Socrates in love: how the ideas of this woman are at the root of Western philosophy

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Where did Socrates, the foundational figure of Western philosophy, get the inspiration for his original ideas about truth, love, justice, courage and knowledge?

  • Armand D’Angour
  • The Conversation

New research I’ve conducted reveals that as a young man in 5th-century BC Athens, he came into contact with a fiercely intelligent woman, Aspasia of Miletus.

I argue that her ideas about love and transcendence inspired him to formulate key aspects of his thought (as transmitted by Plato).

If the evidence for this thesis is accepted, the history of philosophy will have taken a momentous turn: a woman who has been all but erased from the…

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