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Socrates in Love: Philosophy for a Passionate Heart

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  114 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Christopher Phillips goes to the heart of philosophy and Socratic discourse to discover what we're all looking for: the kind of love that makes life worthwhile. Love here is not defined only or even primarily as eros, but in all its classic varietiesfrom love of family and love of neighbor to love of country, love of God, love of life, and love of wisdom. Phillips's explor ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published February 17th 2007 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 2007)
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I enjoyed this particular book by Christopher Phillips the same way I appreciated his other works, "Socrates Cafe" and "Six Questions of Socrates." Like other pop philosophers, such as Alan De Botton, I like Phillips's books because they turn philosophy into, in the words of Tavis Smiley, useable knowledge. The book thoroughly covers in very accessible prose the six types of love elaborated by Socrates. In delving into each type of love, Phillips also incorporates insightful musings of a diverse ...more
There are two types of philosophy books. There are the serious types that you typically read in philosophy classes and that professional philosophers read. They present problems in philosophy and are asked to be taken seriously. Then there are the fun types. Good examples of these books are Family Guy and Philosophy, South Park and Philosophy, Simpsons and Philosophy, and Plato and the Platypus, and so on.

Socrates in Love falls somewhere in the middle. Phillips has started a concept called Socra
Provocative and moving. A smorgasbord of questions leads to some striking conclusions as well as unanswered proposals. There is much here to contemplate. It is also fun and enlightening about how we make decisions about what to do with our lives. The examined life is what we are looking for at all times.

The people that the author encounters are by turns helpful and difficult. As in life there are no easy answers and also no easy questions. What does it mean to be in love? How should we proceed a
Bill Glose
Socrates in Love explores the significance of the five types of love as defined in ancient Athens: eros (erotic-romantic love), storge (familial love), xenia (love of strangers), philia (communal love), and agape (self-sacrificial or unconditional love). In each chapter, Phillips provides insights from various philosophers and then shares discussions that took place in various Socrates Cafés.

The first discussion that occurs in the eros chapter takes place in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. One g
Mehwish Mughal
I embarked on this reading journey without any preconceived notions of love in a philosophical context. I am glad I chose this book because I have come out the other end more enlightened than before.
The personal accounts of all the people who contributed (in their dialogues) towards the book sets the warm tone - And that personally for me was the best way to learn about "love"

Highly recommended to anyone who wants to start somewhere on what love is all about!
Great piece,A tongue in check look at philosophy of love and lose. A very powerful and pivotal read for me personally. read it in about 2 days, found from the 1/2 off section at locale book store. no matter what stage you are in the relationship cycle this book has a word for you and your personal struggle ....
As a skeptic of time the words on timing was amazing. is timing relative or pertinent for a relationship and how it effects a relationship ( specific quote)" the timing is off isn't not j
Christopher Stephen
Aug 08, 2007 Christopher Stephen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who lives or wants to live with passionate heart
Christopher Phillips here writes another Socrates Cafe style book involving engagement in philosophical discourse with various groups of people all over the world; this book regards Socrates five categories of love. Chapters are broken down by each of these, and throughout offers both classical definitions of these terms and forms, all the while providing dialogue of those discourses revolving around each form of love.
The book reads wonderfully, and is a true testament to the binding power of l
A good overview of the five types of love (eros, philia, xenia, storge and agape) for anyone not familiar with the subject. The book is a little bit chaotic in presentation due to the author's choice to break each section into small, related chunks instead of solid chapters. Overall, I really enjoyed the quick look into the philosophical meaning behind and overarching themes of love in its many incarnations.
Giada Da
A fluid read full of food for thought.
Mary Beth
Fabulous book for anybody interested in philosophy or love. Really, who isn't interested in love? I would describe this as "philosophy for the normal person." From romantic love to family love to love of society everybody can get something out of this and will find themselves looking at their own lives a little more deeply. I found myself highlighting so many great passages and taking a look at my own life.
The most intriguing part of this book was that the author actually travels around and talks about philosophy w/ groups of people th/out the world. Kind of as you would imagine Socrates himself doing (geographically more limited of course).

I found the book somewhat thought provoking and educational, although not a favorite read of mine by far.
He gives a brush stroke overview of the history of philosophy and how it relates today. I would recommend it for someone taking a new interest in philosophy. It too light for the more philosophically advanced
The 3rd in the series of Christoper Phillips' books on modern philosophy. Like the 2nd book of his, I enjoyed it, but not as much as his 1st which I gave 5 stars to.
Alexandra Arboleda
This exploration of Socrates' five forms of love through the eyes of modern every day people was fascinating.
Jul 18, 2009 Laura marked it as thrown-aside
He's no Alain de Botton. I've shelved this book for now...
Wisdom of Ptah Hotep, folks ....
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I'm an author, scholar and pro-democracy activist. My principal projects are Socrates Cafe (see and Constitution Cafe (see, and my personal website is at
More about Christopher Phillips...
Socrates Cafe: A Fresh Taste of Philosophy: A Fresh Taste of Philosophy Six Questions of Socrates: A Modern-Day Journey of Discovery through World Philosophy Socrates Cafe: A Fresh Taste of Philosophy Constitution Cafe: Jefferson's Brew for a True Revolution: Jefferson's Brew for a True Revolution The Philosophers' Club

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“one could not attain greater personal excellence without also paving the way for everyone else in society to attain it as well.” 3 likes
“Alexandros points to the bronze sculpture of Socrates. "His society didn't collapse because of an outside aggressor. It collapsed from within, from the complete breakdown of communication between citizens, and the breakdown of loving sentiment for one another. They ganged up and got rid of Socrates because he was an uncomfortable reminder of the glory days of ancient Athens, when /demokratia/--'people power'--reigned and citizens worked toward a greater good. He epitomized the fact that you're meant to stay open to all views, to all human experiences, because that's how you deepen your love for people and of wisdom. That amazing man sacrificed his life in the name of classic Athenian values of excellence and honor and compassion, so one day they might live on. And they did, here in America, for more than two centuries. I'm worried my beloved America is becoming as loveless as ancient Athens in its days of decline.” 3 likes
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