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[213c] to the same statement as we made before, that frequently a man is a friend of one who is no friend, and frequently even of an enemy, when he loves one who loves not, or even hates; while frequently a man may be an enemy of one who is no enemy or even a friend, when he hates one who hates not, or even loves.1 It looks like it, he said. What then are we to make of it, I asked, if neither the loving are to be friends, nor the loved, nor both the loving and loved together?2 For apart from these, are there any others left for us to cite as becoming friends to one another? For my part, Socrates, he said, I declare I can see no sort of shift.

1 In this argument Socrates makes play, like one of the “eristic” sophists, with the ambiguous meaning of φίλος (“friend” or “dear”) and ἐχθρός (“enemy” or “hateful”). Beneath his immediate purpose of puzzling the young man lies the intention of pointing out the obscurity of the very terms “friend” and “enemy.”

2 Socrates cannot be said to have disposed of this third proposition.

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  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 1.4.2
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