Diotima’s ladder: from lust to morality

2 minutes

Why Socrates believed that sexual desire is the first step towards righteousness

Can sexual desire lead us to something that transcends the physical act? Socrates seemed to think so. In Plato’s Symposium, Socrates recalls the words of his apparent teacher of erotics, the priestess Diotima of Mantinea, who instructed him that lust was the first rung on a ladder leading upwards towards an appreciation of the form of beauty itself and, further, to morality and virtue.

Video by BBC Radio 4 and The Open University

Script: Nigel Warburton

Animator: Andrew Park

Essay/Philosophy of Language
The death of languages

Endangered languages have sentimental value, it's true, but are there good philosophical reasons to preserve them?

Rebecca Roache

Essay/Political Philosophy
Is taxation theft?

The assumption that you own the contents of your pay-packet, although almost universal, is demonstrably confused

Philip Goff