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A presentation of the defining characteristics of Platonic love, bringing in to focus those features which were most influential in subsequent ages. Of particular interest is the distinction between higher (‘ouranic’) and lower (‘pandemic’) love, as well as the notion of love as a mechanism for striving after the divine. The overarching narrative in which the development of Platonic love unfolds from the theological speculations of the Middle Ages to guides for the etiquette of conducting heteroerotic relationships during the Renaissance is presented.
Taking its start from Ovid’s Ars Amatoria, this essay explores various possible antecedents in the philosophical tradition, Platonist and Stoic. It argues for a process of formalization, in the Hellenistic era and later, of the criteria for ‘noble’, or philosophical, erotic relationships, to be derived from such dialogues as Lysis, Symposium, Phaedrus, and, not least, Alcibiades I, based on Socrates’ claim, at the end of the Phaedrus, that he possessed an erōtikē tekhnē. Such a tekhnē would have theōrēmata, and these were listed as (1) selecting a suitable love-object, or axierastos; (2) commending oneself to him; and (3) guiding him to moral and intellectual self-improvement. I suggest that Polemon, in the Old Academy, may have been instrumental in developing such a theory, but we find it formalized only much later, in the Didaskalikos of Alcinous, while further information is forthcoming from the Platonic commentaries of Hermeias (on the Phaedrus) and Proclus (on the Alcibiades). I argue that the Alcibiades seems to assume a more central role than the other dialogues in later Platonist theory, and acknowledge the important role of the Stoics in its formalization.
This essay undertakes a study of the views of Pico della Mirandola on Platonic love, stimulated as they are by the publication of a poem on the subject published in the mid-1480s by Girolamo Benivieni, a friend of his and of Marsilio Ficino. In a discussion of the Renaissance background, the essay emphasizes the importance of defusing the homosexual element of Platonic love by substituting maidens for boys. It then provides an extended discussion of Pico’s commentary on Benivieni’s poem, in which he draws on, not only the Symposium and Phaedrus of Plato, but also Plotinus’ Ennead III 5: On Love, and Hermeias’ commentary on the Phaedrus. A number of passages from the poem itself are also quoted and discussed.
Platonic love is a concept that has profoundly shaped Western literature, philosophy and intellectual history for centuries. First developed in the Symposium and the Phaedrus, it was taken up by subsequent thinkers in antiquity, entered the theological debates of the Middle Ages, and played a key role in the reception of Neoplatonism and the etiquette of romantic relationships during the Italian Renaissance. In this wide-ranging reference work, a leading team of international specialists examines the Platonic distinction between higher and lower forms of eros, the role of the higher form in the ascent of the soul and the concept of Beauty. They also treat the possibilities for friendship and interpersonal love in a Platonic framework, as well as the relationship between love, rhetoric and wisdom. Subsequent developments are explored in Plutarch, Plotinus, Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius, Eriugena, Aquinas, Ficino, della Mirandola, Castiglione and the contra amorem tradition.
This chapter sets out to explore the thesis that Plato, at least in his later years, in his efforts to identify the nature of his First Principle, was inclined to settle on the concept of a rational World Soul, with demiurgic functions, and that this was a doctrine that his faithful amanuensis in his last years, Philip of Opus, advanced on his own account, in the belief that in this he was developing the latest theories of his Master.
Antidepressant medication and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) are both recommended interventions in depression treatment guidelines based on literature reviews and meta-analyses. However, ‘conventional’ meta-analyses comparing their efficacy are limited by their reliance on reported study-level information and a narrow focus on depression outcome measures assessed at treatment completion. Individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis, considered the gold standard in evidence synthesis, can improve the quality of the analyses when compared with conventional meta-analysis.
We describe the protocol for a systematic review and IPD meta-analysis comparing the efficacy of antidepressants and IPT for adult acute-phase depression across a range of outcome measures, including depressive symptom severity as well as functioning and well-being, at both post-treatment and follow-up (PROSPERO: CRD42020219891).
We will conduct a systematic literature search in PubMed, PsycINFO, Embase and the Cochrane Library to identify randomised clinical trials comparing antidepressants and IPT in the acute-phase treatment of adults with depression. We will invite the authors of these studies to share the participant-level data of their trials. One-stage IPD meta-analyses will be conducted using mixed-effects models to assess treatment effects at post-treatment and follow-up for all outcome measures that are assessed in at least two studies.
This will be the first IPD meta-analysis examining antidepressants versus IPT efficacy. This study has the potential to enhance our knowledge of depression treatment by comparing the short- and long-term effects of two widely used interventions across a range of outcome measures using state-of-the-art statistical techniques.