Socrates on friendship and community: reflections on Plato's by Mary P. Nichols

By Mary P. Nichols

Within the smooth philosophical culture, Plato's Socrates has been seen as an alienating effect on Western concept and lifestyles. during this ebook, Mary Nichols addresses Kierkegaard's and Nietzsche's feedback of Socrates and recovers where of friendship and neighborhood in Socratic philosophizing. Her wealthy research of either dramatic info and philosophic subject matters in Plato's Symposium, Phaedras, and Lysis indicates how love reveals its success within the reciprocal relation of associates. Nichols exhibits how pals event one other as their very own and themselves as belonging to a different. Their event, she argues, either sheds mild at the nature of philosophy and serves as a regular for a political existence that does justice to human freedom and neighborhood.

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Extra info for Socrates on friendship and community: reflections on Plato's Symposium, Phaedrus, and Lysis

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Nietzsche’s aphoristic form allows him to leave undeveloped the connection between Socrates’ eroticism and his dialectic approach to philosophy. Socrates’ eroticism may seem consistent with his rationalism if love directs us to knowledge, to the unchanging and pure form of beauty, for example, as Socrates claims in the Symposium (210d and 211b). , Symposium 202e–203a). Love may connect us to heaven, but it also reveals our connection to the earth. Socrates also acquiesces in that dialogue to the proposal that he be judged not by Apollo but by Dionysus, the god of the poets and the god of intoxication (Symposium 175e).

The condition of Achilles’ superiority, surprisingly, is his not loving, although Phaedrus leaves this inference unspoken. Whereas the noble deeds of the lover are “god-inspired,” those of the beloved are his own (179e–180b). Phaedrus’ revision of poetry depreciates love and praises self-sufficient virtue. The lover, whom the gods deprive of the opportunity for virtue through the compulsion of love, is at best an occasion for the beloved’s triumphant nobility. Achilles’ lover Patroclus, who goes into battle wearing Achilles’ armor, and dies in his place, plays the role that Alcestis plays in Phaedrus’ first story.

His purpose is not education, even if he can provide it, and even if this alone makes his love justifiable; his purpose is sex. If his relationship with his beloved were not a sexual Pausanias’ Praise of Law 43 one, there would be no need to revise the law and public opinion to make it acceptable. As Pausanias reinterprets the law, its appearance of contradiction hides its noble purpose, but his own noble rhetoric veils the purpose he shares with the pandemic lover. The education and concern for souls that Pausanias attributes to the higher Love is only a means to satisfy the desire that he attributes to the lower one.

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