Why Can’t We Be Friends?
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How to Cite

Why Can’t We Be Friends? Hippothales and the Case of Plato’s Lysis. (2019). The Political Science Reviewer, 42(2), 357-384. https://politicalsciencereviewer.wisc.edu/index.php/psr/article/view/543


Plato's Lysis is an often overlooked dialogue, with only a few recent noteworthy efforts by scholars to penetrate its teaching. Because of the difficult text and contradictory statements, a cohesive interpretive structure is necessary to understand Plato's social and political teachings within the Lysis. With a focus on the character Hippothales and the lessons provided, the broader Socratic understanding of friendship can be derived. This paper presents an interpretation of Plato's understanding of friendship as a rejection of friendship based upon utility and an acceptance of friendship based upon mutual love of what is akin by nature to the good. The consequence of this lesson shows that true friendship is extremely rare and cannot alone be the basis of a political regime.

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