Leitao, David Decosta. 2014. “Plato and the Philosophical Dialogue” in The Cambridge History of Gay and Lesbian Literature ed. E.L. McCallum & Mikko Tuhkanen. Cambridge University Press, New York. ISBN 978-1-107-03521-8
A collection of articles meant as a critical reference work on literature across time and space that might be considered “gay and lesbian literature.” Only articles with lesbian-relevant content will be blogged in detail.
Chapter 2 Plato and the Philosophical Dialogue
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This chapter begins with the problem of using concepts or terms, like “gay” or “homosexual” to describe ancient Greek practices and ideologies. The Greek system was organized around sexual roles, not genders. There is uncertainty regarding just how same-sex eroticism functions in Plato’s writings. Eros did not serve only a literal function, but stood in for the pursuit of truth in the abstract. But the Dialogues also served as instruction for young, aristocratic men in the proper way to act within the Greek sexual system. The focus of this chapter is entirely on relations between men.