Love makes us blind to reason

For lovers praise words and actions even if it means disregarding what is best, in part because they are afraid of being hated, in part because their own judgement is weakened as a result of their desire.

ἐκεῖνοι μὲν γὰρ καὶ παρὰ τὸ βέλτιστον τά τε λεγόμενα καὶ τὰ πραττόμενα ἐπαινοῦσιν, τὰ μὲν δεδιότες μὴ ἀπέχθωνται, τὰ δὲ καὶ αὐτοὶ χεῖρον διὰ τὴν ἐπιθυμίαν γιγνώσκοντες.

Plato, Phaedrus [233 a5].


Do you agree with this?

Think about your own life experiences so far. Does this sound familiar or is this absolutely ludicrous?

How does this line of reasoning fit with Buddhism in general and the idea that desires are the source of our suffering?

Can Philosophy overcome this weakness?

Would you want to?

Lastly, the word ἐπιθυμίαν,  if you know Ancient Greek, has the root θυμ- [from θυμόςwhich means soul, heart, life, breath, or breast (i.e. chest) – the word enthusiasm comes from this word as well as the immunological organ, the thymus. The thymus lies over the heart and is involved in making T cells to protect you from infections. It is most active in youth and atrophies with age (a metaphor perhaps for love?). This word in Ancient Greek means desire. So where does your desire come from? Your thymus, heart, breast, soul. Epi- means upon – so upon your breast your wishes come forth. Your enthusiasm for life springs.

Therefore could love be switched with ἐπιθυμίαν? Is it our passions that make us blind?


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