From Before Common Era to the 21st Century, humanity has pondered what the true meaning of friendship is. Even today, most people struggle with clearly defining this kind of companionship, just as Socrates does in Plato’s Lysis. In this philosophical dialogue, Socrates and his peers debate potential theories concerning the reasons why people become friends with one another. Several theories are developed, but throughout the dialogue Socrates counters his own arguments in order to achieve further understanding of his inquiry. As they deliberate the true nature of friendship, Plato’s writing parallels his teacher, Socrates’ style because it ends in perplexity. Plato’s own ideas intermingle with Socrates’ in this text while he writes about him in a commendable manner to express the virtue in Socrates’ teachings and philosophies. In the end of the dialogue, Socrates and his peers end their conversation with seemingly indistinct motives for friendship and readers are left with what feels like “aporia” (Lysis 223b). While some people have trouble discovering Socrates’ precise position on friendship, I believe the point of the text is for perplexity to symbolize friendship entirely. Philosophy does not always have a distinct conclusion, just as friendship may not have a clear motivation. In my paper, I will be analyzing each notable theory developed by Socrates in order to uncover Socrates’ beliefs on the desire for friendship.
Socrates begins his philosophical exploration by