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336 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY Maria Lualdl. ll problema della philia. Milan: Celuc, 1976. Pp. 156. L2600. Of Plato's early dialogues, the Lysis has not attracted the attention it deserves, nor has it generated any recent and significant scholarship. The Oxford Plato series has published so far only the Phaedo, Philebus, Gorgias, and Theaetetus . R. Sprague has reedited the Laches and Charmtdes but not as yet the Lvsis. While articles on the Meno and Euthyphro abound, the only relevant appraisals of the Lysis are the less than complimentary pages in Guthrie's History of Greek Philosophy, l a long article in Anton and Kustas's Essays m Ancient Greek Philosophy, ~-and the suggestive statements in Findlay's Plato: The Written and Unwritten Doctrines. 3 In the volume under discussion, Lualdl intends to rectify this situation by offering a much needed reinterpretation of the Lysts as well as a critical historiography of its interpretation from 1900 to 1960. This latter scholarly exercise is offered as an antidote to the contemporary analytical syndrome of Plato scholarhsip in the Anglo-American world. The work is divided into three sections of equal length. In the first part the author considers the nonphilosophical and perennial Issue of authenticity and chronology. In the second she unveils the meaning of q~t~.~ct and its relation to ~Ocog and ~xt0v~t[ct. In the final section she analyzes the logical structure of the dialogue and its general import for the economy of Plato's thought. With the exception of Ast4 and Soches, 5 no classical scholar has ever doubted the authenticity of the Lysis. Even if questions of style did not suffice, the use Aristotle makes of the dialogue in his Ethics and Rhetoric is proof enough that the Lysts m genuine and not some foreign addition to the Platonic corpus. The issue of chronology being interwoven with the hermeneutic of the dialogue is more complex than that of authenticity. Disagreement on the date and order of the Lysis was notorious even before the progress of Ryle's Plato. Willamowitz, Von Arnim, and Verdam named the dialogue respectively sixth, fifth, and fourth in order of composition, while Rader and Ritter placed it fifteenth and fourteenth, dating it before the Symposium. Pohlenz, on the other hand, claimed that its publication preceded that of the Symposium, but postdated the appearance of the Phaedrus among Plato's works. Lualdi considers the entire gamut of positions and opts for the noncontroversial view already accepted by Robin and later reinstated by Ross. She contends that in the list of Plato's dialogues the Lysis is germane to the Charrmdes but distant from the Symposmm, of which it is the natural prelude. This position, although acceptable, invites suspicion. It baffles this reader that the Lysis can be chronologically early, yet ontologically laden and at the same time a preparation to the Symposium. There are roughly two types of Platonists: those who defend the unity of Plato's thought and those who espouse the development theory. To the first class belong those scholars who argue that the Euthyphro, Laches, and Lysis contain a theory of forms identical to that of the later dmlogues and that therefore the early dialogues should be read in the hght of the later ones. To the second belong those Platonists who refuse to psychologize Plato and to read in the earlier dialogues anything which is not there openly expressed. To them the theory of forms exemphfied in the Lysis, if any, is of a different kind from that found in the Republic, Symposium, and Phaedo. Willamowitz, Grube, and Grote belong to the former, Glaser and a host of others to the latter. W K.C. Guthne, A Histoo' of Greek Phdosophy, vol. 4 (Cambridge: Cambridge Umverstty Press, 1975), pp. 134-54. 2D N. Levin, "Some Observations concerning Plato's Lysts,'" in J. P. Anton and G. L. Kustas, eds., Essays in AncientGreekPhilosophy(Albany: SUNY Press, 1971), pp. 236-58. 3j. N. Findlay, Plato:The Writtenand UnwrittenDoctrines(New York, 1974), pp. 98-101. a F. Ast, PlatonsLeben und Schrtften (Leipzig, 1816), pp. 428-34 5j. Soches, UberPlatonsSchriften(Mumch, 1820), pp. 137~1-4. BOOK REVIEWS 337 In the general interpretation...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 336-338
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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