Plato added more, he understood that such a purified perception, frequently running against the current of human needs and self-referent desires, needed a dynamic motivating force to realise it, and , accordingly, posited love as the supreme virtue , or force, that gave the moral aesthetic sense its transcendent dynamic. In his Symposium he attributes the key role of teacher of these mysteries to the ‘stranger of Mantinea’, the priestess Diotima. In and through her initiations Plato intimates the profoundly religious character of his insight that the person who habitually prefers beauty is thereby increasingly led to an ascent to the Supremely Beautiful.

Read more here.