Randall Cream@thinkingtogether.org


Technologies of Friendship

Analysis VI

At the end of Letter XIX, Seneca discusses the problem of exchanging favors in friendship. He argues, contrary to common belief, that doing a favor for a friend creates a debt that threatens friendship. In an analysis of a few hundred words, or less, explain this idea of Seneca’s and reconcile it to the exchange of letters that he engages in with Lucilius.

Analysis IV

Since we're working towards the first Essay assignment, this analysis assignment is a bit different than the others. It is meant to greatly assist you in thinking about the Essay prompts. Your task in this assignment is to write five numbered sentences-- a list, not a paragraph-- where each sentence expresses a core concept from Plato's dialogue on philia. Each of your points should be one sentence, written by you, with no quotations. At the end of each of these five points, cite the specific text your sentence refers to like this: (215D). This analysis is due Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. [updated to correct day]

Analysis III

Given your understanding of the texts of Plato we've read, how is aporia related to philia? In 300 words or so, write a detailed, perspective-driven analysis that suggests the significance of aporia in philia. Aim to do more than merely sum up the class lectures; pick a spot in the text and suggest something worth thinking through is going on in that spot. There are several possible good approaches: How does aporia function within philia? What problems face philia that the concept of aporia help us to work through? Aporia helps illuminate what sorts of things that ordinarily lie hidden within philia? Use your judgment and insight to analyze these two interconnected concepts. This analysis is due Thursday at 9:30 a.m.

Analysis II

At several spots in the dialogue—213D1 and 215C1 are easy to spot, but there are quite a few others—there are moments when the participants feel that in their discussion they’ve made a mistake, or been deceived, or hit a dead end. How do these dead end moments work? Why include them? In 300 words or so analyze this feature of the dialogue in Plato’s text. We don’t want you simply to show how this is a dead end based on the argument (the participants do a good job of that on their own), rather we want you to think about why Plato writes a text composed of a conversation that happens in just this way—with the participants perceiving that they have reached a dead end. You’ll need to stick to the text as you work on your analysis, perhaps by selecting one or two of these moments for analysis.


Analysis I

The interesting discussion between Lysis and Socrates exploring the concepts of freedom, choice, and action takes a very curious turn at 210C5. Between 210C5 and 210 D5, Lysis and Socrates describe a connection between benefit & utility on the one hand, and friendship & love on the other. In a single paragraph of 200 to 300 words, analyze this connection. Feel free to draw from any part of the dialogue to support your analysis, but keep your focus firmly on the point at hand: just how is utility and friendship connected?


Classes This Semester