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Eros and Divine Madness: Questions and Reflections Inspired by Plato by Frances Coolidge, PhD (Psychoanalytic Explorations)

May 12 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Socrates maintains, in Plato’s Phaedrus, that eros is the highest form of divine madness. The central queries of my presentation are: is there a divine kind of madness? What is the meaning of eros construed as divine madness? Following, but diverging from, Plato’s Symposium, I propose that eros, understood as divine madness, is the capacity to reconcile the tension between (what is metaphorically signified by) “fullness” and “lack” in our experience. Answering the question of whether there is a divine kind of madness turns on, first, whether our erotic reconciliation of the polarity between fullness and lack is founded on a relation to what can be construed as divine and, second, in what sense this reconciliation can be understood as a form of madness. Is this “madness” delusional? Or, paradoxically, is it therapeutic?

Learning Objectives:
• Attendees will understand psychological implications of central themes in Plato’s “middle dialogues” (e.g., Plato’s hypothesis of eros and his distinction between being and becoming).
• Attendees will learn about the psychological significance of the tension between “fullness” and “lack” in existence.
• Attendees will learn about potentially therapeutic aspects of certain forms of “madness.”

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of American Psychoanalytic Association and NOBPC. The American Psychoanalytic Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The American Psychoanalytic Association designates this Live Activity for a maximum of 2 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION FOR ALL LEARNERS: None of the planners and presenters of this CME program have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Psychologists and Social Workers may also receive continuing education credit for this activity if their accredited associations or boards recognize CME credits.

Admission is Free.
Fee for 2 CME credits: $15 for NOBPC members; $25 non-members


May 12
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
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