Shanming Tan


Vision plays an important role in Platos dialogues, from watching through the eyes of the body to opening the eyes of the soul, from feeling images to looking up at the starry sky, from appreciating the beautiful body to observing beauty itself. Whether from the perspective of the body or the soul, vision is always connected to eros, thus given a special meaning. On the one hand, Plato shows that the immediacy of vision leads to erotic intoxication, which is not only an inseparable original phenomenon of human interaction with the world and others at the physical level, but also a profoundly ineffable mystery when the soul looks at the highest landscape of the sky. On the other hand, the instantaneity of vision accomplishes the leap from the beautiful thing to beauty itself, thus overcoming the selfclosure of logos and the solidification of human wisdom, which is precisely the antithesis of metaphysics. The significance of vision in Platos dialogues could be revealed by transcending the traditional metaphysical concepts.



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