Ancient Philosophy 37 (2):319-332 (2017)

Thornton Lockwood
Quinnipiac University
Plato’s Lysis has generated a range of scholarly responses, both with respect to its philosophical content and whether its aporetic conclusion— that what is philon is “neither those who are loved nor those who love, nor those who are like nor those who are unlike, nor those who are good, nor those who are akin (oi oikeioi), nor any of the others we have gone through” (222e3-5)—is genuine or masks a doctrinal resolution available within the text. In a series of papers on the Lysis, Francisco Gonzalez has presented an historically and philologically sophisticated interpretation which claims that in the Lysis, Socrates replaces traditional notions of “kinship” (or what is oikeion) with a philosophical kinship grounded in wisdom, one which ultimately undermines the filial bond between parents and children. I argue that Gonzalez’s interpretation cannot account for the numerous instances of non-philosophical friendships in the dialogue and thus succumbs to the danger of ascribing closure to a dialogue whose aporia is ultimately genuine. In my conclusion, I probe whether this critique poses problems for “Third Way” interpretations of Plato’s dialogues.
Keywords Ancient Philosophy  History of Philosophy  Plato  Lysis  Friendship  Francisco Gonzalez
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ISBN(s) 0740-2007
DOI 10.5840/ancientphil201737226
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