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Socrates in Love: Philosophy for a Passionate Heart

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  142 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews

A breakout book completing a trilogy of Socratic exploration by the inimitable Johnny Appleseed of philosophy.

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
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published February 17th 2007 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 2007)
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Sehar  Moughal
Nov 28, 2015 Sehar Moughal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is so much love in this book for everyone; yourself, your lover, your family and friends, the wider community and for the sake of mankind. How can I not love then?
Jan 10, 2009 Shaun rated it it was ok
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
Jan 22, 2013 Paul rated it really liked it
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
Bill Glose
Aug 15, 2013 Bill Glose rated it really liked it
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
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
Christopher Stephen
Aug 08, 2007 Christopher Stephen rated it it was amazing
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
Mary Beth
May 14, 2013 Mary Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mehwish Mughal
Mar 21, 2014 Mehwish Mughal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Jul 21, 2014 Danielle rated it liked it
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.
Aug 20, 2016 Tucker rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished
Insights about relationships between individuals and about how one fits into a political body, drawn in part from interviews and discussions with people identified by first name only. A good explanation of the meaning of Socrates' life and work and why the authorities in Athens could not bear the kind of dialogue and inquiry he encouraged.
May 08, 2015 Alexis rated it it was amazing
Excellent Book!!! This will not be my last time reading this selection. I absolutely love in depth explanations given for each of the 5 kinds of love. The most important thing is that I found out that I'm not as perfect as I once believed. I felt like I was in such a good place while reading this title. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!!!
Sep 10, 2009 Molly rated it liked it
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.
May 08, 2015 Alexis rated it it was amazing
Excellent Book!!! This will not be my last time reading this selection. I absolutely love the in depth explanations given for each of the 5 kinds of love. The most important thing is that I found out that I'm not as perfect as I once believed. I felt like I was in such a good place while reading this title. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!!!
Apr 11, 2013 Sherry rated it it was ok
Shelves: philosophy
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
Alexandra Arboleda
Feb 21, 2012 Alexandra Arboleda rated it really liked it
This exploration of Socrates' five forms of love through the eyes of modern every day people was fascinating.
Sep 20, 2010 Shawn rated it really liked it
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.
Dan Draper
Dan Draper rated it it was amazing
Dec 30, 2013
Christie Ward
Christie Ward rated it really liked it
Feb 01, 2011
Jesse Borne
Jesse Borne rated it really liked it
Nov 18, 2013
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Aug 28, 2012
Moni rated it really liked it
Nov 11, 2012
Catherine Allen
Catherine Allen rated it really liked it
Dec 09, 2013
Explodingboi rated it really liked it
Jul 29, 2013
Debby Palmer
Debby Palmer rated it liked it
Jun 26, 2009
Ang Kelm
Ang Kelm rated it liked it
Nov 25, 2012
Nicole rated it it was ok
Jan 19, 2016
Megan rated it it was ok
Feb 27, 2008
Chris rated it liked it
Mar 19, 2011
Ottilia Nemet
Ottilia Nemet rated it really liked it
Feb 16, 2014
Nikki rated it it was ok
Jan 11, 2011
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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
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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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