he emphasized that the real beauty does not lie in beautifully designed dead objects, but in the spirit of the artist who forms the objects and thus gives them their beauty. For Shaftesbury, the ascent of the beauty lover leads from the passive, the created to the active, the creative and finally to God as the creator who not only creates the beautiful but even creates the beautiful.

Many love theories of the 18th and early 19th centuries made a sharp distinction between a sensual love that was reducible to physical needs and a purely spiritual and emotional love, which was used to call "platonic" and was considered the only true love. Frans Hemsterhuis (1721–1790) was an influential representative of this point of view .


Classical Studies and Theology

In the modern age, a new examination of the subject has been initiated from both the classical and theological side.

From an ancient scholarly perspective, the aim is to focus on eros in the ancient (non-Christian) sense as a special phenomenon, i.e. to distinguish it from other forms of love and to appreciate its peculiarity. Classical scholars tend to emphasize that the modern term "Platonic love", which has been used since the Renaissance , has undergone a fundamental change in meaning and must therefore be sharply distinguished from Plato's authentic concept of Eros.

In theological and history of philosophy literature, the question of whether there is an unbridgeable gap between Platonic Eros and love in the New Testament sense or whether there are significant similarities has been discussed controversially. The proponents of a sharp division argue that Platonic Eros is self-centered. They think it's ultimately about self-love. Beloved persons are for the erotic only a means to the end of his ascent into higher regions and are insignificant as individuals. This is a fundamental difference to the Christian love of God and neighbor, which is oriented towards its object and not towards the well-being of the lover. Representatives of the opposite position dispute the correctness of this interpretation of Plato; some researchers only accept it in terms of the lower stages of erotic advancement.


In the modern philosophical discourse, the ancient idea of ​​eros hardly plays a role. In philosophical debates one usually speaks of “love” and its various motives, goals and objects, whereby eros (in the ancient sense) is not delimited as a separate phenomenon.

Ludwig Klages' philosophy of life is an exception . Klages pointed out the ambiguity and ambiguity of the term "love" and thus justified his decision for "Eros". He explicitly linked to the ancient idea of ​​an “elementary”, extremely powerful, cosmic efficacy unfolding Eros; one of his works he titled On the Cosmogonic Eros . He sharply demarcated this eros, which he propagated as natural, from the Platonic concept of eros, in which he saw an aberration and deterioration contrary to nature. Plato's order of values, in which the love of ideas (virtues) and in particular of “beauty in itself” has a higher rank than love for individual persons, Klages considered life-negative and unrealistic. Love between people is always directed towards a certain individual as such, who is loved not for the sake of his virtues, but because of his unique individuality. Plato's interpretation of eros as the result of a lack of awareness on the part of the erotic, who feels his inadequacy and need and wants to compensate for it through the desired connection with the beloved, is also completely wrong. The need principle applies only to the sexual instinct; Eros, on the other hand, is characterized by an overflowing abundance, it is an urge to pour out and give away abundance. Plato tries to divert this urge to “reified concepts”, to “conceptual ghosts” (the Platonic ideas). His world of ideas is “bloodless” and therefore “suffering”, which is why it differs fundamentally from the world of eros, which is determined by the state of erotic intoxication. Eros is “essentially different” from sexuality and does not come from the same root as it; his mark is the giving, hers is the desire.


Sigmund Freud was convinced of the uniformity of all appearances, which are called "love" in German. In his view, the common root of all forms of love is the libido . He remarked: The "Eros" of the philosopher Plato shows in its origin, performance and relationship to sexual love a perfect correspondence with the love power, the libido of psychoanalysis. Thus, for Freud, all expressions of “love” - those associated with sexual “ perversion ” as well as “normal” and also “ sublimated ” such as love of neighbor or love of God - are only variants of an erotic desire that can ultimately be traced back to the sex drive.




  • Paul W. Ludwig: Eros and Polis. Desire and Community in Greek Political Theory . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002, ISBN 0-521-81065-5 .
  • Anthony W. Price: Love and Friendship in Plato and Aristotle . Clarendon Press, Oxford 1989, ISBN 0-19-824899-7 .
  • Frisbee CC Sheffield: Plato's Symposium: The Ethics of Desire . Oxford University Press, Oxford 2006, ISBN 0-19-928677-9 .
  • Kurt Sier : The speech of Diotima. Investigations on the Platonic Symposium . Teubner, Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 3-519-07635-7 .

