Ancient and Medieval Concepts of Friendship , suny Press, 2014, 344 pages, hb. $95, Pb. $34.95. Plato for erôs , ‘love’, but Aristotle for philia , ‘friendship’: the stereotype we operate with a lot of the time. Of course, it’s not nearly as simple as that. This enterprising collection of essays begins with a strong chapter by the French scholar Dimitri El Murr, on philia in Plato. El Murr makes his focus not the Lysis , but an interesting if little regarded passage in Book 8 of the Laws. Despite the modesty of his professed ambitions in the piece, he shows how the Laws discussion recapitulates themes and distinctions in earlier works, notably Lysis and Phaedrus , and gives Plato the basis he needs for the conception of civic friendship that plays a key role in the dialogue’s political theory (as mutatis mutandis in the Republic ) no less than in Aristotle’s. Aristotle does get more chapters here than any other thinker: one shared by him with Kant, from Andrea Veltman; but two just to himself, by the two editors, the second of these—by Suzanne Stern-Gillet—arguing the importance of the ‘great-souled’ man for his political theory, and by
International Journal of the Platonic Tradition – Brill
Published: Oct 25, 2016
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