In Socrates on Friendship and Community, Mary P. Nichols addresses Kierkegaard's and Nietzsche's criticism of Socrates and recovers the place of friendship and community in Socratic philosophizing. This approach stands in contrast to the modern philosophical tradition, in which Plato's Socrates has been viewed as an alienating influence on Western thought and life. Nichols' rich analysis of both dramatic details and philosophic themes in Plato's Symposium, Phaedras, and Lysis shows how love finds its fulfilment in the reciprocal relation of friends. Nichols also shows how friends experience another as their own and themselves as belonging to another. Their experience, she argues, both sheds light on the nature of philosophy and serves as a standard for a political life that does justice to human freedom and community.

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