Epiphanies of Beauty

This anthology of letters is about what Plato called the epiphany of beauty:

“Plato explores in the first half of this dialogue is what becomes of eros, what shape does it acquire, when it is conceived essentially as a business deal. He shows that what it most directly loses in this case is its self-transcending character, its ecstatic movement toward the beautiful. The reason this element necessarily disappears is that one enters into a contract by setting the terms of one’s relation beforehand, i.e., prior to the actual relation. Granted that all action is “interested,” in the sense that it is always the pursuit of what one takes to be good, a contractual relation is essentially “self-interested,” in the sense that the measure of the interest that governs the act is determined by the self in abstraction from its relation to the other to the extent that the act is rational at all. While the contract may present itself as offering a “common good,” the deal cannot in fact logically be anything other than an accidental convergence of private goods, which means it is the reciprocal reduction of the other to the terms of the self. The only thing that can be exchanged in this case is what each possesses rather than what each is; there is no exchange, that is, of selves, but only of appearance. But this means that there is no eros: eros, as self-transcendence and therefore as genuine intimacy, cannot result from terms set by individuals beforehand, but only from an epiphany of beauty, which exists a priori.” – D. C. Schindler, Why Socrates Didn’t Charge: Plato and the Metaphysics of Money.

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Alexandros Lysios

Alexandros is a grateful recipient of erotic grace & a lifelong learner on honoring it. For more biographical info click here.

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