Modern times

  • Sabrina Ebbersmeyer: Sensuality and reason. Studies on the reception and transformation of Plato's love theory in the Renaissance . Wilhelm Fink, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-7705-3604-5 .
  • Vanessa Kayling: The Reception and Modification of the Platonic Concept of Eros in French Literature of the 16th and 17th Centuries with Special Consideration of the Ancient and Italian Tradition . Romanistischer Verlag, Bonn 2010, ISBN 978-3-86143-190-9 (also deals in detail with the reception of the Platonic tradition in Italy from Dante to Leone Ebreo)
  • Stefan Matuschek (ed.): Where the philosophical conversation turns completely into poetry. Plato's Symposium and its impact in the Renaissance, Romantic and Modern periods . Winter, Heidelberg 2002, ISBN 3-8253-1279-8 .
  • Maria Moog-Grünewald (Ed.): Eros. For the aestheticization of a (new) Platonic philosophy in the modern age . Winter, Heidelberg 2006, ISBN 3-8253-5292-7 .
  • Jochen Schmidt : History of impact. In: Ute Schmidt-Berger (Ed.): Plato: Das Trinkgelage . Insel Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1985, ISBN 3-458-32381-3 , pp. 160-187.


  1. For the definition of the term see Kurt Sier: Die Rede der Diotima. Stuttgart 1997, S. Xf .; Michael Erler : Platon (= Hellmut Flashar (Hrsg.): Outline of the history of philosophy. The philosophy of antiquity. Vol. 2/2), Basel 2007, pp. 196, 372; Gregory Vlastos : The Individual as an Object of Love in Plato. In: Gregory Vlastos: Platonic Studies , 2nd edition. Princeton 1981, pp. 3-42, here: 26f.
  2. ^ Paul W. Ludwig: Eros and Polis. Desire and Community in Greek Political Theory. Cambridge 2002, pp. 1f., 10, 121-169, 319-380.
  3. Hesiod, Theogony 120-122.
  4. ^ Sophocles, Antigone 781.
  5. Euripides, Hippolytos 525-544.
  6. ^ Richard Hunter : Erotik I. Literature. In: Der neue Pauly , Vol. 4, Stuttgart 1998, Col. 92-96, here: 93f.
  7. Parmenides, fragment DK 28 B 13; see Karl Reinhardt : Parmenides , 3rd edition. Frankfurt am Main 1977, p. 17f .; Jaap Mansfeld : The revelation of Parmenides and the human world , Assen 1964, pp. 163-167.
  8. On the cosmogony and cosmology of Empedocles see Geoffrey S. Kirk, John E. Raven, Malcolm Schofield (eds.): Die vorsokratischen Philosophen. Stuttgart 2001, pp. 316-340; Laura Gemelli Marciano (ed.): Die Vorsokratiker , Volume 2: Parmenides, Zenon, Empedokles , Düsseldorf 2009, pp. 333–341; Denis O'Brien: Empedocles: A Synopsis . In: Georg Rechenauer (Ed.): Frühgriechisches Denk , Göttingen 2005, pp. 316–342, here: 326–331, 341f.
  9. Empedocles, fragments 128 and 130, text and translation by Geoffrey S. Kirk, John E. Raven, Malcolm Schofield (eds.): Die vorsokratischen Philosophen. Stuttgart 2001, p. 349f.
  10. ^ Theophrast, fragment 557 Fortenbaugh (= 115 Wimmer).
  11. ^ Richard Hunter: Erotik I. Literature. In: Der neue Pauly , Vol. 4, Stuttgart 1998, Col. 92–96, here: 93–95.
  12. Michael Erler: Platon (= Hellmut Flashar (Hrsg.): Outline of the history of philosophy. The philosophy of antiquity , Vol. 2/2), Basel 2007, pp. 372-375; Frisbee CC Sheffield: Plato's Symposium: The Ethics of Desire , Oxford 2006; Sabrina Ebbersmeyer: love . In: Christoph Horn et al. (Ed.): Platon-Handbuch , Stuttgart 2009, pp. 300–305.
  13. Democritus, fragment DK 68 B 73.
  14. Diogenes Laertios 7,129.
  15. Diogenes Laertios 7,130.
  16. On the conception of these Stoics see Richard Sorabji : Emotion and Peace of Mind. Oxford 2000, pp. 280-283; Max Pohlenz : The Stoa , 5th edition. Göttingen 1978, p. 138.
