First Diologue of the Platonic Love


The friendship or love had their origin in the necessity, is natural that the weak ones are friendly and lovers of the strong ones, the poor of the rich ones, the ignorant of the wise ones.

In Plato there are two terms that relate to the field of love. The first is "subsidiary" which means love in an ample sense, which includes the love of father and sons, friendship and even sexual love. The second word is "Eros" which means more precisely the sexual love.

The first attempt of definition of the love in platonic works is in the Lysis. In this text, in general terms the love is “to wish that the loved person as happy as possible”, says the Socrates personage taking with the young Lysis, to whom stimulates to reflect within the framework in his social situation of the limits of his house and Socrates continues its explanation indicating that the parents of the young person love him, therefore wish his happiness, nevertheless, they do not give an absolute freedom to him - who must obey the slave of the house and the teacher in the school -because he has not own sufficient knowledge of the things.

This means he is allowed to do anything which he has adequate knowledge. And so it follows that knowledge is the important thing, not the age.

Another consequence is that everyone will trust us if they realize that we own the knowledge of doing. People will appreciate us if we are useful. Socrates indicates, in the end, that if we want to be loved, we must acquire the wisdom, that does not have to be understood like a theoretical knowledge, but practitioner. The utilitarian point of view of Socrates is undeniable here. The dialogue continues with the search - at Socrates style- of the definition of the term "friend”.

But the word is ambiguous, because can be used to designate to the person who love and to designating the love one. In order to clarify this, Socrates asks: who is the friend, the one who loves or the one that is loved?
The interlocutor of Socrates responds that here there is no difference, nevertheless, is clear there is one, because the love is not always corresponded and it could happen that somebody loves someone who hates him/her. In any case, there is no clarity on the matter and, therefore, Socrates raises the things in another way.

It is analyzed next, the adage that says “the similar is friend of the similar”. According to this the good ones will be friendly of the good ones, and the bad ones of the bad ones. Nevertheless, if we accepted the platonic concept of which the badness means ignorance and discord, the bad ones can not even be friend with anybody, because they never maintain a similarity with anything, not even with themselves. That is to say, the saying is only valid for good or the harmonious ones.

But from this we reach an unexpected conclusion: someone good and completely self-sufficient does not need anyone's help to be this way. Also, if the friendship is based on need, a person absolutely good could not feel it. Either, the friendship between two completely good persons would not have sense, because they do not need anybody.

From another perspective, if it is accepted that the friendship or the love has their origin in the necessity, is natural that the weak ones are friendly and love the strong ones, the poor ones to the rich ones, the ignorant ones to the wise people, etc. Thus, we see that the love occurs here between opposites; but this point of view, if we look at this well leads us to some absurd: because in this case they will be friends goods and bad ones, brave and cowards, fair with unfair ones, chaste and lustful.

Thus we get a third perspective that what is neither good nor bad will be the friend or lover of the good or what is beautiful in this context are identical. More explicitly, that which is neither good nor bad, loves what is good, because evil is latent in this being. For example, the body loves health because of the presence of the disease. Also, the lover of wisdom loves it, because is absolutely not wise nor so ignorant as to not realize their own ignorance. With this concludes in the Lysis the search, strictly speaking, a concept.

With this it concludes in the Lysis the search, in strict sense, of a concept of the love, that evidently, in this dialogue is not obtained, and which we hoped in the next one the love prevails.

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