RE: MD "friends"

From: Bell, Tim (
Date: Fri May 18 2001 - 12:00:09 BST

I always thought Platonic was used because we all know he was a philosopher,
therefore a thinker, therefore this is love which relates to the head more
than any other part of the body. In other words - it's a get-out clause
when someone just wants to be friends. As someone who doesn't know Plato
too well it's easy to come to that conclusion so I guess this one goes back
to the old debate on defining languages - do we 'prescribe' correct usage,
or 'describe' actual usage.
Anyway, I thought that was a funny post from Clarke so temporarily stopped
lurking. I'm a Literature graduate working in the music field who happens
to be reading ZAMM at the moment - I subscribed to this list because it's
referred to in the introduction (the irritatingly incomplete introduction in
the 25th anniversary ed.). It's been very interesting and certainly makes
reading the book a more 'dynamic' experience. I will now lurk again before
saying anything (else) foolish - I look forward to finding time to finish
the book, take on Lila and perhaps contributing something worthwhile later
on down the line.
Elephant/Horse - on your names, keep them if you thought them up. Drop them
if you feel uncomfortable now. I like them.

-----Original Message-----
From: elephant []
Sent: 17 May 2001 21:15
Subject: Re: MD "friends"

What does 'platonic love' refer to?

I think it may have something to do with Socrates corrupting the youth by
refusing to sleep with them. Or, rather, than he consents to sleep with his
male admirers but then goes and does just that, snore snore, to the
consternation of his suitors. I think the relevant dialogues are the
Phaedrus and the Symposium. Particularly the Symposium. Both are a
discussion of the various loves, and both talk about the relation of these
to sex. Both also set this notion going about there being 'higher' love
than physical relations, which (to judge from the actions of the greek gods)
was not a very current idea at the time.

I'll bet that's where christianity get's it's mindset from too. Se
Augustine. Also C.S. Lewis 'The four loves'.

Yours Puzzled, E.

(Following a substance awareness course I note that both 'elephant' and
'horse' are colloquial terms for illegal powders. What can we do? Drop the
names? Mount a campaign for the reclamation of our tongue? Did we perhaps
start this usage unknowingly? Is any quadrapedal pseudonym safe? And the

Date: Thu, 17 May 2001 10:18:50 EDT
Subject: MD "friends"

Hey Folks:
It's somewhat of a colloquialism to refer to a male/female non-sexual
relationship as "Platonic". My incredible intellect leads me to believe
this may have something to do with Plato. What little I've read of Plato
never touched upon this derivative. In fact it seems as if Aristotle has
written more on the various types of friendshipsthan has Plato. Perhaps it
has somehting to do with the "forms" or "ideals"? I would venture to say
that 99.9% of the people who use this word have no idea of it's true source.

As I am still in that number, can someone enlighten me?

P.S. Is it "Platonic" when she won't, but you want to?

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