Turning to his own two speeches, Socrates points out that their contradiction in substance sprang from the identification of love with two opposite kinds of madness, the human and the divine. A consideration of them from this point of view will show that taken together they exemplify the method of dialectic, proper to philosophy, in its two branches, Collection (σνναγωγή) and Division (διαίρεσις). Everything else that he had said was, he now asserts, of little importance in comparison with this method, of which he is an enthusiastic practitioner.
Soc. Well, to avoid distressing you, let us say no more of that—though indeed I think it provides many examples which it would be profitable to notice, provided one were chary of imitating them—and let us pass to the other speeches; for they, I think, presented a certain feature which everyone desirous of examining oratory would do well to observe.
Ph. To what do you refer?
Soc. They were of opposite purport, one maintaining that the lover should be favoured, the other the non-lover.
Ph. Yes, they did so very manfully.
Soc. I thought you were going to say—and with truth—madly; but that reminds me of what I was about to ask. We said, did we not, that love is a sort of madness?
Soc. And that there are two kinds of madness, one resulting from human ailments, the other from a divine disturbance of our conventions of conduct.