  17. ^ Richard Sorabji: Emotion and Peace of Mind. Oxford 2000, pp. 174f., 183f., 281.
  18. ^ Richard Sorabji: Emotion and Peace of Mind. Oxford 2000, pp. 274-276, 283f.
  19. On Plotin's understanding of Eros see Christian Tornau : Eros versus Agape? In: Philosophisches Jahrbuch 112, 2005, pp. 271–291, here: 273–281; Christian Tornau: Eros and the good in Plotinus and Proclus. In: Matthias Perkams, Rosa Maria Piccione (Ed.): Proklos. Method, Seelenlehre, Metaphysik , Leiden 2006, pp. 201–229, here: 202–206; Kurt Sier: The speech of Diotima , Stuttgart 1997, p. 57f.
  20. Christian Tornau: Eros and the good in Plotinus and Proclus. In: Matthias Perkams, Rosa Maria Piccione (Ed.): Proklos. Method, Seelenlehre, Metaphysik , Leiden 2006, pp. 201–229, here: 203f., 216–228.
  21. On this reception of ancient ideas see Sabrina Ebbersmeyer: Sensuality and reason. Munich 2002, pp. 72-94, 99-107, 149-162, 179-207; Vanessa Kayling: The Reception and Modification of the Platonic Concept of Eros in French Literature of the 16th and 17th Centuries with Special Consideration of the Ancient and Italian Tradition , Bonn 2010, pp. 100–129.
  22. For Ficino's view, see Sabrina Ebbersmeyer: Sensuality and reason. Munich 2002, pp. 72-94.
  23. John Charles Nelson: Renaissance Theory of Love. New York 1958, pp. 69-72; Sabrina Ebbersmeyer: Sinnlichkeit und Vernunft , Munich 2002, pp. 58–94, 131–135; Jill Kraye: The transformation of Platonic love in the Italian Renaissance. In: Anna Baldwin, Sarah Hutton (eds.): Platonism and the English Imagination , Cambridge 1994, pp. 76-85, here: 77-81.
  24. See on this determination of the topic Sabrina Ebbersmeyer: Sensuality and reason. Munich 2002, p. 238f.
  25. John Charles Nelson: Renaissance Theory of Love. New York 1958, pp. 178f., 196-200.
  26. On Bruno's concept of heroic eros see Sabrina Ebbersmeyer: Sinnlichkeit und Vernunft. Munich 2002, pp. 238-247; Luiz Carlos Bombassaro: In the shadow of Diana. The hunting metaphor in the work of Giordano Bruno , Frankfurt am Main 2002, pp. 264–414; John Charles Nelson: Renaissance Theory of Love , New York 1958, pp. 163-233; Paul Richard Blum : Giordano Bruno , Munich 1999, pp. 89-96.
  27. ^ Fritz-Peter Hager: Enlightenment, Platonism and Education at Shaftesbury. Bern 1993, pp. 163-200.
  28. See, for example, Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff : Platon. His life and works , 5th edition. Berlin 1959, p. 369; Michael Erler: Platon (= Hellmut Flashar (Hrsg.): Outline of the history of philosophy. The philosophy of antiquity , Vol. 2/2), Basel 2007, p. 375; Thomas Gould: Platonic Love , London 1963, p. 1.
  29. The latter position takes Timothy A. Mahoney: Is Socratic erōs in the Symposium Egoistic? In: Apeiron 29, 1996, pp. 1-18. Mahoney provides an overview of the older research literature on pp. 1-3 and note 4-6.
  30. Ludwig Klages: From the cosmogonic Eros. 4th edition. Jena 1941, pp. 41-63.
  31. Ludwig Klages: About Sexus and Eros. In: Ludwig Klages: Man and Earth. Ten treatises (= Kröner's pocket edition . Volume 242), Stuttgart 1956, pp. 124-134, here: 125f., 131f.
  32. ^ Sigmund Freud: mass psychology and ego analysis. In: Sigmund Freud: Collected Works , 5th edition. Vol. 13, Frankfurt am Main 1967, pp. 71-161, here: 98-100.
  33. ^ Sigmund Freud: mass psychology and ego analysis. In: Sigmund Freud: Collected Works , 5th edition. Vol. 13, Frankfurt am Main 1967, pp. 71–161, here: 99.