Sophia and Philosophia


To get to the point immediately concerning how I think about the relationship between the first five speeches and Socrates’ speech: it seems to me the claim that Plato has only brought together inadequate perspectives on Eros in order to present Socrates’ speech over and against them as the only correct one is completely in error. Socrates himself does not deny these speeches their accolades, he comes back to many things in them as he assigns each single perspective its own due place. Much more, I believe that from the first speech to the last a decisive progress takes place, insofar as each successive perspective increases and broadens the previous perspective in some essential aspect; the individual speakers see the concept of Eros emerge with growing clarity: until, in the end, Socrates takes the cumulatively developed building and only rounds it off with a dome; he does not destroy it. Naturally, this is valid only with respect to the fundamental perspective of each speaker: whatever was added as ornament to their developments is rejected by Socrates in many ways as unjustified...


Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm, 1844-1900; Socrates; Alcibiades