For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Lysis. Symposium. Gorgias

by Plato (1925)

Key Passage

(Symposium) And who, let me ask, will gainsay that the composing of all forms of life is Love’s own craft, whereby all creatures are begotten and produced? Again, in artificial manufacture, do we not know that a man who has this god for teacher turns out a brilliant success, whereas he on whom Love has laid no hold is obscure? If Apollo invented archery and medicine and divination, it was under the guidance of Desire and Love; so that he too may be deemed a disciple of Love, as likewise may the Muses in music, Hephaestus in metal-work, Athene in weaving and Zeus ‘in pilotage of gods and men.’ Hence also those dealings of the gods were contrived by Love—clearly love of beauty—astir in them, for Love has no concern with ugliness; though aforetime, as I began by saying, there were many strange doings among the gods, as legend tells, because of the dominion of Necessity. But since this god arose, the loving of beautiful things has brought all kinds of benefits both to gods and to men. (p.159)


Plato, Craft, Craftsmanship, Ancient Greece, Love, Music, Leisure


Rancière Citations, Plato Citations, Ancient Greece

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