Three Models of Political Friendship in Plato Restricted; Files Only

Leyh, Tony (Fall 2020)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/vh53ww70c?locale=en
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Abstract

This dissertation defends the thesis that Plato develops three distinct models of political friendship in Alcibiades I and Cleitophon, in Republic, and in Laws and that he uses a uniform explanatory strategy in all three models. All of these dialogues explain political friendship by looking at the psychological makeup required for citizens to be friends. I refer to this explanatory strategy as an appeal to the psychology of political friendship. The basic idea is that Plato eschews theorizing political friendship by looking at various objects (e.g. virtue, pleasure, or utility) that may motivate citizens to cultivate relationships with one another. Instead, the Platonic approach relies on the recognition that friends must in some way be psychologically similar. Citizen friends can be psychologically similar in an epistemic sense, i.e. by having the same knowledge or compatible but nonidentical beliefs. Yet, they can also be psychologically similar in an emotional sense, i.e. by having similar emotional responses and feelings of pleasure and pain regarding politically significant situations.

           What distinguishes each model are the particular details of the psychologies. My first chapter argues for a Socratic model of political friendship as it appears in Alcibiades I and Cleitophon, in which citizens achieve friendship only when they attain shared knowledge of politics. Plato’s Republic posits that political friendship obtains when some but not all citizens have knowledge while others have compatible beliefs about relevant political phenomena. Lastly, Plato’s Laws develops a psychology that concentrates on emotional similarity and similar feelings of pleasure and pain (instead of epistemic similarity) to ground political friendship. The final chapter takes up the question of why exactly friendship matters for politics by a study of the relation between friendship and politics in the Platonic Seventh Letter.

Table of Contents

DISSERTATION TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

Methodology

(1)    Choice of Dialogues

(2)    A Preliminary Approach to Friendship

Overview of Chapters

Chapter 1: Knowledgeable Homonoia as a Socratic Model of Political Friendship

Chapter 2: Political Friendship in Republic

Chapter 3: A Symphony of Citizens: Political Friendship in Laws

Chapter 4: Politics and Friendship in The Seventh Letter

CHAPTER 1: KNOWLEDGEABLE HOMONOIA AS A SOCRATIC MODEL OF POLITICAL FRIENDSHIP

Introduction

1.     What Is Homonoia? A Preliminary Look at Homonoia in Classical Greek Thought

2.     Homonoia as Political Friendship in Cleitophon and Alcibiades I

2.1 An Objection to Homonoia as Friendship at Cleitophon 410a

2.1.1 Objections to Cleitophon 410a and a Response

2.2 Objections to Knowledgeable Homonoia as Political Friendship in Alcibiades I

2.2.1 Socrates’ Use of Suspicious Arguments and Its Justification

2.2.2 Socrates and Alcibiades’ Perplexing Use of Homonoia

2.2.3 The Inconsistency of Socrates’ Exclusivist Interpretation of Justice

2.2.4 Towards an Inclusivist Interpretation of Justice

3.     Why Knowledgeable Homonoia as Political Friendship?

3.1 An Unconvincing Argument Against Knowledgeable Homonoia

3.1.1 Why are Experts Rare?

3.1.2 What Kind of Knowledge in Knowledgeable Homonoia?

3.2 Socratic Knowledgeable Homonoia: A Reasonable Account

3.3 The Orientating Function of Knowledgeable Homonoia

4.     Knowledgeable Homonoia and Political Friendship

4.1 Knowledgeable Homonoia and Other Characteristics of Friendship

4.2 Explaining the Emphasis on Knowledgeable Homonoia

4.3 Homonoia, Disagreement and Friendship

4.4 Knowledgeable Homonoia and Reciprocated, Other-Regarding Concern

Conclusion

CHAPTER 2: POLITICAL FRIENDSHIP IN REPUBLIC

Introduction

1.     Seeing Friendship in Republic

1.1 Justice and Friendship

1.2 Friendship among Philosopher Rulers in Kallipolis

1.3 Friendship among All Citizens of Kallipolis?

1.3.1 Noble Lie

1.3.2 Naming Preservers, Auxiliaries, and Providers of Upkeep and Wages

2.     Two Beliefs and a Framework of Political Friendship

3.     Extending the Framework to All Citizens

3.1 The Sources of Friendship Beliefs for the Classes of Kallipolis

3.2 Knowledge and Friendship for Philosopher Guardians

3.3 Stable, True Belief and Friendship for the Auxiliaries

3.4 True Belief and Friendship for the Producers

3.5 Conclusion

4.     Homonoia and Friendship

Conclusion

CHAPTER 3: A SYMPHONY OF CITIZENS: POLITICAL FRIENDSHIP IN LAWS

Introduction

1.     The Mystery of Homonoia in Plato’s Laws

2.     A Deflationary Solution to the Mystery

2.1 An Appeal to the Dramatic Context

2.2 An Appeal to Platonic Doctrine

3.     A Nondeflationary Solution to the Mystery

3.1 A Nondeflationary Psychological Solution

3.1.1 The Psychology of Pleasure and Pain in Laws

3.1.2 The Psychology of Virtue in Laws

3.2. A Nondeflationary Pedagogical Solution

3.2.1 The Sentimental Education of Magnesians

3.2.2 A Contrast with Education in Republic

4.     Revisiting Political Friendship and Sumphônia in Magnesia

4.1 The Semantic Stakes of Sumphônia versus Homonoia

5.     The Philosophical Promise of Political Friendship and Sumphônia

Conclusion

CHAPTER 4: FRIENDSHIP AND POLITICS IN THE SEVENTH LETTER

Introduction

1.     Towards an Understanding of Friendship

2.     Friendship and Politics in the Seventh Letter and Elsewhere in Plato

3.     The Political Import of Friendship

4.     Resolving an Apparent Tension between Plato’s Advice and Behavior

CONCLUSION

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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