Volume 11, Issue 2, Spring 2007
The Comedy of Patricide (or: A Passing Sense of Manliness)
Socrates’ Overcoming of Andreia
This paper is an investigation of the role of comedy in philosophical thinking, particularly of how comedy reveals the erotic dimension of philosophical thinking.
In the first half of the paper, I show that the relation between comedy and Eros is a powerful means to understand in what way philosophy is not technē. Philosophy in its erotic and comedic character is, rather, engaged with an appearing of things as ‘birthed’ or ‘living.’ In the second part of the paper, I focus on the role of comedy in the Laches. There I study the complex relationship between philosophy as erotic thinking and andreia or ‘manliness.’ I show that philosophy as erotic must distinguish itself from manliness and that the enactment of this differentiation is the core of the Laches. At the same time, manliness is not simply something that philosophy should not concern itself with. Philosophy must ask the question ‘what is manliness?’ as a way of enacting manliness and overcoming it, in an overcoming through which philosophy comes to its own erotic core.