Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at
Thu Oct 18 09:50:33 EDT 2001

At 1:34 PM +0000 10/18/01, Mark Wilson wrote:
>Hopefully, not to belabor the John 21 text, but to make
>a case for FILEW's uses, I suggest that FILEW, like our word love,
>can be used at both ends of a spectrum.
>"I love my new shoes." vs  "I love my child."
>Here, the distinction is obvious, even without a context at all.
>I therefore think one could support the following chart:
>FILEW   -->   AGAPAW  -->  FILEW
>FILEW1   -->   AGAPAW  -->  FILEW2
>Where FILEW1 is "I love my new shoes."
>If we transfer this distinction into the relationship area,
>we would have:
>I am fond of  --> I greatly respect  -->  I love deeply/passionately
>To me, the issue is whether or not FILEW can attach itself
>to both ends of such a relationship spectrum. Can it?
>What I understand about FILEW is that it seems to focus
>on the emotional side,

Classical Greek idiom uses FILEW to express natural tendencies. I'm drawing
a blank (mark of senescence) on Aristotle's best-cited FILEI hH FUSIS ...
--can anyone spell me out? But the one that comes most readily to mind is
Thucydides' PANTA FILEi ELASSOUSQAI = "Everything has a natural tendency to
deteriorate"--or, more colloquially, "Everything loves to go bad." How's
that for focus on the emotional side? I'd still prefer to go back to the
etymological element: FILEW is "have kindred feeling for"--seems to me that
attitudes toward kin run across the entire spectrum of positive and

whereas AGAPAW tends toward the rational side.
>To anticipate an objection, FILEW2 would require AGAPAW,
>both its initial attainment and current possession. Hence,
>one can love a girl friend (FILEW1), but before one can deeply
>fall in love and marry her (FILEW2), he must first traverse AGAPAW,
>otherwise, it would be ERWS   :o )

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at OR cwconrad at

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