By Terry Penner, Christopher Rowe
The Lysis is one in all Plato's most tasty but in addition confusing dialogues; it has frequently been looked, within the glossy interval, as a philosophical failure. the total philosophical and literary exploration of the discussion illustrates the way it in reality presents a scientific and coherent, if incomplete, account of a distinct conception approximately, and unique rationalization of, human hope and motion. moreover, it exhibits how that idea and rationalization are primary to a complete variety of alternative Platonic dialogues and certainly to the knowledge of the corpus as a complete. half One deals an research of, or operating statement on, the discussion. partly Professors Penner and Rowe research the philosophical and methodological implications of the argument exposed by means of the research. the complete is rounded off through an epilogue of the relation among the Lysis and a few different Platonic (and Aristotelian) texts.
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Extra info for Plato’s Lysis
We are, most of us, surely likely to want to say that real love and friendship will always be innocent of ‘ulterior’ motives (were that to be what is at issue here). That, indeed, is the very point that he actually started off from in 207d (and he shows no sign of wanting to withdraw it). 3 209c7–210d8 35 their happiness – might be ‘useful’, or beneficial, to us just insofar as it helps produce happiness for us. e. to the parents’ own ends). If the Socrates of the Lysis does indeed take such a position on parental love, then on this view he is missing the essential point: parents – if they love as they should (on this view) – desire their child’s happiness for the child’s sake, not for their own.
But what about when you go home to your mother: in order to make you happy (makarios), does she let you do whatever you wish (boulesthai), whether with the wool or 208D5 the loom, when she’s weaving? ’ He laughed, and said ‘Zeus! ’ I said. ’ ‘Zeus! I haven’t, for sure,’ he said. ‘Well, what is it in return for which they so terribly prevent you from being 208E5 happy and doing whatever you wish (boulesthai), bringing you up from beginning to end of each day in a state of slavery to someone, and in a word doing practically none of the things you desire (epithumein)?
26 2 207b8–210d8: do Lysis’ parents love him? 44 But in any case, contra (b-m), setting out simply to confuse someone perhaps not yet into his teens looks like a less than lofty goal; contra (cl), it is hardly good practice for us to begin interpreting a philosophical work – ‘philosophical’, that is, by our own standards as well as those implied by the Lysis itself – by assuming that we already know what the truth is. 46 But in that case the only available explanations of what is going on will apparently be of type (b-m) or type (cl) (unless, again, we fall back on a charge of negligence), and although some scholars are happy to accept that Socrates can behave badly and unscrupulously,47 that itself seems to run counter to the principle of charity which seemed to land us with (b-m) and (cl) in the first place.
Plato’s Lysis by Terry Penner, Christopher Rowe